George Yeagley

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Peter Derr, superstitions, weather predictions, constellations, birds, livestock


A handwritten letter from George Yeagley addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dating from circa 1950. Within, Yeagley provides old weather superstitions and predictions that were uncovered within an 1842 diary belonging to Peter Derr.


George Yeagley


Alfred L. Shoemaker

Corresponds to:

Packet 103-8 to 103-11


Reading, Pennsylvania


Superstitions as I found in Peter Derrs’ diary 1842

Plant potatoes in shtabuck u (ascending grade)

Plant cabbage Woke.

Plant cucumbers Iswilling

Plant flowers Yung Frau.

Make the fences in unnerganda

Dig your ditches in greba (scorpion)

Shear the sheep in woke (Balance)

When geese fly in a circle, is a sign of rain or storm.

When the (fish royer) flys high is a sign of a flood.

When the wood pecker flies on a tree and runs upwards is a sign of warm, but if he runs is a sure sign of cold.

When hogs carry straw in their mouths is a sign of cold.

When the smoke falls down is a sign of rain or snow.

When crows, swallows and other birds fly low is a sign of wind if they fly up and down , storm.

When the moon has a circle and as many stars in the circle, in so many days it will rain.

Rain will follow of the 3 successive frosts.

If after a rain, drops hang on limbs of trees and window frames more rain will follow.

A dew in the morning is followed by rain.

If it rains in a rainbow it will rain 3 days.


A red sky is a sign - ackany - rain

A gray sky fine weather

Soft clouds fine weather followed by rain

Dark clouds wind and storm


Indian red sky, rain.

Rosy red sky, fine weather

Bright yellow sky, wind

Pale yellow sky, wet

A greenish sickly sky, rain.

Mr. Shoemaker,

Enclosed you will find Och wou ich ushdt au Bower ware.

If I come across some more of this old stuff I’ll let you have it

George Yeagley

208 Maple St

Reading Pa


English and Pennsylvania German

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Letter From George Yeagley to Alfred L. Shoemaker



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