My grandfather Lorenzo Marciano b. 1898 was orphaned in the tsunami that followed the Messina-Reggio earthquake of 1908. His brother pushed him up a tree and he held onto it while the rest of his family was swept out to sea. He grew up with relatives, married Maria Caridi (I believe of Podargoni), served in the carabinieri, and emmigrated to New York in 1921.
On the ship's manifest he listed his hometown as Pellaro, which makes sense, as it was destroyed in the tsunami, the largest ways--as high as fifty feet--hitting that town. Following the directions I found in (the incredibly helpful--thanks Nuccia!)
http://italiangenealogy.tardio.com/Foru ... alian.html I am sending off a letter to the Stato Civile di Pellaro.
I am certainly interested in everything about my grandfather--most especially finding the address of his family at the time of the terremoto--but I am also interested in anyone who had parenti who survived the disaster. The 100th anniversary is this year and it is shocking how forgotten this disaster is--it was the deadliest natural disaster in recorded history outside of Asia. The eyewitness accounts I have been able to find are some of the most moving and horrifying stories I have ever read.