Local administrative sources on population movements after the Messina earthquake of 1908

G. Restifo


Contrary to what one might expect, we have only a rough idea of the movements of the population of Messina
after the 1908 earthquake. The exact figures regarding the number of dead are lacking; the fugitives were registered
in difficult conditions; the numbers of immigrants can only be estimated. The two censuses of 1901 and
1911 are the only general source of comparison. To date nobody has examined the forms filled in by the families,
from which it is possible to deduce the origins of the inhabitants of Messina. The analysis of local sources
such as marriage registers and church records can provide information to fill this gap. An overall survey of the
available documentation allows us to reconstruct the vertiginous movement of population caused by the


Historical seismology;population;Messina

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-4058

Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X