Born in Ischia circa 1845, Luigi Matttera and Marianna Calise lived through four earthquakes: 25 July 1853, 17 September 1854, 30 January 1863 and 4 March 1881. But the most devastating terremoto took the lives of their children and their home.
On 28 July 1883, six days after the Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena Penitente, the most devastating earthquake in Casamicciola,which is situated on a deep underground fault, took the lives of one half of the inhabitants. Some bodies needed to be identified, others were entombed, never to be discovered and their homes were damaged or destroyed. Victims of the earthquake are interred in the high-lying Campo Santo at the foot of Monte Rotaro, (870 ft.) to the E.
of the Casamicciola families to suffer a massive loss in this tragedy was our
great-grandparents, Luigi Mattera and Marianna Calise, who survived with only
two of their nine children. Because
access to records is difficult, the question that remains is whether these
nameless children are buried at Camp Santo or are they amongst the entombed
bodies. However, as the story is
told, with their remaining family, consisting of Clemente, whose hearing was
minimally damaged and Giuseppe, a toddler, they sadly emigrate to
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.
to Giovanni’s Naturalization Petition #24151, he, their last child, was born
in Filliperill, on 11 February 1884; however, further investigation shows no
record of the existence of this town, it may have been incorporated with
Marseille. Also, Clemente’s
Naturalization Petition #48754 states that the traveling family departed Le
Havre, France, on 15 May 1887, on an unnamed ship, which arrived at the
Philadelphia port on 27 May 1887. However,
there is no documentation thus far to substantiate this information nor
New York arrival records.
searching the 1900 Philadelphia Census Records, I was unsuccessful in my attempt
to locate Luigi and Marianna Mattera. On
further searches, I discovered the Philadelphia Marriage License #106632 that
shows the address of the potential groom as well as the bride.
Armed with Clemente’s address, I made another attempt at finding the
enigmatic Mattera family in the 1900 Philadelphia Census Records.
Looking for 926 Christian Street, located across the street from St.
Paul’s RC Church, I found Luigi and Marianna Matri, with only two sons,
Giovanni and Giuseppe; by this time Clemente and Maria Antonia are married with
one child and living at 210 So. 8th Street.
The occupations show Luigi employed as a peddler, Giuseppe as a
confectioner, and Giovanni as a laborer. This
information coincides with family stories that Luigi worked at Giordano’s at 9th
and Washington Avenue. At an unknown date, approximated as sometime before 1903,
Luigi and Marianna, with their youngest son Giovanni, returned to Casamicciola
to rebuild the damaged home they left many years before.
1906, Clemente and Maria Antonia are living at 926 Christian Street with their
first four children. Giuseppe married Angelina Tomasso on 3 January 1904
and Giovanni who departed from Naples 11 November 1906 on the SS Cretie arrives
in New York on 4 December 1906 as a married man ready to earn the money he needs
to send for his bride, Mariarosa Mariosa
(earthquake, etc) Site Map
Maria & Clemente with Luigi, Nicola, Vincenzo & Anna, 1906
In 1906, Clemente and Maria Antonia are living at 926 Christian Street with their first four children. Giuseppe married Angelina Tomasso on 3 January 1904 and Giovanni who departed from Naples 11 November 1906 on the SS Cretie arrives in New York on 4 December 1906 as a married man ready to earn the money he needs to send for his bride, Mariarosa Mariosa
TOP (earthquake, etc)