I find it interesting that the Delaware Moors now seem to refer to themselves as moor-indians. I still don't quite understand what the moorish connection is, but in a certain sense, it doesn't seem as important to me, as it did, to find out. At last, I understand what the problem was, and why my mother seemed always so anxious about the opinions of others, about 'where she fit' in any given society. And I understand so much more about just what the nature of her anxieties really were, and also about just how much was thoroughly muddled about the entire issue throughout the whole geographic region and group of concerned persons. I no longer feel the same drive to know all the details. Were they Indians? Were they Africans? Were they pirates? Were they Irish? Were they Portugese? Were they Jews or Moors? Were they some mixture of all those categories? And perhaps most pressing of all, does anyone the least bit care anymore?
Well, people do tell me they find it 'interesting,' but back then they 'cared daggers' about it, and it must truly be said that that is no longer the case. Yes, it's good to know what my ancestors had to go through, what even the generations directly above mine had to go through. As one old friend of mine said to me recently, 'I always wondered why your family, who seemed so cultivated and refined, were living in that neighborhood.' So I guess, even what I had to go through, in a sense, because yes, I did feel that my early environment was difficult.
To say a little bit more about the Native American piece of this, it is kind of odd that I never reflected more until now on the fact that so many families of Native-American or part Native-American ancestry surrounded us. Our next door neighbor in the back was a full-blood Seneca, and former world war II ace pilot. Other neighbors were Cherokee, Seneca, or unnamed 'Indians' 'from the mountains.' My father was a European immigrant, so I guess I was nudged to identify myself as part of the recent post wwII immigrant community who also prevailed in our neighborhood. It was easy to just slide right on over into their camp, and clearly that is just what my mother wanted for me. The funny thing is, I never felt very comfortable there. The kids in the neighborhood with whom I felt most at home were the mixed-race bunch. The ones who accepted me perhaps best were 'the Irish' - whatever they 'really' were!
As I said to a friend recently, the 'whitest' people in our neighborhood were the Irish, and most of them looked or were rumored to be 'Portugese.' Now that we know the story on Portugese and Spanish migration from the Inquisition into Europe and the New World, that category is much less unambiguous and makes much more sense too. I'm wondering now about my mother's mother's mother, and will be taking the Family Tree mtDNA test as soon as they send the swabs to me. Below is a photo of my grandmother's sister who looks like one of the Portugese Irish to me: