Our AfroMexican Ancestry runs deep and traces of our African Ancestry can still be seen today. My mother has always had very thick curly hair and my brother also has it the same way. Before you start judging me let me explain a little more. My tio (uncle) Chema passed away a few years ago. He had a very dark skin and very curly hair. My other uncles did not have dark skin as he did but did have curly or wavy hair including my aunts. You may say that I am stereotyping him/them due to some traits and to be honest I was.
I used to tell my mom that we were black and she would just ask “Why do you think that?” I would tell her just look at tio Chema. She would quickly scold me and tell me not to say such things, that the family would get offended. Then I would tell her either we have black blood in us or Guela (grandma) had an affair with a black guy. As you can imagine she did not find my reasoning amusing.
Clues to my AfroMexican Ancestry
My first clue came with Galindo’s dissertation “Con Un Pie En Cada Lado: Ethnicities and the Archaeology of Spanish Colonial Ranching Communities Along the Lower Río Grande Valley” on Pg. 68 Table 5 she talks about there being 113 Afromestizos in the baptismal records of Ciudad Mier from 1767 to 1789. I thought to my self, Mier is not that far from the ranch I grew up at.
The second clue that I found to our AfroMexican Ancestry was the marriage record of my 5th great-grandparents Joseph Antonio Tanguma and Maria Barbara Rodriguez. I have not posted online that document due to it being damaged and torn but even like that you can clearly see the words “Antonio Tanguma morisco [torn] años Cirviente leal”. The first time I wondered what this meant after much research I found the following Casta Painting depicting the racial classifications and it tells us exactly what a Morisco is.
Our AfroMexican Ancestry
Mexican caste system drawing.
As you can see his father was a Mulato and married an Espanola.
“Cirviente Leal” (Faithful Servant)
More than likely, when I read the names of my ancestors in census records it usually states their names then goes on to say “todas armas” (all weapons) the number of children and the number of servants. He was probably counted as a servant since his name is not mentioned. Years later in 1797, I do find him in the Mier Church Padrones listed as living on the ranch named Miguel Perez. He and his wife are listed as the oldest residents of the ranch. I wonder if he was a slave or just trying to make a living as a servant. I also wondered as to how society might have had treated him. If you have more information about this ranch “Miguel Perez” or where it was or is located please let me know. I would love to find out who originally owned it since this will give me clues as to where to search for my ancestor. I still have yet to find the names of the parents of my Morisco ancestor.
My DNA Results
A driving force to doing my DNA test was to confirm that I had African ancestry and my AncestryDNA results confirmed it. It came back as 2% with traces to North Africa and Nigeria. Some people may not take this as being that significant but as Ancestry explains you are passed down DNA from many ancestors but not all. They also go on to explain in their videos that the DNA make up of you and your siblings are different and for you to not be surprised if you have slightly different DNA results. Know I am just wondering, If I do a DNA test on my brother would his percentage come up higher?
Some Questions Answered
This video is very informative and you will get a better picture of AfroMexicans.
Do you have African Ancestors?
If you do let me know, I would love to find out more about our African roots.
The Slaves of Monterrey
This book is an awesome resource and proves that the records are out there to prove that blacks were in Mexico and they never left, their blood, our ancestor’s blood, still flows through us. I hope that you embrace your ancestors and not alienate them. If you read the comments on YouTube under the above video you can clearly see that people still have a long way to come when it comes to race.
Let me know what you think about this post and if you have anything to add to this post please post it in the comments section. FYI my Morisco ancestors are just one of many that I have found but I have to yet prove my ancestry to them with documents and thus that is why I don’t list them in this post. From my research, I have also come to find many ancestors labeled Mulatos and Mestizos.