THE GHOST OF ALEX HALEY IS CALLING
Its been a hell of a month for me in discovering my ROOTS. First there was the amazing experience of traveling to the small mountain village of my ancestors outside of Naples, Italy at the end of November. Seeing the place where my ancestors lived from the 1550s to the 1890s was moving beyond description.
Now comes another lifting of the genealogical curtain. My father just returned from a trip to the Eastern Mediterranean where the other half of my family came from.
That's me, a full blooded Mediterranean boy. Half my family from the center of the sea and the other half from its eastern shore.
Well, he brought back quite an interesting piece of news. It turns out that in the late 1700s, among the many Native Americans who were taken back to Europe, a number of them migrated to Lebanon (I am half Italian and half Lebanese).
Along the way some of these men settled into families with Maronite Christians (who make up 50% of Lebanon's population). Many generations later, my grandfather removed the part of our family name that identified us as having "red indian" blood in us.
In 1960, at 18, with nothing in his pockets my father came to the US and put himself through college, got a degree and moved to New York. There he met my mother, the descendant of Italians who came through Ellis Island in 1896. And here I am today.
Italian, Lebanese, Native American, proud New Jersey native and fierce resident of New York City.