Steamboat Springs Dear Bertha,
You're letter with information about Black Scotch, Black Irish and Scotch Irish verified a lot of information I had come up with since I last wrote you.
The fact is Fred had considerable information on the subject, that I hadn't happened to get into conversation on the matter. Fred's wealth of knowledge will never cease to amaze me; he seems to learn something new almost every day, and never forgets anything he has learned. During the time we had spent in Arizona (1937) for Dorothy's convalescence from her bout with pneumonia Fred had gotten acquainted with a fellow named Mac Murtry, who showed Fred how to pan for gold. I didn't know that these two had discussed anything relative to genealogy.
I suppose that discussion regarding their blood lines got started on account of both having Scotch-Irish ancestors (Mac Murtry on Mac's side, Morrows on Fred's side). And, yes, Fred says that you are correct in the fact that the Scotch-Irish were (are) not Irish at all, but were (are) Scottish immigrants who settled en-mass in Northern Ireland. And a great many of these (or their descendants) later immigrated to America.
And, in regards to "Black Irish" and "Black Scotch" these people claim descendency from the Spanish soldiers (who were largely dark complexioned people of Moorish lineage) that managed to survive being washed ashore by the thousands when their warships (the Spanish Armada) were destroyed by a storm off the coast of Ireland in 1588.
Mr. Mac (Frank) was in charge of a cow-camp on a ranch, which belonged to non-resident owners. He looked after a few minor ranch chores, but spent most of his time prospecting. Frank's mother (a dear, sweet old lady, known to all as Auntie Mac) kept house for her son.
Frank's son, Dave, was the ranch manager and lived with his wife and children at another cow-camp, which was headquarters for the ranch. Frank's wife (Dave's mother) refused to live in either cow-camp, but resided in town, and (we understood) was prominent in the area's social circles.
Neither Frank nor Auntie Mac was particularly dark complexioned (though Frank was well tanned from his life on the desert). From all physical appearances, and with the name Mac Murtry, I'm sure that most people would guess Auntie Mac and her son Frank to be full blood Scots.
Dave, on the other hand, had a complexion that could well suggest some Moorish influence. And Dave, in fact, claimed to be Black Irish. We only saw Dave's mother very briefly on one occasion. But on the basis of that brief encounter, we wondered if her dark olive complexion didn't influence Dave's complexion more than some shipwrecked Spanish soldier from the Armada.
Dave's Jewish mother had come west from New York City as a young schoolteacher, to teach at a county school on the Laramie Plains of Wyoming. Auntie Mac and her husband were homesteading on their "government claim" which happened to be the closest one to the one-room country school. As a national consequence, the one-roomed school's one teacher made her residence with the Mac Murtrys.
The time we spent with Frank and his mother was most enjoyable. Auntie Mac told us that she was born in the mining boom town Leadville, Colorado territory in the 1870s. I'm sure she told us her father's name, but I don't now remember what it was.
As a child she had in Leadville seen the bodies of two renegades, hung by vigilantes from the eve of the cabin. A little later, her parents took a homestead in northern, Wyo. where Auntie Mac grew up, married and moved with her husband to their own homestead on the Laramie Plains. That's were Frank grew up and married, and filed on a claim near Whitlee Park that's where Dave was born, but that claim was not "proud up" before Frank joined the Army. While Frank was in the service his wife moved to Arizona.
Fred was familiar with the names of several men he told of knowing.
Well, Bertha, it's way past my bed-time, so will close.