I haven't seen any postings on this site for quite awhile. Anyone discovered any new stuff?
Personally, I have been deeply immersed in the study of Medeival Spain, particularly the so-called Moorish/Islamic occupation of Spain (a.ka. al-Andalus, 711-1492 A.D.)
The more I have read of the norhtern province of Asturias back then in its relationship to the Moslems, the more I suspect the Alderete surname has its roots within those two cultures. I have also read how the principality of Asturias was established by Pelayo as a haven for "Mozarabic" people of Spain to flee the rule of the Moslems.
The notion that Asturias was never penetrated by the Moors is patently false. It was raided repeatedly, but ultimately, it's rough and unfriendly terrain was not deemed worthy of keeping. Also, its Visigothic inhabitants were not easily overrun. Keep in mind that the Moros were capable of conquering Septimania, the lower province of France for at least a generation.
I have read of Spain's obsession with "pure blood" that characterized the "Reconquista", which was never a tightly orchestrated event, but rather a series of inner and outer battles that took centuries to occur.
This "pure blood" thing led many people to redesign their family trees in Spain, and many were not above paying The Church clergy for their baptismal records to be "purified" of Arabic/African "blood". I know this was also true in Mexico, big time.
To not be seen as one of the "Moros", but of pure Spanish descent was a sure way to gain standing in the community, especially in political posts.
So many harsh laws were passed against Moslems towards the end of the so-called Reconquista that it wasnt even funny. It was similar to South Africa's Apartheid. In that sort of climate, I expect nothing less than bias from the Spaniards who wanted to "clean up" their family trees. They were human.
I think of the Europeans who came to America and who altered or chopped off parts of their strange-sounding names so they could "fit in" with mainstream American society, and I see how easily it could be that a name in Medeival Europe could be just as prone to the same type of treatment, especially when your name signify's The Enemy.
So as I have said before, I have strong suspicions about the "purity" of all those Spanish records that claim Alderete is purely Spanish, and nothing more.
Especially so considering that history is written by the winners, not the losers.
I have found a few places that suggest Alderete (al-Derete) is a Hispanicized name meaning "small farm". Many Spanish-Moslem names were about the person's trade, and farming was quite common.
I know this will stir up the debate pot, but I had to speak up about the "pure Spanish" thing. We're obviously not dealing with an exact science, but very much so with politics, religion, and humanness.