A letter from a proud US Navy Portuguese-American - A. Machado

My husband, Shawn, is 16th or 17th generation Portuguese. He is the last in his blood line. His grandmother was Margaret Frances Nobrega, I do not remember his grandfather's name because he died in WWII. My husband had hoped that one day we could move to Portugal, specifically, Madera.

Heather Nobrega


My name is Maria Lopes and I reside in Southampton, Pennsylvania. I was born and raised in Cartaxo, Portugal. I resided there until about 13 years ago.

Many people ask me if Davey Lopes is also Portuguese or of Portuguese ancestry, considering we have the same last name, and people are often surprised that it's not phonetically pronounced Lopez. At least I don't, I tell people that it's as easy to pronounce as "cantaloupes," or "envelopes," just to give the person an idea on how to pronounce my last name. You understand, the Portuguese pride!

While I was on the Internet searching for some information on Davey Lopes and his heritage, I found this website. I was surprised to encounter such high amount of Portuguese people that hold extremely respectable jobs, and have high levels of education obtained in the U.States. Also the amount of Portuguese people that make a difference in American society. Even though, we don't hear much about it in the media, hopefully, it's not going unnoticed by other members of society.

Considering I don't even know ten Portuguese people, I was so surprised. Unfortunately, not many Portuguese people reside near me, nor do I really encounter any Portuguese people at all. Unless if I go to the Portuguese store, or cafe, in which both are located somewhat far . Therefore, I'm excited to have found something connecting me to my heritage.

It was good to find specific information about Portuguese people in the U. States. All the different names and the different lines of work throughout North America. Once again, making me so proud of being Portuguese. Keep up the good work.

Hopefully, in the future, I hope to be added onto this website.

Thanks :D
Maria Lopes


To Mr. Manuel Mira
I’m a 34 years old second generation Portuguese, living in Toronto, Ontario. I am proud to be Portuguese from the Azores but living in Canada for 33 years and coming here at 1 year old, I am more Canadian than I am Portuguese. I have always loved history. I am basically a history fanatic and found your book to be a beautiful piece of work. I read "The Forgotten Portuguese" and now I have read "The Portuguese Making of America" you have opened my eyes to new history that I didn’t know about. For instance my eyes are blue and I consider myself mulato, here in Canada it does not matter what the census considers. Me, I am Portuguese and that’s all there is to it. I feel for the Melungeons of the United States even though no one has proven that they have Portuguese in them. But, I have a feeling that they have Portuguese in them. Why would they say they have Portuguese in them all these years if they weren’t? The English and Americans refused to accept this evidence for four hundred years because they can't admit their written history is full of s… They’d prefer any other nationality then ours, or suggest that it is English blood in the Melungeons from Jamestown or Roanoake Island. It is easier than to admit that we were in America before them and that we were great navigators and a special breed of Europeans superior to them in those times. They think we are ignorant and only good for labor till this day.

In Canada, I think we have more respect here than in the U.S.A because of our hard work, blood and sweat and we want to be noticed. We built this city, Toronto. We worked on all the major construction operations of importance, for instance my father worked like a dog in this country and I now work in construction building houses, laying out foundations for big houses. When the builders ask our crew what language we are we say Portuguese with pride and honor and we put a Portuguese flag on the job site. You Americans, I believe are more quiet than us in Canada. You keep your nationality bottled up inside or something. We’re on TV, our names, our language, our faces, for many different reasons. I have cousins in California and Boston. The ones from California came to a wedding in Toronto. We had not seen them for over 15 years. They had blue eyes and blonde hair and looked like they came out of Baywatch. The kids don't speak Portuguese and apparently don't want anything to do with it. I felt they were like traitors to our heritage and thought they were too good for us. I am married to a Brazilian woman whose family is originally from Portugal and lived in Brazil for 20 years I have two beautiful children with her. My 11 year old has dirty blond hair piercing brown eyes and my 1 in a half year old has light brown hair and beautiful blue eyes and looks as white as a Canadian, well they are Canadians by birth . I can understand how we Portuguese have a thousand faces and your book explains this in detail. I try very hard to keep my daughters proud and know their roots. For instance my daughter did an essay in 6th grade just a while ago and the subject was explorers. The teacher preferred English explorers, but I said no. I told my daughter you are going to do it on a Portuguese explorer, Magellan the first navigator to go around the world and who was a Portuguese working for Spain. The teacher didn't like that to much, but I insisted on it. Anyways she got an A+ on her essay. I loaned my daughter the books I own and was so proud of her. She learned a lot about the Portuguese. So again I loved your book and find it has amazing information that I didn't know about. I'm learning more and more every day. Thanks to writers such as yourself. May God bless you and your generation.

Sincerely, PAUL MELO

Dear Paul

Thank you for your kind words and for reading my books. Your letter brings up many true facts. Just to clarify your statement In Canada, “I think we have more respect here than in the U.S.A because…”

The Portuguese are respected in the U.S.A. just as much as they’re in Canada. Believe me; I know that as a fact and personal experience.

Keep up the pride in the Portuguese culture, it made Canada and the U.S.A. much richer.

Manuel Mira
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  • Updated:
    November 18, 2011