Thursday, June 16, 2011

(Chamorro villagers, ca 1830)
(Source : Philippines National Archives)

Stored at the Philippines National Archives in Manila are many records of the Marianas in Spanish times.  This is a list of the village leaders in the Marianas in the year 1839.  I make a few observations at the end of this list. 

To avoid useless repetition, the three names for the officials of each village are always in this order : the Gobernadorcillo of the village (he was like the village mayor); the Teniente (or substitute/assistant) and the Alguacil (a kind of peace officer).

The names of villages and people are spelled as they appear in the original document.

Lucas de Castro
Domingo Camacho
Juan de San Nicolas

Domingo Quinata
Jose Aguon
Juan Cheguiña

Jose Jocog
Jose Pinaula
Manuel de San Nicolas

Ignacio Quicanay (2)
Manuel Angoco
Eubagrio Jocog

Claudio Materne
Balentin Gumataotao
Jose Quitugua

Clemente Megofña
Felipe Taitano
Alexandro Taytano (3)

Jose Sagualage (5)
Mariano Taigito (6)
Luis Chargualaf

Mariano Naputi
Juan de San Nicolas
Jose Achaygua (7)

Juan Ninaysen (8)
Manuel Quiguma (9)
Ildefonso Asuda (10)

Isidro Atoygui (11)
Vidal Mafnas
Francisco Quichuchu (12)

Justo Taimanglo
Jose Nalujo y Quitonguico (13)
Jose Cheguiña

Francisco Espinosa
Jose Quidagua (14)
Macedonio Fegurgur


1. Notice how different the last names are between the Agaña officials and everbody else.  Generally, the Chamorros of Agaña were more mixed than the Chamorros of the outlying villages, since the majority of the Spanish (Latin American) and Filipino (Pampanga) soldiers lived in Agaña.  Notice how the overwhelming majority of village leaders in all the other villages have Chamorro surnames, while the Agaña officials have Spanish last names.  "San Nicolas," however, is not a Spanish last name but a religious last name which missionaries gave some infants.  This is why there are many San Nicolases spread out over Guam who have no blood ties since priests gave this name to babies unrelated to each other.

2. Probably from "kannai," or "hand."

3. Even in the same document and the same village, the clerk spelled the same last name in two ways; Taitano-Taytano.  But they both come out sounding the same.  People weren't that hung up on these things in those days.

4. Tepungan was just north of Piti.  The houses later inched closer to Piti and the official name of the village was changed to reflect that move.

5. "Sagua'" means "channel" as in the sea.  "Lage" is "lahe," "son/male."  The name died out on Guam.

6. Or Taijito.

7. Or Achaigua.

8. Or Ninaisen.

9. From "guma'," "house."

10. Probably "Asodda'," meaning "someone you encounter."

11. Or Atoigue.

12. Or Quichocho.

13. Both names, Nalujo and Quitonguico, have died out. 

14.  Not Quitugua, as many think, but Quidagua.  "Daggua" means "sunburned." The name survived in Merizo until the 1900s but is no more.

15. There are no officials for Saipan or Tinian.  On Saipan, no permanent Chamorros or their families lived there yet.  It had been abandoned in the 1700s and Carolinians moved there in the beginning of the 1800s.  On Tinian, small numbers of Chamorros, and later with the Carolinians, ran the farms there that sent produce and meat to Guam (and later Saipan).  In 1839, only Guam and Rota had permanent Chamorro communities where village leaders were needed.

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