Friday, January 13, 2012

LOST SURNAMES : BAE



The headstone says :

Mahåfot guini si 
(Buried here is)

JOAN BAE CRUZ

I am pretty sure that Joan is actually Juan. Spelling mistake.

This Juan actually appears in the 1897 census in Sumay as the son of Juan José Cruz and Tomasa Bay.

The name Bae was spelled several ways; Bae, Bai, Bay.

People were casual about spelling in those days because people didn't write much; many couldn't read or write and people didn't have a need to write much at all. So, they spelled it the way it sounded to them, many times spelling the same name in different ways. One way this year, another way a few years later. It didn't matter. Bae, Bai and Bay sound the same when pronounced in the Spanish way our mañaina were schooled under.

We don't hear the surname Bae anymore on Guam because, apparently, no one carries the last name anymore. This is because, at some point, the family produced only daughters, with no males to carry on the name.

All the Baes found in the 1897 census are from Hagåtña except for one woman.

The oldest Bae was Andrea Quintanilla Bae from Hagåtña who was 74 years old. Ages, by the way, were also casually given and are often not exact. Andrea was married to one Ignacio Guerrero.

The next oldest Bae is Tomasa Bay of Sumay, married to Juan José Cruz. She is aged 52, so she could be a younger sister of Andrea but we cannot be sure.

The next Baes are all women and live in Hagåtña.

Juliana, aged 48, who is married but whose husband is missing from the census. He could have deserted her or he could have been off-island on a whaling ship or on some other endeavor. She was living with Angela, aged 44 and probably her sister.

Ramona Bae, aged 47, could also be a sister of Juliana and Angela, but she was living on her own and had a daughter out of wedlock, Maria, aged 16.

And that's it. No male Baes to carry on the name.

And yet, although the last name Bae died out, it was used to identify some people who had Bae as a middle name. Bae was not a common name, as opposed to Cruz, for example. So if people asked what kind of Cruz you were of which Guerrero you were, the answer was often Bae!

2 comments:

  1. Ignacio yan Andrea is GGG grandparents. I was wondering if she is the mother of the other women with the last name Bae maybe before she had children with Ignacio Guerrero.(Tomasa,Juliana,Angela, etc) From the 1897 census I saw the years they were born and Andrea seems old enough to be there mother and there is quite a gap between Andrea and the and the other women. Do you have any record that proves this or are they all sisters? What other information do you have with Ignacio Guerrero

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  2. Unfortunately I have no further information on any of the Bae women. Juliana and Angela are close in age and living together so those 2 I would bet are sisters. The rest, is pure guessing.

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