Friday, January 24, 2014


Surprise, surprise!  The Ríos family crest includes rivers.  Río is the Spanish word for "river" and ríos is the plural.
People who adopted Ríos as a family name could have lived near a river, or rivers.  There are also several towns named Ríos in Spain, and a family could have been named for the town, which was named for the rivers in the area.
In the Marianas, there were Rioses on Guam as early as the 1727 Census.  They were included in the "Spanish" list of Agaña residents, which included more than people born in Spain.  People born in Mexico and South America, and pure Spaniards, as well as mixed Spaniards, born in the Philippines would have been included in this list, so we cannot be sure where these Rioses were from but that they certainly had Spanish blood :

Francisco de los Rios, who married a Chamorro woman named Rosa Taihimas.  Their children at the time of the census were Basilio, Manuela, Lorenza and Manuela Josefa.

Juan Antonio de los Rios, who married Josefa de la Cruz.  Their children were Francisco, Pablo, Antonio, Jose and Pascuala.

Miguel de los Rios, who married Marcela de la Cruz.  They had three children by 1727 : Ignacio, Maria and Teodora.

By the next census we have, 1758, we see how these three Rios families developed :

Antonio Cruz de los Rios, who is seen above in the 1727 census as the son of Juan Antonio and Josefa, married Maria Francisca Montufar.  They had a daughter Antonia.  They could have had more children after the census was taken.

Miguel de los Rios, shown in the earlier census, is still alive in 1758, and still married to Marcela.

Pablo Cruz de los Rios, also in the earlier census and son of Juan Antonio and Josefa, married Rosa de Leon Guerrero.  Their children were Esteban Ambrosio, Maria and Josefa Anastasia.

Besides these men, there were two women named Rios who were married.


By the time we jump all the way to the 1897 census, we don't have large numbers of people named Rios.  One would think that, with three fathers named Rios in 1727, the name would have spread.  Perhaps some of the Rios moved away or perhaps one line had mainly women and that branch lost the Rios surname  Or, perhaps, some died in the epidemics that occurred with some frequency in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In 1897 we find a Brigido Ayuban Rios, whose mother was Filipina, surnamed Ayuban.  Brigido married Josefa Garrido de Leon Guerrero.  By 1897, they still had no children.

Brigido had sisters.  Dolores married Don Vicente de la Rosa Mesa, one of the Cabeza de Barangay (neighborhood leader) in Agaña.  Another sister, Concepcion, was single.

Another Rios, Benigno Castro Rios, was the husband of Gregoria Campos de Leon Guerrero.  Their children were Fulgencio, Casiano, Antonia and Rosa.  But in another document, Casiano is identified as Casiano Ayuban Rios.  This leads me to suspect that Benigno had two wives.  The first was a Filipina by the last name of Ayuban, who was the mother of Brigido and Casiano, and thus also of Fulgencio, who is older than Casiano, and possibly of Antonia and Rosa.  Gregoria could have been the second wife, after the Ayuban wife died.

Then there's a Vicente Rios, married to Josefa Cepeda and their children Mariano and Maria.

So it seems that, with the exception of Vicente and his children, the other Rioses are of the Ayuban-Rios clan.


One descendant of the Ayuban-Rios clan was Jose Leon Guerrero Rios, son of Brigido and Josefa.  He was born in 1898 so he does not appear in the 1897 Census and probably, then, was the first child of the recently-married parents.

He got an early start in life as an educator and was sent by the pre-war Naval Government to study at Oklahoma A&M College.  He wrote articles for local publications and had a brief stint as a judge in the local courts.  He was a teacher and principal before and after the war, passing away in 1983.

For his life-long dedication to the island's schools, a Middle School was named after him in Piti.

One of his students, Judge Vicente Camacho Reyes, was my confirmation godfather and grand uncle through his marriage to my grandmother's sister Ana Perez Torres.

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