Friday, November 14, 2014

FAMILIA : VILLAGOMEZ



The Villagomez family has been around for a long time now.

At least since 1727, when they appear in the Guam Census.

In that Census, there is but one Villagomez, and his name is Cristóbal (Spanish for "Christopher").

Cristóbal is listed under the "Spanish"soldiers, which can mean either a Spaniard from Spain, or a Spaniard but born and raised in Latin America, or a Latin American of mixed blood (Spanish and one of the local native races in Latin America).

Cristóbal is married to Francisca Ana. Now therein lies the enticing mystery.

Ana is not a Spanish last name it is a first name). It doesn't sound Filipino, either. One must usually suspect a Chamorro wife, unless a Spanish or Filipino surname suggests otherwise.

There is a Chamorro anña, which means "to attack or injure some physically." The question is if the N in the original manuscript shows the ñ or not. All I've seen so far is a typewritten copy. I'll ask to see a photocopy of the original manuscript. If that has an ñ, then we're in business. If it doesn't, it is still possible that the name Ana is really anña, but the scribe didn't use the ñ for whatever reason.

Our ancestors had names that were often words of actual things, actions or conditions, so anña would be a possible name, like Naputi.

Cristóbal and Francisca had the following children :

Juan Jose
Jose
Francisco
Manuel
Manuel

Five boys! And there could have been more children after the Census was taken. Two boys had the same name, Manuel.

In the 1758 Census, only the three oldest boys appear. The two Manuels do not.

Juan Jose married Dominga Manfaisen. Manfaisen is a Chamorro name. It is a contraction of "ma fafaisen." Faisen is "to ask."

Jose married Maria Francisca de la Vega. There is only one de la Vega family in the Marianas at this time that appears in records, and that is the family of "Spanish" soldier Manuel de la Vega and his wife Maria Egui. Again, Egui is not Spanish so we can assume she was Chamorro. Although there is no child named Maria Francisca in the 1727 Census, we can speculate she may have been born just after the Census was taken.

If this is accurate, we can see how outside blood was marrying into Chamorro families. The children most certainly grew up speaking Chamorro, as well as perhaps some Spanish in some cases at least.

Lastly, Francisco married Dorotea Ramirez. Dorotea appears in the 1727 Census as a daughter of the "Spanish" soldier Antonio Ramirez and his wife Antonia de la Cruz. We have no idea who Antonia was or her race.

MODERN TIMES

On Guam, the Villagomez name survived mainly because of one Francisco Dueñas Villagomez who, by 1897, had almost a dozen children with his wife Mariana Cruz.

Nearly all the other Villagomezes on Guam in 1897 were women.

Two Villagomez men, born on Guam, moved to Saipan in the late 1800s.

One, Joaquin, married Rita Castro, and became the patriarch for the largest Villagomez branch in Saipan.

He had two sons. Manuel married a Carolinian woman, Antonia Parong Seman. His son Manuel became better-known-as Kiyu.

The other son, Rafael, married Romana Campos Pangelinan. Chamorros have a hard time pronouncing R, So Rafael was better-known-as Laffet and his descendants became a large clan in Saipan.

Another Villagomez from Guam, Jose, moved to Yap with his wife Maria Mendiola Cruz. The Yap Chamorros later left that island after World War II and returned to the various islands of the Marianas.

WHAT DOES THE NAME MEAN?

There are numerous surnames in Spain that are a combination of the word villa and something else. Villa means "house," as in an estate, larger than just the normal structure called a casa.

So Villanueva means "new house."

Villaverde means "green house."

Villalobos means "wolf house."

Villagomez means "town of Gómez." Gómez is a last name and is found everywhere in Spain and means "son of Gomo." "Gomo" is an old word that could mean "man" or "path."


4 comments:

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  3. Pale, I have a family tree for Joaquin and Rita Villagomez which shows the branches for the Marcellano, Laffet, Kiyu, Pai and Nando branches if you would like to take a look at it. My great grandparents are Joaquin and Ana Castro. Joaquin is the son of Marcellano and Maria Castro. Maria is the daughter of Joaquin and Rita Villagomez.

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    1. Please email me at palecap@yahoo.com. Si Yu'us ma'ase'!

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