Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Many Anglo-Americans came to Guam in the 1800s, on whaling ships and on other business, as well. Many of them stayed and married Chamorro women. One of them was named Watkins.

The name was spelled in a variety of ways by the Spaniards : Warquin, Walkins, Varquin and a few others.

In an 1831 document (a list of foreigners living in the Marianas), the name Guillermo (William) Watkins appears.

He is listed as being English, having resided on Guam for 7 years. Thus, he would have arrived around 1824. He is married with 2 children, but his wife is not mentioned. He could have had more children after this list was composed.

So, until we find more documents, we cannot say much about the connection of the people named Watkins later in the century and William; whether they are children or grandchildren of William Watkins.

For example, take Juan Pangelinan Watkins. He is listed as being 56 years old in 1897. That would mean he was born around 1841. Knowing how notoriously bad people were in stating their age back then, he could have been older or younger and, in either case, Juan could very well be a son or a grandson of the original Mr. Watkins. In any case, Juan himself did not have any children.

Juan Watkins' signature, spelled Warquin

There was also a Benedicto V. Watkins from Guam who ended up in a New Mexico prison in 1910! According to the 1910 New Mexico census, he was 42 years old in 1910, so born around 1868, so more than likely a grandson of William. He left Guam around 1883 and was a cook on merchant ships (till he got arrested!). Apparently he, too, had no children.

Then we are left with women named Watkins, who marry, and thus the Watkins name disappears in time.

There was a Rosa Watkins, daughter of Dolores Watkins, and Dolores was the daughter of Rita Watkins. Rosa married Miguel Camacho Quintanilla of Sumay.

And then there was Rita Aguon Watkins, who married Calistro Torres Taitano. Their granddaughter was Rita Mateo Taitano, who became Sister Roberta of the Mercy Sisters.

Sister Roberta was the granddaughter of Rita Aguon Watkins and a descendant of the British settler William Watkins

The Sister Roberta Center at Mercy Heights Nursery is named after her


  1. Father Isaac Masga Ayuyu's mother and her siblings were grandchildren of Josepha Watkins Dim (married Pedro Muña Masga). I remember his mother and his Uncle Mateo Masga were very white skinned and tall.

  2. I lived in Tamuning on a road that faces Drumstick Island, that road is called Camp Watkins Road. It's a cul de sac, and the Mendiola's own the end. I was their neighbor.
    My father made surfboards in the back.
    I remember a rumor JD Crutch used to live on this street too.

  3. Thanks for this Påle'! I'm digging into my Watkins family history. I'm the grandson of the late Mateo Masga (mentioned by vmanglona above). My mother told me that Mateo (her father) once told her that Camp Watkins Road on Guam was the same Watkins family that we're a part of. So I'm so grateful that you have something on the Watkins family!