Monday, May 14, 2018


From a list of Chamorro government officials in the 1830s, we find these names for the village of Asan.

CLEMENTE MEGOFÑA was the village mayor, or Gobernadorcillo ("little governor). His name appears as a village official over many years.

MIGUEL MEGOFÑA was the second-in-command, or Teniente. I haven't found yet any indication how and if Miguel and Clemente were related.

CENÉN MEGOFÑA was the Agricultural Officer, or Juez de Palmas, Sementeras y Animales. Cenés is the Spanish name of a lesser-known saint. Again, I have no idea how he is related to the other Megofñas.

FRANCISCO NAMAULEG, MARIANO TERLAJE and IGNACIO TAITANO were the neighborhood leaders of Cabezas de Barangay.

The Megofña name comes from the word magof (happy) and when a Megofña from Asan moved to Saipan, the name was spelled Magofña there, as it remains today. In some Guam lists, too, from many years ago, the name is spell Magofña.

Mariano Terlaje's last name was actually spelled TARLAGI in this document, and shows that the TER in Terlaje or the TED in Tedtaotao is actually TAT, a shortcut of TÅYA' meaning "none, lacking."

In Spanish, a G before an E or an I has the sound of H.

As you can see, all the Asan officials in this list from the 1830s have indigenous Chamorro surnames, not Spanish ones like Pérez, Flores or Cruz. Besides Megofña and Terlaje, we have Namauleg ("make good, correct, repair") and Taitano ("no land").

We have an abundance of written evidence that shows that the Spanish, Mexican, Latin American and Filipino soldiers settled in Hagåtña while the outlying villages in central and southern Guam (the north lacked any villages for 200 years) remained the centers of the indigenous people. In time, both groups would mix to create the society our grandparents came from.

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