Thursday, January 16, 2020

STILL CHAMORRO


FAMILY PHOTO TAKEN IN 1920


This one photo is an image of the melting pot Guam was for all its modern history. "Modern" from 1668 to this day.

The woman in the photo has Chamorro blood. And Spanish. And English. And Scots. And Polynesian blood from the Marquesas.

The man in the picture is Portuguese but born in Hawaii.

The baby boy is all of the above. His great great grandmother was a Castro. His great great great grandmother was a Cruz. All the rest of his recent ancestors on his mother's side were Duarte, Andújar (both Spanish), Millinchamp (English), Anderson (Scots) and a Polynesian great great grandmother whose last name is hard to pin down. Pacific islanders traditionally didn't have surnames until European powers colonized them.

On his father's side, the baby boy is all Portuguese.

But, a Chamorro biha (elderly lady) living on Guam in 1920, if she asked who the baby's parents were, and heard that the mother was Rita'n Duarte, the biha would've said, "O! Låhen Duåtte!" "Oh! Duarte's boy," and the baby boy would have been considered Chamorro, part of the local, indigenous community. Even with all the extra ethnic lines. Why?

Because as long as there is one Chamorro line among the many; as long as the community can say, "Oh. So-and-so is the mother, grandmother, father, grandfather," and know who they're talking about, and whose parents they had, then the baby boy belongs to the Chamorro community. One drop of Chamorro blood makes you Chamorro, according to Chamorro culture, because it's all about connections. We don't care who else you're connected with. If you're connected with us, you're connected.


WHO IS THIS FAMILY?

She is Rita Millinchamp Duarte, born on Guam in 1896. Her father was Pedro Andújar Duarte, a Spaniard but born in the Philippines. He became a Spanish military officer and was sent to Guam, where he married María Victoria Anderson Millinchamp of Hagåtña. She was the daughter of Henry Millinchamp, born in the Bonin Islands of an English father and a mother from the Marquesas, in French Polynesia.

María Victoria's mother, though, was Emilia Castro Anderson, so the Chamorro enters in with Castro, and even her father, Juan Cruz Anderson, was Chamorro through his mother, a Cruz.

Adventure on the high seas brought Anderson to Guam, being part of the Freycinet expedition and, according to one account, remaining on Guam because of some past controversy. Proximity to the Marianas and troubles in the Bonin community brought the Millinchamps from those islands to Guam. Spanish military service brought Duarte to Guam. Working for the Cable company brought American David Dias from Hawaii to American Guam. Everyone else in the baby boy's lineage was born here.


CABLE STATION IN SUMAY




One of the first things the Americans did after they took possession of Guam in 1898 was connect Guam to the worldwide cable system. This put Guam in cablegram communication with the rest of the world. Electrical impulses on Guam were sent via an underwater cable to connection points all over the world and, voila, news and information could be sent and could be received within minutes.

The Cable Station was located in Sumay.

David Dias, born in Hawaii of Portuguese parents who moved there, came to work for the Cable company in Sumay. He met Rita Duarte and they were married at least by 1918, because their baby boy Walter was born on Guam on May 28, 1919.

3 comments:

  1. Such interesting reading and I am guessing that this is the same Duarte family who had a son (Acacio or Juan) who married Atanacio Taitano Perez and Carmen Arriola Duenas's oldest daughter Maria (?) and had three daughters together. Hi Pale Eric...this is Carmelita Edwards.

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    1. Hi Carmelita. Yes, this is the same Duarte family. Pedro Duarte and his wife Maria Victoria Anderson Millinchamp were the parents of Juan (I don't have any records that add Acacio) who married Rosalia the daughter of AT Perez and Carmen Arriola Duenas.

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    2. Maria Duenas Perez married Thomas Mayhew

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