Tuesday, March 29, 2022



There used to be a HOLL family on Guam since Spanish times, but they were descendants of a German named John Holl. In German he would have been Johann or Johannes (nickname Hans) and in Spanish Juan.

But the name HOLL would have been hard for Chamorros to pronounce the German way. Chamorro doesn't like words to end in L. Spanish hospital becomes Chamorro ospitåt. Spanish ángel becomes Chamorro ånghet.

Final L in another language becomes final T in Chamorro. HOLL has to become HOT.

But the H in Spanish spelling is silent. In order to produce the H sound, Spanish has to make it a J. Like Jose and Juan. So HOT became JOT or JAT.

Father Aniceto Ibáñez in his diary (really chronicles) tells us that a JUAN HOLL, a native of Prussia (a part of Germany) but married on Guam (the assumption here is to a Chamorro wife) presumably drowned in the sea outside of Hagåtña in 1867. He and some others were in a boat taking kamute (sweet potatoes) to a whaling ship when it capsized. His body was never found.

Before Germany was one nation

The German Juan married a Chamorro named PAULA DE CASTRO.

Apparently Juan and Paula had nothing but daughters! Here are the three daughters I have been able to find : MARIA, ANA and MAGDALENA.

MARÍA CASTRO HOLL had a son outside of marriage named Guillermo Holl. Guillermo married Caridad Quitugua, the daughter of María Quitugua.

Guillermo and Caridad had six children children; from their birth records we see that they spelled their last name Holl are HART. If you remember that Chamorros would have pronounced Holl as Hot or Håt, you can see why it could also be spelled Hart.

Of the six children, three were sons.

Of the three boys, only Pedro was married and he had two daughters. 

Two of the three daughters married, so their children would take on their fathers' last names. One of the daughters, María, married Juan Salas Cruz.

ANA CASTRO HOLL married Juan Reyes Sablan. Born on Guam, they moved to Saipan in Spanish times. Their daughter María married Antonio de la Cruz de los Reyes.

They had a son whose name changed depending on what country was governing Saipan. He was born WILHELM during German times. He would have been called GUILLERMO by Chamorros and the Spanish priests in Saipan. When the Americans took over in 1944, he switched to WILLIAM. But everyone called him by his nickname - BITLIN, believed to be a Chamorro pronunciation of Wilhelm. He was a famous educator in Saipan after the war and they named an elementary school in Chalan Kanoa after him.

Great Grandson of the German Juan Holl

Great great grandson of German Juan Holl

Mario, of SAKMAN fame, is the great great grandson of Juan Holl through his daughter Ana Castro Holl, her daughter Maria Holl Sablan, her daughter Magdalena Sablan Reyes, Mario's mother.

MAGDALENA CASTRO HOLL married Vicente Cruz Mendiola. Their daughter Consolación Holl Mendiola married Manuel Concepción. Their daughter Antonina, married to Blas Sholing Pérez, recently passed away.

This family spells Holl JAHT. It's how Holl would have been pronounced by Chamorros in the old days, with a Spanish J like Jose and Juan.

Great Granddaughter of the German Juan Holl

If Juan Holl had never drowned taking kamute to a whaling ship, presumably he would have lived many more years and possibly have had sons, and we might today know all kinds of HOLLS in Guam, Saipan and who knows where else.

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