Tuesday, August 9, 2022



MEGOFÑA and MAGOFÑA are one and the same name.

People in the old days were not that concerned about "proper" spelling or being consistent with spelling either. That's a modern-day anxiety.

Chamorro names and words were written by Spaniards, not by Chamorros until much later.

Not being their native language, and hearing sounds unlike the sounds they were used to, the Spaniards spelled Chamorro names and words in a variety of ways, and almost never consistent.


So, for example, the name we all now spell TERLAJE was also spelled TEDLAJE, TARLAJE, TARLAGE, TADLAJE in the old Spanish documents.

None of these differences bothered anybody in those days. The Chamorros knew how the name sounded. TAT plus LÅHE. TAT is short for TÅYA'. So Terlaje is really Tatlåhe, meaning "no man" or "no son."

The Spaniards often put an E where the Chamorros said an A. TER or TED instead of TAT. We see this also in TEDPAHOGO and TEDTAOTAO.

And we also see it in MEGOFÑA and MAGOFÑA. The name was spelled both ways. Even the same man named Megofña sometimes spelled it Magofña.

Some people think MAGOFÑA is just the Saipan way to spell it, but records show that even on Guam in the old days it was also spelled MAGOFÑA.

Just to give you a headache, sometimes the name was spelled MIGOFÑA. Only in modern times has it been standardized to MEGOFÑA for Guam and MAGOFÑA for Saipan.

As you can see, the name was even spelled MAGOFÑA on Guam at times. This is a document involving a Magofña who was living in Hagåtña (Agaña) in the early 1900s.


The meaning is pretty clear. The name comes from the word magof which means "happy." 

Magof-ña can mean "his or her being happy" or "he or she is happier."

They are a happy sort of people!


The Guam Megofña name is mostly associated with Asan, although there were fewer Megofñas in Tepungan, which later moved down the road in American times and became Piti. But in the 1897 Guam Census, for example, more than half the families named Megofña on Guam lived in Asan. A few lived in Tepungan and one, a widow, lived in Sumay as she had married a Sumay man.

MARIANO MEGOFÑA of Asan married a Rita Pérez.

Their son VICENTE PÉREZ MEGOFÑA married twice. His first wife was Rita Bae Guerrero and his second wife was Carmen Chargualaf, the daughter of Josefa Chargualaf.

Mariano and Rita also had two daughters; Ramona married Gerónimo Maañao and Ana married Juan Manibusan Salas (the great grandparents of Judi Won Pat).

FRANCISCO MEGOFÑA also of Asan married María Terlaje.

Their son JOAQUÍN TERLAJE MEGOFÑA married Rosalía Pérez de la Cruz, the daughter of Felipe and Margarita.

In TEPUNGAN (part of Piti), 

JUAN MEGOFÑA married Josefa Atao.

Their son JOSÉ ATAO MEGOFÑA married María Flores, the daughter of María Flores.

Their daughter María had a daughter Rita out of wedlock in 1913.

There is also a good number of Megofñas on Guam who are the descendants of a man whose hometown I am unsure of, as he is absent in the 1897 Guam Census. Perhaps he was not living on Guam in 1897, or maybe he was accidentally overlooked. Either way, I cannot find his native place. His name was

ANASTASIO MEGOFÑA, son of María Megofña. He married Ana del Rosario Acosta, the daughter of Justo and Antonia. Some in this family lived in Hagåtña and some in Sinajaña before the war.

This is not a complete list, as there were women Megofñas who may have had children outside of marriage who would have continued the Megofña name.


The Saipan Magofñas are all descendants of a man from Asan named

JOSÉ MAGOFÑA who was married to Gabina Fegurgur, Gabina was previously married to Lorenzo Chibog who had died.

José and Gabina had these sons :

VENANCIO FEGURGUR MAGOFÑA who married María de la Cruz Babauta.

VICENTE FEGURGUR MAGOFÑA who married Vicenta Santos Blas.

PEDRO FEGURGUR MAGOFÑA who married Rosa de la Cruz Quitugua.

LUÍS FEGURGUR MAGOFÑA who married Concepción (or Circuncisión) Lizama

All the Magofñas in the Northern Marianas are descendants of José and Gabina of Guam.

Some of the Magofñas of Saipan during Japanese times lived for a while in Luta and even Palau, and some of their children were born in those islands.

were both born on Guam but moved to Saipan when they were children with their parents

No comments:

Post a Comment