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Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project™ ~ Håle´ Taotao Håya

John Anderson’s Account of Roberton and the Hidden Treasure Story[0]


I recently accessed an 1848 article printed in “The Friend,” an old but defunct newspaper organization that was located Honolulu, Hawaii. The article was titled, “A Narrative of Capt. Roberton, the Treasure Hider,” by Blue Water.

Frankly, I was vaguely aware of the hidden treasure story from past literature. At the time, I was not that drawn to the subject until I came across the subject article. After all, my primary interests and focus is on Chamorro and my genealogy. Low and behold to my surprise within the subject article as I read it I saw my great-great-great grandfather’s name: John Anderson (click to find out more about John Anderson husband of Josefa dela Cruz).

Within the article, John Anderson’s narrative was provided and reprinted in this article regarding Andrew Gordon Roberton and the hidden treasure. Anderson mentions a native of Guam named “Matemy.” Matemy was part of crew that untied Captain Smith and his crew after being bounded by Roberton and his crew. Not much else is said about Matemy after that.

In some accounts it is said that Spanish Governor Jose Ganga Herrero sent up to 600 Chamorros to try and find the buried treasure on Pagan, but were not successful. It is also interesting to note that some literature suggests that the treasure was buried in Agrihan. But nonetheless and to this very day no one has ever found the alleged hidden treasure.

I have included image extracts of my two primary sources from the 1800s where you can read about this interesting story.

(Note: To view a larger format of the image, after clicking on the image, click the icon in the upper right hand corner to enlargen the image)


___. 1828. Capt. Roberton, A Pirate. The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and it Dependencies, Vol. XXVI, July to December 1828, pp. 350-352. Parbury, Allen & Co.: London.

Blue Water. 1848. A Narrative of Capt. Roberton, the Treasure Hider. The Friend: Honolulu, Hawaii.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:13

Obituaries: Natives of Guam Whalers in the 1800’s[0]


The Friend was a newspaper out of Honolulu, Hawaii from 1845 to 1954. It contained quite a bit of information regarding whaling ships and even obituaries of whaling crews. In some cases the names of the deceased were not mentioned, rather just the fact the person was “a native of Guam,” and in most cases the name of the whaling ship they served as crew.

Below are some extracted samples of those obituaries exclusively from the Friend in the 1800’s. They include:

  • Joseph Castro
  • Marion
  • George Mariana
  • John Gozlina
  • Silvia Alvers
  • Raymond Santos
  • Lewis Martinez
  • Bicenta Mahone
  • Sylvester Castro Zablan
  • Juan Guerrero


Obituaries 1

Obituaries 2


Database Update 10 September 2014[0]


The database has been updated and has grown from 318,954 to 320,164 names.


John Fratis and His Descendants (Part II)[0]


John Fratis and His Descendants (Part II)

Bernard T. Punzalan

Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project™

© September 4, 2014

On August 20, 2014, I published “The Beginning of the Taotao Håya-Unangan (Chamorro-Aleut) Clan: The Legacy of John Fratis and His Descendants.” This article is an update to that story. Byron Whitesides, a collaborator on this genealogy story, had recently referred me to the publication, “Pribilof Islands, Alaska: A Historical Account Told Through Illustrated Genealogy and Census Records,” by Betty A. Lindsay and John A. Lindsay. That publication has become one of the primary sources for this update.

Fratis Surname

Apparently, Fratis may not be John’s real surname. It turns out that my hunch was correct when I flagged the potential initial recording of John and his family. In a Russian-to-English translation of the July 1, 1870 (three years after John’s arrival at St. Paul) list of resident natives of St. Paul Island originally recorded by Philip Volkov John’s name is listed as “Domian M. Kok.” It remains a mystery of how his name may have changed and now a mystery of how much his name is original or a given name for convenience. After all, Kok in Dutch means, “cook,” and John’s initial occupation was as a cook, so that too may or may not be a factor.

Throughout the historical recording of names the Fratis surname had at least four spelling variations for one reason or another: Fratis (most prevalent occurrence and how it is spelled today) Frater, Frates, and Fratos.

1870 List of Natives

John Sr.’s Immediate Families

From the previous article on John and his family, John had at least two wives. However, because of the spelling variations of names throughout history, he may have had a three wives. Like the Mariana Islands, the Pribilof Islands had their share of epidemics from visiting ships.

The name of John’s first wife is also recorded with spelling variations. She was identified as a widow of “Cooks Grass.” Her name is recorded as Oolyahnah, Ool eeania, Poleana Stepetena, Ooleana Schepetina, and Ooliana. For contemporary consistency of name recordings, I have entered her name as “Ooliana Stepetina.”

“John Frates, a Native of Guam (Creole Spanish) the husband of the above [Ool eenia], landed here in the employ of Williams & Havens of New London, CT a cook in March 1869 and subsequently married Poleana Stepetena a native in October 1870. And left the Island Oct. 1872, for San Francisco on account of ill health…Jon Frates returned to the island as a labourer in [employ] of the A.C.Co.” (Lindsay & Lindsay, 2008:94)

Ooliana was born around 1853. There seems to be a 13-year (1876-1889) gap in census periods and agent recordings for the St. Paul Islands so it is uncertain as to when Ooliana and some of her children may have died.

Together, John and Ooliana had at least eight children.

  1. Anna (1870-?). No other information available.
  2. Varaya (1872-1873). She died of Chronic Cough.
  3. Dahria (1874-?). No other information available.
  4. Susanna (1877-1892). Died of pythisis (form of tuberculosis).
  5. [Child] (1881-1882). The child was not named, but recorded as a 20 mo. old child of Mr. & Mrs. John Fratis. This child possibly died of and during a pneumonia epidemic.
  6. Ellen (1883-?). Last information known was that she was attending school in Unalaska. She is sometimes listed under the heading that implies she was an orphan, while other documents make it clear she was John Fratis’ daughter.
  7. John Jr. (1886-?). Again, it seems that all on St. Paul Island who carry the Fratis surname are John Jr.’s direct descendants.
  8. Evan (1887-?). Although not much information is known about Evan, he was recorded in the 1891 Census of St. George Island at the age of 4. His father, stepmother and sister Susanna, were at St. George for that particular winter because his father was temporarily cooking for the NACC house and they returned back to St. Paul during spring season.

John’s second marriage was to Akalina Krukoff (1872-1952) sometime between 1888 and 1890. Together they had four children. After John’s death Akalina and her children would all make their way to the Salem Indian School and permanently settle in Oregon.

  1. Agrifina (1891-1973). She married Grant Emerson DeCorah (1877-1942).
  2. Simeon John (1894-1949). He never married. His occupation was listed a garage mechanic in census documents.
  3. Julia/Ouliana/Juliana (1896-). First married Geo A. Morgan in 1927 and then later married Neale Noe King in 1942.
  4. Martha (1899-1979). She married Emil Ebenhart Adolphson sometime in the 1940’s.

John Jr.’s Immediate Family

This group photo was taken around 1915, which would have made John Jr. approximately 29 years old in this photo. He is standing in the back row and is the fifth person from the left.


Previous, I found nine descendants of John Jr. But since then, I have learned he had at least 12 children. John Jr. was married to Snandulia Kozeroff (b. 1890); the daughter of Stepan Kozeroff and Anastasia Nozekoff. Their children were:

  1. Gabriel Fratis (1906-1908)
  2. Christopher Fratis (1908-1910)
  3. David Fratis (1910-1965) married Alexandra Buterin (1913-?)
  4. Anton/Antoin (1913-1918)
  5. Mary Frances (1915-1915)
  6. Anfesa Fratis (1916-?) married Aggey Glaktionoff (1906-?)
  7. Anna Fratis (1919-?)
  8. Martha Fratis (1922-2007) married William Shane, Sr. (1917-1999)
  9. Olga Ada Fratis (1924-?)
  10. Taheesi Fratis (1925-1935)
  11. [Stillborn male] (1927-1927)
  12. Matfey Fratis, Sr. (1931) m. Maria Emanoff (1935)

Below is a photo taken in the 1900’s (Alaska Geographic) depicting these men also as guards against seal poachers. On July 17, 1906 John Fratis Jr. and Michael Kozloff, another fellow Unangan, shot some Japanese poachers that failed to respond to their calling in the fog, killing two and wounding a third poacher, all who are believed to have come from the Mei Maru, a Japanese schooner that was also seized.


At the time (16 and 17 July 1906) there appeared a fleet of Japanese schooners poaching in the Pribilof Islands which resulted in the Aleut guards killing a total of five poachers, wounding two and taking twelve Japanese prisoners; all, who eventually went on trial for illegal hunting.

I continue to look forward into learning and sharing more about the history of the Fratis family and the Unaagin (People of the Pribilof Island).


_____. 1982. Islands of the Seals: The Pribilofs. Alaska Geographic, vol. 9 no. 3. Alaska Geographic Society: Anchorage, Alaska.

Lindsay, Betty A. & Lindsay John A. 2008. Pribilof Islands, Alaska: Genealogy and Census (U.S. D U.S. Dept. of Com., NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS ORR 18). Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.

Punzalan, Bernard. 2014. The Beginning of the Taotao Håya-Unangan (Chamorro-Aleut) Clan: The Legacy of John Fratis and His Descendants. Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project. From:;view=article&id=259:the-beginning-of-the-taotao-haya-unangan-chamorro-aleut-clan-the-legacy-of-john-fratis-and-his-descendants&catid=34:history

Sims, Edwin W. 1906. Report on the Alaskan Fur-Seal Fisheries (August 31, 1906). Department of Commerce and Labor. Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.

Torrey, Barbara B. 1978. Slaves of the Harvest: The Story of the Pribilof Aleuts. Alaska Tanadusix Corporation. St. Paul, Alaska.

Whitesides, Byron J. Personal communications and accessed on August 12, 2014 from:

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:15

List of Native Friendlies on Guam: World War II Declassified Document[0]



In a World War II declassified document that was contained in Appendix #7 to Annex “B”., Operation Plan #1-44 of the III PHIB Corps Report on Guam Operation, the military had compiled a list of 40 people on Guam that were believed to be reliable and with considerable influence with the natives on Guam. This was part of the intelligence information gathering used towards the assault and reoccupation of Guam.

I found this list to be of interest particularly with some of the notes of each individual.



First Name


Last name






Approx. age 38. Mechanic and power plant man.





Approx. age 43. Excellent guide. Lives near Pati Point.





Approx. age 39. Civil affairs and bank cashier.





Approx. age 29. Welfare work among natives.


Vicente (Ben)


Approx. age 53. Chief Clerk, Supply Dept.




Approx. age 65.Thoroughly cognizant of Island Judiciary.





Approx. age 38. Surveyor and guide.





Approx. age 33. Clerk.





Approx. age 38. Welfare and native cooperation work.





Filipino, age about 48. Cadastral affairs and surveyor.





Approx. age 21. Clerk and Stenographer.





Approx. age 26. Clerk, typist and stenographer.





Approx. age 39. Surveyor and an excellent man in the bundock's.





Approx. age 58. Supervisor of native labor.


Jose (Joe)



Approx. age 35. Electrician and guide.


F. (Ben Cook)



Known to have been one of two  "5th Columnists," and to be "apprehended as soon as possible and escorted to Corps C.P., when established ashore, without delay."





Approx. age 48. Civil affairs.





Approx. age 33. Cleark and good contact man.





Approx. age 23. Instrument man or draftsman.




Leon Guerrero

Approx. age 39. Engineering aide.





Approx. age 61. Influential in a quiet way. Many family and business connections.


William (Bill)


Approx. age 43. Valuable assistant in any job requiring development of native cooperation.





Approx age 53. Best business man on the Island. Formerly a Government Clerk.




Approx. age 43. Invaluable organizer of woman labor.





Approx. age 38. Surveyor.





Approx. age 35. Engineer.





Approx. age 73. Civil aid and also in a judicial capacity.





Approx. age 41. Daughter of "Don" Perez. Valuable for work among Chamorro women.





Approx. age 41. Chief Clerk, Pan Amer. Airways, Assistant manager of airport.





Approx. age 53. Administrative affairs.





Approx. age 38. Welfare work.





Approx. age 49. Surgeon and an able practitioner.





Approx. age 25. Engineer aide.





Approx. age 49. Engineer


Vicente (Ben)

San Nicolas

Chief of plumbing shop. Familiar with water supply and sewage system.





Approximate age 48. School superintendant.




Known to have been one of two  "5th Columnists," and to be "apprehended as soon as possible and escorted to Corps C.P., when established ashore, without delay."





German citizen. Dredge foreman (ONI says he may be trusted to be loyal in any circumstances while another source states he is not to be trusted.)





Approx. age 23. Surveyor and engineer.


Vicente (Ben)


Approx. age 43. Knowledge of agricultural conditions in the Island Administrative affairs.


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:08
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In order for this project to continue to grow, I have implemented a nominal $5/month subcription fee to access the Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project database. This fee can be paid through the Tendan Hale' Chamoru link. For newly Registered Users, there will be a one-time 3-day trial subscription granted automatically with new registrations. This trial offer is also to allow newly registered users the opportunity to experience the difference between the 'Demo Database' and the live database. Once the 3-day trial period has expired you will only have access to the Demo Database that has very limited features.

You must be a Registered User of this site take advantage of the trial offer and you must be a Registered User to access the demo database. The menu option to access the database will become accessible once you have completed the Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project Registration process.  And by the way...registration to this site is free

The Demo Database has very limited features and few links availalble, while the live database will have all the normal features available and names transcribed from census documents and other sources. 

I highly recommend taking advantage of and subscribing to the 'Chamorro Roots Library' subcription option, since its for one-year access and includes viewing the digital files available on this site for $60/year.  However, this fee is not prorated like the monthly subscription that is also only limited to accessing the database and not the digital archives.  I believe these subscription fees are nominal and quite reasonable compared to the other commercially available genealogy sites.

I appreciate your understanding and support to this upcoming change.  If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

Si Yu'os Ma'ase,

si Bernard Punzalan