The Legacy of John Fratis and His Descendants
Bernard T. Punzalan
Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project™
© August 20, 2014
In a previous article I summarized a little on John Fratis, a “Chamorro,” who made his way to Alaska around March 1869 as a whaler. I was so intrigued by this discovery I decided to take a journey to research more about him, his family and their descendants.
I am fortunate to have made contact with and collaborate with Byron Whitesides, an Unangan (Aleut) with kin who have married into the Fratis family and maintains a genealogy database on his relatives. I have therefore incorporated some of his data into the Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project database. Coincidently, Byron was in the military, was stationed on Guam and his son was also born there; such a small world with blessings indeed.
To recap the information from the 1900 Census that was the impetus for this write-up, John Fratis was listed as being married to Aklina (Akalina) Krukoff, an Unangan, born around 1872. She was also the daughter of Chief Nikolai Ivanov Krukov and Ekaterina “Katherine” Kriukov. That Census also listed four of their children living with them on Saint Paul Island, Alaska: Agrafina (b. 1892), Simon John (mostly recorded as Simeon b. 1894), Julia/Ouliana (b. 1898/1896), and Martha (b. 1899). John had died in 1906.
As I continued with this journey, I discovered that John Fratis seems to have had a prior marriage with another woman also of Unangan descent. At this point I have not been able to identify her; however, they had at least three children: Susanna (b. 1875), Ellen (b. 1883) and John Jr. (b. 1886).
The surname Fratis seems to be tied to Portuguese descent; however, it is uncertain at this point if that was John’s real surname or phonetically spelled name among the possibilities. However, on July 1, 1870 (one year after John’s arrival at St. Paul), a list of resident natives of St. Paul Island was recorded by Philip Volkov and later republished in a variety of U.S. Government and Congressional documents. Although the name John Fratis does not appear, quite close to the end of the list appear the names “Domian M. Kok (John Frater), Oolyahnah, his wife, Anna, his daughter.” I have flagged these names as a potential of being the beginning of John’s first family in St. Paul.
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