Håle´ Taotao Håya - Mariana Islands!

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Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project™ ~ Håle´ Taotao Håya

No New User Registrations till November 1, 2014[0]


Effective immediately I have temporarily suspended accepting new user registrations.I hope to resume new registrations beginning November 1, 2014. 

I am currently redeveloping and performing some major upgrades to this website.

This measure does not affect current registered users.

Thank you for your understanding and patience!


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 13:31

Top 10 Common First Names in 1727[1]


In studying Chamorro genealogy, I take great interest in noting the popularity of first names and surnames. However, for this census, I did not attempt to compile popular surnames because the majority of surnames had less than 20 common surnames. In addition, Chamorros only had first names until baptized. Once baptized with a Christian name, their Chamorro name became their surname, leaving many immediate families with different surnames. This is a genealogy challenge to reconstruct family trees and bridge the generation gaps between the 18th and the 19th Century.

Top 10 Common First Names in 1727

Above, is a sample entry of what can be expected in a book I am working on and hope to have it published in about two or three years from now. Still working on transcribing the 1940 Census….sigh….

However in 2012, I published the “Surname Index: 1727 General Census of the Mariana Islands,” which is available as an E-Book App for the Mac or Windows PC and downloadable for $20.


1727 Surname Index e-Book

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 01:47

Database Update 13 October 2014[0]


The database has been updated and has grown from 320,164 to 327,683 names.


Notes: The Cruise of the Gipsy[0]


Cruise of the GypsyI realize I mentioned this several times over, but throughout the years I have learned that much of the history of the Mariana Islands somehow tends to keep the names of the Chamorro people somewhat in the shadows. There is a lack of documentation that mentions their names so here I am trying to add some emphasis and value of our nameless ancestors.

The latest book I have reviewed is a book that published portions of Dr. John Wilson’s 1839-1843 journal in 1991. I presume that the editor kept much of Wilson’s personalized spelling of names and words in tact because some of his spelling on names and even words are not how they would be found spelled today. This is a typical genealogy challenge when trying to identify or confirm names in a story or written manuscript.Cruise of the Gypsy - Drawing

It becomes so intriguing for me when I read a book and come across a familiar name. The challenging part sometimes is trying to retrace and identify where I may have come across that name.

In this particular case, some of the names in Wilson’s 1840’s journal contained some names in a document that listed some foreigners that were residing in the Mariana Islands in 1829, some 11 to 13 years earlier prior to the Gipsy passing through. That particular document happened to have been compiled by my great-great-great grandfather John Anderson and a copy was given to me a while back ago by Herman “Jun Pan” Tenorio Guerrero, a fellow Chamorro genealogist and collaborator of the Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project. (Click on image below to see the names of foreigners.)

That said, below are some of the names that were mentioned in Dr. John Wilson’s journal. I injected some additional information with what I know. I realize that many of them may not be Chamorro, but they are linked to Chamorro women by marriage or through their descendants. In some cases, first names or last names were not recorded by Wilson.

  • John Anderson (a.k.a Juan Anderson), a Scot that settled on Guam and married Josefa de la Cruz. Anderson was the Government Pilot, Interpreter, and Port-Adjutant. Wilson stated that Anderson was fluent in Spanish and Chamorro and a tolerable French Scholar. Anderson was further described as a tall and very stout man full of conversation and anecdote, but was rather too fond of the bottle. Wilson also indicated that it was recorded that Anderson was a Lieutenant in the English navy, found guilty of breach of trust and fled here [Mariana Islands].

Dr. Wilson performed surgery on one of Anderson’s sons who was a complete cripple and emaciated with extensive ulcers on his hands and legs. John and Josefa had a family of six boys and five girls (no names were recorded).

Anderson provided Wilson with some sling stones and some specimen from a mountain spring that could be molded into something and hardened.

During one evening, Wilson said that Anderson was an amusing character who became tipsy and sang some scotch songs.

  • John Roberts (a.k.a. Juan Roberto), a Welsh and a whaler, was the harbor pilot for Apra Harbor. His son Felix Montufat Roberto married Rosa dela Cruz Anderson, the daughter of John Anderson and Josefa dela Cruz.
  • Some Englishmen who settled on Guam and married Chamorro women. The information was quite limited and the names of their wives were not recorded, so if any you readers have information to share on this please comment:
  1. Dr. Cass, a medical practitioner, who was also described as a drunk and with worthless character.
  2. James (no other details)
  3. Sherwood (no other details)
  4. Watkins married an Aguon? -> Rita Aguon Watkins m. Don Calistro Torres Taitano.
  5. James Wilson (a.k.a. Robert James Wilson) was an English whaler that settled on Guam and married Rufina Palomo Diaz. I am not certain if he was the same person as Santiago Wilson.
  • Don Cecilio, Alcalde of Rota. He had a wife, five full grown daughters and one son. His eldest daughter suffered from phgagadenic ulcer on her nose. Wilson indicated that this disease was observed on other Chamorro people who were noseless.
  • Don Antonio, approximately 80 years old, was a magistrate and is regarded with much respect by the Chamorro people.
  • Jose Sablan, at one time, provided quarters for Dr. John Wilson and Chief Mate Bristowe when they were on liberty.
  • Don Filiz Carbo, I presume he meant Don Felix Calvo, was referred to as the “Commissary.” The cockfights that occurred at 3:00pm every Sunday were held in front of his house. Calvo’s guest would watch the cockfights from his balcony. Wilson described Calvo has having a very large family with beautiful fair complexioned children, most of them young at the time.
  • There were other Dons that held military rank: Don Jose, Sylvester and Jose Martines. They were “all Spaniards of more or less repute…” The Captain of the Gipsy occupied quarters at Don Martines’ residence.
  • Two Guam natives joined the Gipsy as seamen known as Owen and Marianne. However, they were recorded on the crew listing as John Amenda and Macian Panyalina (possibly Pangelinan).
  • Dr. Wilson also took up quarters at the residence of Narceto Adda.
  • Another Adda was mentioned and treated by Dr. Wilson. He was described as a young man that was deep in decline. I suppose that “deep in decline” referred to near death and that Dr. Wilson may have given him medication to help speed up his death and reduce suffering.
  • Another Don Antonio was listed, but this one was the Alcalde of Meriza (Merizo).

Besides some names Dr. Wilson recorded, he also talks about some interesting observations during his visit. Perhaps I will disclose them later in a separate blog entry. IDK


Anderson, John. 1829. Letter to the Governor (list of foreigners).

Souder, Paul B. 1978. Heritage: A geneology of the Souder-Torres and affiliated families throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Wilson, John. 1991. The Cruise of the “Gipsy” – The Journal of John Wilson, Surgeon on a Whaling Voyage to the Pacific Ocean 1839-1843 (edited by Honore Forster).

Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 01:24

Did Chamorro Men Fight in the U.S. Civil War?[0]



Many Chamorro Whalers, aka Bayineros, sailed on a variety of vessels across the globe, for opportunity, adventure, and other personal reasons. Some returned home, while others continued to journey and settled elsewhere.

Until recently, the question of whether Chamorro men fought in the U.S. Civil War did not dawn on me until I came across the military record of Private Peter Sontos (Santos); sometimes also recorded as Peter Santas or Peter Santee.

Previously, I reported that 23 men that were listed with Guam as their birth place joined the US Navy in the 1800’s. Little did I realize they were all enlistments that occurred during the period of the civil war, between 1861-1865 for in the Union's Navy. (See:;view=article&id=255%3A1800s-from-whaling-to-us-navy-enlistments&catid=34%3Ahistory&Itemid=1)

Santos’ journey appears to be a rare one compared to his peers in that he has a record of mustering up for the Union’s Army in 1865. His records indicate that he was a “substitute.” According to the National Archives and Records Administration, men drafted during the civil war could hire a substitute to fight in their place, provided they had the means to do so. A couple of other military substitutes I tracked down and with Guam as their birth place were Benjamin Button and Alonzo Ernandes. But these two enlisted in the U.S. Navy for the Union as well.

On March 23, 1865, Santos appeared for muster and enlisted into the Union’s Army, in Portland, Maine. His enlistment was as a substitute in for Joseph W. Nutter. Based on Census documents Nutter was a Caucasian farmer from Newfield Town, Maine. As part of his enlistment, he was assigned to the 43rd Colored Infantry Regiment based out in Pennsylvania.

Santos had nearly two complete months of service; one month before and one month after the Civil War. He mustered out and was honorably discharged on May 15, 1865 under the authority of General Order 77. That General Order was basically an order for the Army to reduce its resources marking the end of the Civil War.

With the current evidence available, it is highly unlikely that he fought in that war. In some of the military records it indicated that Santos was not paid a bounty for his service. But, I wonder if Santos was paid by Nutter to substitute for him or if he did it as a favor or possibly even a reciprocated/debt payment to Nutter.

But still, I am left wondering...did Chamorro men fight in the U.S. Civil War? 

I think this would make a great topic for a young Chamorro scholar to pursue, investigate and write her/his findings!


Ersland, Jake. (undated). Civil War Provost Marshal Records: A Snapshot in Time. National Archives Records Administration.

Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957.

National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System.

National Archive Records Administration (NARA).

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 01:21
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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.

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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