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.
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.
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.
- Anna (1870-?). No other information available.
- Varaya (1872-1873). She died of Chronic Cough.
- Dahria (1874-?). No other information available.
- Susanna (1877-1892). Died of pythisis (form of tuberculosis).
- [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.
- 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.
- John Jr. (1886-?). Again, it seems that all on St. Paul Island who carry the Fratis surname are John Jr.’s direct descendants.
- 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.
- Agrifina (1891-1973). She married Grant Emerson DeCorah (1877-1942).
- Simeon John (1894-1949). He never married. His occupation was listed a garage mechanic in census documents.
- Julia/Ouliana/Juliana (1896-). First married Geo A. Morgan in 1927 and then later married Neale Noe King in 1942.
- 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:
- Gabriel Fratis (1906-1908)
- Christopher Fratis (1908-1910)
- David Fratis (1910-1965) married Alexandra Buterin (1913-?)
- Anton/Antoin (1913-1918)
- Mary Frances (1915-1915)
- Anfesa Fratis (1916-?) married Aggey Glaktionoff (1906-?)
- Anna Fratis (1919-?)
- Martha Fratis (1922-2007) married William Shane, Sr. (1917-1999)
- Olga Ada Fratis (1924-?)
- Taheesi Fratis (1925-1935)
- [Stillborn male] (1927-1927)
- 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: http://www.chamorroroots.com/v3/index.php?option=com_content&;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: http://www.geni.com/people/John-Fratis/6000000022542954408