During the 1940 census, the Punzalan compound on Guam fell within the boundaries of District 1, Barrio of Padre Palomo, which was enumerated by “M. Sgambelluri.” It was the first time I learned that my namesake grandfather owned some kind of pool hall. His occupation was recorded as “Pool owner.”

When the 1940 census was released to the public in 2012, initially, I could not find my Punzalan family.  I had zero search results. But after scouring the census, page-by-page, I found out that it was because our family’s surname was recorded as “Panzalan,” and not the way we traditionally spell it.  On Guam, native CHamoru speakers with a strong accent pronounce it as Pan-sa-lån (CHamoru orthography).   On the other hand, our family from the Philippines pronounce it with a Spanish orthography influence.  Today, most of us simply pronounce as just Pun-za-lun.

A couple of other recording errors within my father’s family include a misspelling of my father’s name that should read Eustaquio and his youngest sister’s name, at the time, which should read Felicita rather than Teresita.

These are also just some examples that require patience when working one’s genealogy.


Ok, that’s all for now. Back to working on the 1940 census transcription book, which I hope to release by early 2020. lol


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