Everyone deserves to be remembered in a dignified fashion.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I am working on the cemeteries, graves and tombstones of, and obituaries and memorials for, the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands—also, the riffraff, the hoi polloi, the rank-and-file working people, and the tempest-tossed—the Carolinian, Micronesian, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Asian, "Statesider" American, and other people—who lived, loved, labored, and died on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. I have resided on Guam for more than 25 years.
The people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have their own unique cultures and personal nomenclature conventions, including the Guerrero, the Leon Guerrero, the Leon-Guerrero, and the Deleon Guerrero families, the Leon and De Leon families, the Cruz, the Dela Cruz, and the Delacruz families, the Agustin family and the San Agustins, the Nicolas and the San Nicolas families, the Jesus, the De Jesus, and the DeJesus families, the Reyes and the Delos Reyes families, and the Torre and Torres families.
I also have created memorials for decedents from the following families: Acfalle, Ada, Afaisen, Aflague, Aflleje, Aguigui, Aguon, Angoco, Apatang, Aquiningoc, Arriola, Asuncion, Atalig, Atoigue, Ayuyu, Babauta, Balajadia, Barcinas, Baza, Benavente, Blas (Blaz), Borja, Calvo, Camacho, Castro, Chaco, Champaco, Charfauros, Chargualaf, Chiguina, Concepcion, Crisostomo, Duenas, Dungca, Dydasco, Fegurgur, Fejeran (Fejaran, Fejarang, Fejerang), Finona, Flores, Gofigan, Gogo, Gogue, Gumataotao, Hocog, Iriarte, Jesus, Kaipat, Limtiaco, Lujan, Maanao, Mafnas, Manibusan, Mantanane, Mantanona, Martinez, Matagolai (Matagulay), Megofna (Magofna), Mendiola, Meno, Merfalen, Mesa, Muna, Nangauta, Naputi, Nauta, Nededog, Ninete, Ogo, Pablo, Pangelinan (Pangilinan), Paulino, Perez, Pocaigue, Quan, Quenga, Quichocho, Quidachay, Quifunas, Quinata, Quinene, Quintanilla, Quitugua (Quidagua), Rapolla, Rojas, Rosario, Sablan, Sahagon, San Nicolas, Siguenza, Taga, Taguacta, Taienao (Taianao), Taijeron, Taijito, Taimanao, Taimanglo, Tainatongo, Taisacan, Taisague, Taisipic, Taitague, Taitano, Taitingfong, Tajalle, Techaira, Tedtaotao, Tedpahogo (Tedpahago), Tenorio, Terlaje, Topasna, Tudela, Tuncap, Tydingco, Tyquiengco, Ulloa, Uncangco, Unchangco, Ungacta, Unpingco, Unsiog, Untalan, Uson—and many others. Some of these names have spelling variants.
Certain surname abbreviations are used frequently—in newspaper obituaries and display memorials, and even on tombstones and grave markers—for instance, "L.G.," "S.N." and "S.A." On Guam, "L.G." means "Leon Guerrero," "S.N." signifies "San Nicolas," and "S.A." means "San Agustin." Less frequently, "S.M." stands for "San Miguel" or "Santa Maria." In the Northern Mariana Islands, "DLG" stands for "Deleon Guerrero," "DLC" is an abbreviation for "Dela Cruz" and "DLR" signifies "Delos Reyes." There may be a few others.
Traditional Chamorro society was matriarchal in nature. Typically, on Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands, and even in the Philippines, both women and men use the mother's maiden name as a middle name. People also sometimes include the grandmother's maiden name in order to disambiguate two persons who would otherwise share the same name. Sometimes husbands adopt the wife's surname. Sometimes the child bears the mother's surname.
Padre Palomo, the first Chamorro Catholic priest, was known in his day as Padre Jose Palomo y Torres (father's surname followed by the mother's surname). This pattern is still in use today in Mexico. Today on Guam, in the Northern Mariana Islands, and in the Philippines, the convention is to use the mother's surname as a middle name, Padre Jose Torres Palomo.
Search note: To find a surname as a maiden name (or as a mother's or grandmother's surname), search the name within the cemetery.
After hundreds of years of occupation, hegemony, colonization and militarization by the Spanish, the Germans, the Americans, and the Japanese, there is a rich, diverse, heterogeneous nomenclature system. All of the surnames shown above are represented in my portfolio of decedents. All of the cemeteries of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are represented.
I am also working on my family lines—on my father's side, members of the Goniwiecha (and Goniwicha) families, the Bureiza, Hock, Konkel, Kozfkay, Kucharczyk, Lappo, Oberski, Parak, Polom, Schefka and Varga families—and on my mother's side, members of the Bartkowiak, Bekas, Dobrogowski, Knack, Kosecki, Kwietniewski, Lubinski, Mydlarz, Schafer, Wojkiewicz, and our other branches. I have been researching my family tree for about 40 years.
I take photographs of cemeteries and tombstones. I also work from the current as well as historical obituaries, death notices, and display memorials—I prefer not to think of them as "advertisements"—in the newspapers—online and in the old paper issues.
If you wish to request a transfer of management, please feel free to make such a request—to me, access is more important than ownership.
If you notice errors or omissions of consequence, please do let me know. If you know of the cemetery of burial location, please inform me.
Photographs are an important component of the historical record—especially in the islands, where humidity, insects, earthquakes, typhoons and other calamities can wipe out records overnight. If you want to add your family photos to one of my memorial sites, please feel free to do so. I believe photos ought to have appropriate captions—list names of all persons in the photo, if possible, plus date, if possible, and place, if possible—who, what, when, where, why and how. If you can scan and email me your photos, I can upload them. Memorial "prayer cards," issued by some churches and some funeral homes, can make a valuable graphic addition to a memorial.
If you want to write a brief statement (such as one or two complete sentences) about your loved one, I will add it to a memorial. Your photograph, recollections, or testimonial may be the only image, information and impression which your descendants will have of their ancestors.
As for me, I was born in Detroit, Michigan—the son of Alfred Anthony Goniwiecha (# 48427753) and Rita Magdalene Bartkowiak Goniwiecha (# 48427886).
I was an instructor, then an assistant professor of library science at the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska, Fairbanks for five years.
I was employed as an instructor, then an assistant professor (tenured), then an associate professor, then a professor of library science at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, University of Guam / Unibetsedåt Guahan, Mangilao, for 22 years. There I served as coordinator of library reference and instruction services and coordinator of library exhibits and displays. I retired from the University of Guam in 2010.
Search memorial contributions by Mark Goniwiecha