Posted by: vip | March 25, 2013

Surnames evolution

Surnames evolution

Although quite a number of Carcar surnames had gotten re-spelled over the years, most of them involved only a change of letter (oa- to w, y to i, for examples) and affected the pronunciation of the name itself so negligibly. Thus I will treat here only those with spelling changes that carried with them essentially changing the pronunciation of the name (Satot to Sato, Manlisic to Manlisi, Barga to Varga, etc.).

Now, most of the changes, even the substantial ones, could have been just brought about by mere misspellings, either by the church clerk or the family respondents themselves. Exceptions are when certain members of the families themselves decided to change their names (Catao to Cataos for instance), and even may have gone through legal processes to make the modification legal and official. A Bagol line did in fact ask the court to change their surname to Torres, on the grounds that their grandfather was, in fact, a Torres and Bagol had been just a nickname attached to their father. A genealogy of the family however bears out Bagol as the true-blue surname of the family, and this line did indeed come from that old clan, except for a padre no conocido who may have been a Torres.  In granting the change, perhaps the court did not consider that there is such a thing called genealogy that could guide the court make a more informed decision.

Anyway, the following list is of families that started as one but only the spelling split them asunder. Again, exceptions are Baring where there used to be two distinct families (one spelled Bareng), and Emnace, where some lines had been in fact Emnacen.

Alcovendas to Alcomendras – Although the catálogo lists Alcovendas, the early scribes had it as Alcobendas, although a little later the records began to show Alcovendas. This Napo family which originated from Sibonga enjoys a notable evolution in its surname. From Alcobendas and Alcovendas it evolved around 1890 to Alcomendas, which became the more natural springboard for its final (for now) form, Alcomendras.  Every trace of the former spellings have all but gone now, and the various lines of family are now all spelled Alcomendras.

Alentejo to Alentiojo – The earlier spelling was Alenteojo but became Alentiojo by 1880s. The catálogo lists the far simpler Alentejo, which is a Portuguese region bordering with Spain. Could Alenteojo and Alentiojo have been the result of confusing it with what may have been a more familiar anteojos (eyeglasses)? Whatever, only Alentiojo exists in the town today.

Aleoguenz to Aleguin – Altogether lost is the surname Aleoguenz. Mindless pronunciation must have turned the distinctive unique name to this new surname Aleguin, the change occurring during the first decade of the 1900s, but which the family now carries. I myself would have guessed Aleoguenz came from Aloguensan but, no, the ancestry is Bohol.

Barbeiros to Barbieros – A Spanish town albeit Barbeiros is Portuguese for barbers (barberos).  For a while, records spelled it Barbeyros. I would say pronunciations dictated the variant spellings.

Variant spellings are Barberos, Barbiros.

Barcaistegui to Barcastigue – Although the catálogo lists Barcaistegui, this Basque surname is spelled Barcaiztegui (or Barkaiztegi in Basque) in Spain.

Bareng to Baring – An original Carcar family took on the Claveria surname Bareng. However, in the 1860s another family, this time spelled Baring, and also a Claveria surname, arrived from Opon (now Lapu-LapuCity) where that spelling was used by the clan over there. But after the 1920s, the Barengs of Carcar switched to Baring. Perhaps swayed by deference to the chieftain, and to Opon lore pointing to the Barings as the descendants of Lapu-Lapu (a claim in patent rivalry with the Tumulak and maybe even some other surnames and families), the Carcar Barengs simply succumbed to the Opon family.

Barga to Varga – By the first decade of the 1900s, the surname was still Barga for the entire family. But there is not a single line of Barga anymore. Barga is in the catálogo, Varga is not (although the plural Vargas is).

Catao to Cataos – A 1950s or ‘60s change by a branch of the family. Catao is another Portuguese surname that found its way in the catálogo the apellidos. Only a branch of the family went for the extra letter and, as the newer surname, Cataos has only less than a third of the number of Catao voters in Carcar.

Dayanan and Daynan/DainanJust three or four weeks ago, a young lady and her mother went to the Carcar convent office to seek for any documentation to help with the mother’s application for a postal I.D.  They gave her last name as Dayanan. But in the daughter’s baptism, the mother’s surname was Daynan. Well, the mother’s baptism itself spelled her surname as Daynan — although the father’s was spelled Dayanan. How do we convince the postal I.D. clerks that these inconsistencies are just that – inconsistencies — and not necessarily two different names and, worse, different families?

But note well that there were already a lot of Daynan (and Dainan) occurrences in older Carcar records, but the same family. And now, the spelling has gone full circle, and there seems to no longer be a Daynan surname in the town.

Emnacen to Emnace – the two Bohol families are distinct from each other but for some reason some Emnacen individuals became Emnace after 1920 already and their lines are now Emnace. There are far less Emnacen than Emnace in Carcar today and that may have been the reason.

Variant spellings are Emnaci, Emnacin.

Manlisic to Manlisi – In a marriage in 1917 (to an Aleonar), one Victorino was already spelled as Manlisi, although in another marriage just a year before, a Jacoba was still recorded as Manlisic.

Variant spellings are Manlesi, Manlise.

Naveces to Navesis – Probably this one family is now psychically “disunited” by the most number of spelling changes ever undergone by a Carcar surname. Surely, they must have longings about having been one family once upon a time – which they were in fact.

Naveces still exists but other variant spellings that have sprouted are Nabesis, Navecis, Naveses, Navesis, Navices, Navisis, Navises.

Oaumelda to Oamilda – Oaumelda, with the “u” in it, does require a convoluted tongue and we cannot blame clerks and the family alike for dropping the letter altogether after just a few years. The further change from “oa-“ to “wa-“ became common in Carcar with the coming of the Americans who brought along with them the English letter “w”. However, by 1948 there still existed in Carcar the spellings Oamelda, Oasaoas, Oasqin, Oatin, Oaperi, Oarain (per Marriage book).

Varianta are Wamelda, Wamilda.

Paningesoro to Paninsoro – Similar to the “u” in Oaumelda, the “e” required an extra effort, which, if we don’t know the origin or meaning of the surname, would in time be dropped. But it’s more unsure why the ‘g” was also discarded although that (the dropping of “g”) is not an unknown occurrence in Visayan (Opon from Opong, e.g.)

Variant spellings are Paningsoro, Paninsuro.

Satot to Sato – The dropping of the final “t” in this surname has caused even family members to suspect a Japanese origin since Sato is a common (the most common in fact) Japanese surname. But in Carcar it is pronounced sa-TO, accent on the last syllable, while in Japan, it is SA-to. Nobody carries Satot anymore in the clan and the accent on the last syllable may be the last vestigial trace of the surname’s having been Satot once upon a time.  The catálogo spelled it as Satut. The family’s ancestors were from Bohol.

Ybesa to Ebisa – Ybesa family came from San Nicolas via Pardo. Records of the family in Carcar can be found as early as 1870. By 1926, the surname was still spelled as Ybesa. Ibiza is a Balearic island very well known for tourism, nightlife and its old port is a Unesco world heritage site.

Ybisa is the one you can find in the catálogo.

Even in English — Smith, Smyth — the variation to also be found in English surnames must have been due to similar reasons.



  1. At first I thought that for families in which the older variation of the surname is extinct, the change occured earlier when it was easier for all male members to agree that their descendants should carry the new variation. Some of changes occured decades after the Claveria degree. Maybe there was a consipiracy of the clerks to use the variation every time a baby was baptized. hehehe

    • i would guess every change was haphazard (except for the legal changes Bagol and, maybe, Cataos?) more because we played it by ear, oido. written language always depends on the oral. records on the same day of the same book sometimes even had different spellings, and it could have been either the scribe’s or the family’s doing, we’re not sure but they’re there.

  2. Congratulations on an excellent and well-researched piece.

  3. What about Lazo to Razo?

    • i’m sorry i really don’t have a file for either family/surname and can’t say anything about whether they were distinct from each other or not. but it seems there is only one razo voter in carcar.

      • Thanks for the reply.

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