Carcar FAQs: a thing about surnames and families
Carcaranons with family names starting with Al- are related
40 or more families with the Al-surnames had already been generations in Carcar when the Claveria decree implementors distributed the surnames. With that we can say that these families received their surnames in Carcar.
Well, it’s possible that they are related — for many — but not for all Al- families. I say that because, also from records, we know Alcorcon, Aldocente and Alcudia were mestizos Sangley from Parian (then an independent town and parish), while the ancestors of Alegueojo (now Aleguiojo), Alemeus (now Alemios), Aleoguenz (now Aleguin), Aleonar and certain other families whose surnames are no longer found in Carcar — came from Bohol.* That leaves at least these 7 Carcar families out of the relation.
But if the families are related, why the different surnames and not one? Could this be a reason?
Let us take the Carcar Al- families congregated around the area of Bactos to Guadalupe. Let us just presume these people actually descended from a single set of parents.
After only a century (four to five generations) the individuals in this area would not even have remembered who their great-grandparents were (as very, very few people not especially interested in their genealogy actually can). So that during the time of the surnames distribution, when officials asked them who they were related to (to determine who should get what surname), third cousins would be at a loss that they have an actual relationship. Stretch that to two centuries and, naturally, these “families” would have been given different surnames and lost over two centuries would be the fact they had actually descended from a single set of parents.
And then the idea hit some bright person: why do we all have these similar Al- surnames? We must be related.
*”Alcorcon, Aldocente and Alcudia were mestizos Sangley from Parian, while the ancestors of Alegueojo (now Aleguiojo), Alemeus (now Alemios), Aleoguenz (now Aleguin), (and) Aleonar… — came from Bohol”. Theirs are Carcar surnames?
The surnames that Carcar people received can be alphabetically grouped based on their starting letters: Al-, Bar-, Cam-/Can-, Day-, Em-. Fan-. Gel-, Lap-, Man-/Mang-, Nav-, Oa-, Pan-, Qui-, Rem-, Sat-, Tang-.
If a family known to have come from Parian but who have records of having been in Carcar already decades before the Claveria decree (1849-1850) received an Al- surname, it should be safe to presume that they must have been treated as if another Carcar family. Especially if those same surnames cannot be found for families in Parian itself. The same goes for Bohol families and also with the other alphabetical grouping surnames.
So those families came from Bohol, but their surnames cannot be found there
This circumstance is even more proof that those surnames were conferred to these families in Carcar and not in Bohol. Actually, per the rationale of the Claveria decree, families should have been identified by one surname and these Carcar transplants could very well have reasoned out that they should be given the same surname as their main families in Bohol, but we can speculate on reasons why these Bohol families (as well as the Alcorcon, Alcudia, Aldocente, Barcenilla, and Navasquez mestizo Sangleys) did not get the same surname as theur folks back home:
The Bohol implementation came a little later (although that can be verified by research) and the Claveria decree in Carcar did not wait; these families had no more contact with the folks back home and so did not know anymore what surnames were given out there; or these new Carcaranons themselves wanted to cut off any link with their families in Bohol for whatever reason or reasons. But that is not to say that they denied their Bohol or Sangley origins because records in Carcar did in fact say who were natives of Bohol and mestizo Sangley from Parian.
The Noel family descended from a Spanish priest who had –noel/nuel in his name, and that’s why they’re mestizo-looking
This is a nice theory if not for the fact that the mestizo Noels (of Carcar and Asturias) were originally from Parian, where also can be found even more numerous non-mestizo Noels. By the way, by looks, we’re talking of mestizo Spanish here since all Noels have been racially classified as mestizo Sangley as almost all Parian families were.
So, a better theory would be: the mestizo Noels, based on their physical characteristics, most certainly descended from a Spaniard (priest or lay) or a mestizo-Spaniard (again, priest or lay) or even some other European. But discard the part of the theory about the white priest’s having a –noel/nuel element to his name because that cannot explain why non-mestizos also carry the Noel surname.
In a related note, there are also many families (not necessarily from Carcar) who tell tales of their having received their Spanish surnames from a priest ancestor. I tell them that the claim is next to impossible: illegitimate children in the old days never got their father’s surname — the father listed only as padre no conocido (unknown or unrecognized) in the baptismal book. Doubtless, the predicament would be more stringent for children of priests.
What must have been the causes for the variations and even entire changes of surname spellings we see now?
An explanation may simply be because of our native pronunciation. Going over the Claveria surname groupings, we can immediately notice Alcuesar/Alcuezar and Alcuetas which are now all spelled Alcuizar and Alcuitas. The absence of “e” in Cebuano may be the culprit. Ditto with Bardelas and Bardenas, which are now Bardilas and Bardinas. For these last two, what may have further aggravated the pronunciation may have been the fact that these Spanish names are accented bar-de-LAS and BAR-de-nas which with the “e” is quite a challenge for Cebuano tongues. BTW, Alcuezar would be pronounced al-CUE-zar (not an English “z” but a Hispanic one, which is the same as an “s”, if not with the Castilian lisp altogether.)
That goes for the church clerks as well.