E komo mai, Welcome!
I am Doreen Harunaga-Ewing, the Honolulu County Coordinator. I was born on Kauai and lived all of my working years on Oahu. Most of our close relatives live on the mainland so when we retired, we moved to the mainland. Friends and distant cousins still live on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
Resources available on this website is at the Table of Contents. If you are looking for help researching your Hawaii ancestors, this is the right place. If you'd like to share information please write to me!
Genealogy is also known as family history. It is the study of families through history tracing their lineages and origins.
Hawaii history falls into two categories, precontact and post-contact. Precontact meaning in most context, before the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778. Research into precontact Hawaii lineage is difficult because history was not written. Information was passed down through stories, myths, legends, kapa designs, hula, and chants.
*In precontact Hawaii, Hawaiians lived in a complex society. Land was allotted by the chiefs (ali'i) through intermediaries, to commoners (maka`ainana) who produced a wide array of goods from the resources of the forest, cultivated lands, and the sea. The high chiefs and subsidiary groups of lower-ranking chiefs governed large areas (ahupua`a and `ili) that were parceled out. Luxury items such as elaborate feather capes and cloaks, activities such as sports and festivals were made possible by the expropriation of food and labor from the maka`ainana. There was a strong tradition of common use and sharing which sustained many of the physical and spiritual needs of the people.*
Post-contact documentation is readily available. Captain James Cook's writings about the paradise he discovered led to visits by foreigners from every port in the world to the islands. Traders, whaling ships, missionaries, and men looking for opportunities flocked to the newly discovered paradise. One of the most devastating problems with foreigners in paradise was the introduction of diseases that the native population had no defenses against. The native population declined.
Hawaii today supports a multicultural society. The first language we learn is the "Hawaiian Pidgin English" . It originated on the sugar plantations as a form of communication between English speaking residents and non-English speaking Native Hawaiians and foreign immigrants. Hawaiian Pidgin was influenced by Hawaiian, Portuguese, American English, Cantonese, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean.
Footnote: * to * information from A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawai`i 1885-1924, p14, Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, Hawai`i Immigrant Heritage Preservation Center, Department of Anthropology, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 1985