Hawaii State Archives Digital Collection Tour: Government Office Holders

Our next stop on the archives tour takes us to the Government Office Holders index cards.  Each entry in this collection includes information on folks who held office Hawaiian government and the various office names.

Go to the Government Office Holders main page.

You have three choices: Search, Office Name A-Z, and Personal Names A-Z

Click on Search.  Enter any keyword you’d like to search by.  Note that you can use multiple keywords with the qualifier “all” or “some”.

We’ll try surname.  I’m going to search on my family surname Pacheco.

For the Pacheco search two names come up:  Pacheco, David and Pacheco, Manuel C.  I have no clue who these guys are.  I guess they aren’t all related to me. :D

Next, we’ll click on Office Name A-Z.  Each entry in the list will either bring up an index card with information about the office and those who served within it or a cross reference card.

By clicking on the Advisory Council, I learn that it was created in 1893 and was abolished in 1895.  The names nine individuals who served as head of the council and their dates of service are given.

Not all cards give detailed information.  Some only give the names of those who served in the office.

Next, we’ll click on Personal Names A-Z.  The first Portuguese sounding name that I see is: Aguiar, George R.  I’m going to click on that one.

George’s index card doesn’t tell us alot.  He served in the House of Representatives in 1947 in the 6th District.

Another Portuguese sounding name is Botelho, Manuel S.  By clicking on his name, we learn that Manuel was District Magistrate for Hamakua, Hawaii in 1915.  He was reappointed in 1917 and his term ended in 1919.

Though the cards don’t include alot of information, there should be enough details for further research.  One might research the office to see if more information can be had, look for newspaper articles, or find the individual’s obituary.  There are any number of places you could take this research to.

If you are lucky enough to have a government office holder in your tree, you are sure to find something worthwhile in this index.  Be sure to check variant spellings of surnames.  If you don’t find your ancestor using the search function, check each page.  You never know how a surname will be spelled.


How Do You Research Someone Who Left No Trail?

I am working on a research project for a friend because I can’t seem to get my genealogy fix with my own lines ;)  I like working on other people’s trees since it gives me experience in a research area that I wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with.

This line has me a bit confounded.  I’m not going to give details as I’m not sure the person wants them public.  However, I thought I’d present my dilemma and see what folks might come up with.

1.  Alot is known about the bride’s side, but nothing about the groom–the side I want to locate.

2.  The groom might have been born in Cabell County, West Virginia.  Then again, he might not have.

3.  The groom might have been orphaned at the age of 13.  Then again, he might not have been an orphan at all.

4.  The couple was married in Arizona, but it’s unknown where in Arizona.  From my research, I found that marriage records for Arizona are kept at the local level.  There is no state index (am I wrong on that?)

5.  Though the death notice gives information about the groom’s birth, the informant isn’t considered reliable.

6.  Though the groom was born in 1903, he doesn’t seem to be in the 1910, 1920, or 1930 census under the name we know him by in anywhere within West Virginia.

7.  The groom was a screenwriter.  While much can be found about his movie credits, little can be found about his personal story.

There are many possibilities here.  The place of birth is wrong.  His name has been changed.  If he really was an orphan, he may appear in the census records under the last name of the family member’s who took him in rather than the last name he was known by. His first name might be recorded wrong in the census completely throwing me off.

One thing is for sure.  He did live.  I was able to find him in the voter registration indexes for California in the 1940s.  Possibly the 1940 census when released will tell us more about his early beginnings depending on what information was collected that year.

He is in the Social Security Death Index as well.  So, that’s another option for research.

Can you see my conundrum?  Without a firm place of birth, it’s difficult to know if I’ve found the right families in the census.  Without known what cities he was married in, I’ve got no clue where to look for the marriage record in Arizona.  Though, I suspect this will be the record that tells me what I need to know.

Some research makes me ask why some ancestors were so good at covering their tracks.  While some people left behind volumes which are easy to locate piece by piece, others seemed to deliberately hide their footprints so no one will know they were here.

If anyone has suggestions on where I might look next, I’m open to suggestions.  This is a confounding research project!