Leprosy and the Formation of the Molokai Colony


What is Leprosy? Leprosy a.k.a. Hansen’s Disease is caused by contact to the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.  It spreads through contact with dirty water where the bacteria is present.  It rarely spreads from human to human. It is one of the least contagious of the communicable diseases. However, in the early 1860s when people began showing … Continued

Using City Directories to Determine the Plantation Your Ancestor Worked For in Hawaii


Sugar plantations were a big part of our Portuguese Hawaiian ancestors’ lives. The plantation provided them with a place to live, a job, schooling for their children, monthly wages, and a sense of community. Our ancestors’ lives revolved around the plantation whether at home, work, or play. Difficulties Finding the Name of the Plantation For … Continued

52 Ancestors Week 31: The Azoreans Have Been The Easiest


This week’s theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is “Easy”.  When it comes to easy to research ancestors, nothing beats my Azoreans! I didn’t start exactly on the right path considering all the information my grandmother gave me was wrong.  But, once I got all that sorted out, it was a breeze. I know.  … Continued

Delayed Birth Records for Hawaii, Part Two: How Did They Apply?


How did a person go about getting a delayed birth certificate? The person filled out an “Application for Certificate of Hawaiian Birth”. This application asked for basic details such as name, place of birth, date of birth, current address, race of father and mother, father’s name, mother’s name, and any physical identifying marks. The applicant … Continued

Microfilm Available for Portuguese Hawaiian Research through the LDS Family History Center

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One of the most important places to do research is at the Family History Center of the Mormon Church (aka Church of Latter Day Saints). Check your local phone book for a Family History Center near you. This is a list of some of the microfilms/microfiche that are helpful for the Portuguese Hawaiian researcher.  Note … Continued

Problem with Names Part 4: Inconsistency!


This is part 4 of the series the Problem with Names in which I discuss some of the difficulties surrounding Portuguese names.  In this article, I tackle inconsistency.  It can be the more confusing part for many genealogists to learn that their ancestor wasn’t all that hung up on their name or the spelling. The … Continued

52 Ancestors: Grandma’s Mandolin


Growing up, I was intrigued by the musical instrument that sat on a shelf in our hall closet.  It had a short neck, a round body, and beautiful wood patterns.  I was told it was a mandolin. But, where did it come from?  I imagined it was one of those things my dad acquired.  He … Continued

52 Ancestors, Week 28: 24 Miles was a Journey

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[This is my entry for 52 Ancestors Week 28:  Road Trips] Today, a trip from Oakland, California to Centerville and Fremont, California is but a hop, skip, and a jump.  If traffic isn’t bad, you can drive there in less than 30 minutes. This view of Fremont Central Park gives an idea of what the … Continued

My First Experience Researching the Irish Catholic Church Parish Registers


You may have heard.  The National Library of Ireland website now has the Catholic Church Parish Register records online and available to research for free.  The records are available to research for free.  I’ve been waiting a long time to get my hands dirty with Irish research.  To say I am eager to begin this … Continued

52 Ancestors, Week 27: My Grandma Shellabarger was a Single Parent

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There are no American Revolutionaries in my tree.  My people came to America after 1840.  Most showed up after 1880.  So, I’ll turn to an ancestor who exemplifies the independent spirit.  Although I’ve written several times about my Grandma Shellabarger aka Anna (Jackson) Shellabarger on this blog, I can’t think of any ancestors who fits … Continued