Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kohala Families

NOTES AND CORRECTIONS: The following article is from a column titled "Little Tales of Old Hawaii", that ran in the Star Bulletin in the 1950's, written by Clarice Taylor.  Her source is unknown.  Lincoln descendants and researchers have brought to my attention errors in this article, the biggest being the main person discussed, George Lincoln was really named Lorenzo Lincoln.  

From the book "Ancestors and Descendants of Nedabiah Lincoln, Sr., Volume I" by Albert J. Clarke II: "The eldest son Lorenzo born 1808 (from passport) left the area about 1833, arriving in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in 1836.  He most certainly was the first Lincoln settler there.  He married  in 1839, had four sons and was divorced in 1858.  He died in 1866."  He list Lorenzo marrying Ka'aia Kuawalu (Kaaea in this article) on Jan. 19, 1839.  

Lorenzo's obituary appears at the end of this article.

The Hawaiian people of Kohala are all one big family, each of the old families claims relationship to the other.  Back in ancient days, the Kauai and Oahu alii claimed descent from the triplet sons of Laa-mai-kahiki's sons were born of three different wives.  They were called triplets because their births occurred on the same day.  The Kohala people claimed descent from a far more fabulous descent from a far more fabulous event.  Their ancestress was a chiefess named Kanoena who gave birth to ten children at one time and raised everyone of the ten to adult life. They were called Ka hanaumi-a-Kanoena, The ten children of Kanoena and expression became a family byword.  Even today, old time Hawaiians will meet each other and say, I'm a Kanoena to denote the fact that they come from Kohala.  This legendary multiple birth is indicative of the respect the Hawaiians had for large families and the joy they took in large numbers of children. 
Ka hanaumi-a-Kanoena were sturdy stock.  They survived the disastrous period from 1820 to 1870 when the Hawaiians as a racial group were almost wiped out.  Although their ranks were decimated by the white man’s diseases and so called civilization, the fittest survived.  Today the children of Kanoena are among the Hawaiians who are repopulating the islands with a new race of part-Hawaiians.  One of these families is the Lincoln family, of whom it is a pleasure to tell their story, for they are solid citizens, hardworking folk who stand on their own feet and expect to make their own way in life.  The story of the Lincoln's starts with Kanoena and jumps to the 1840's when the cattle industry was flourishing on the Big Island.  Those were the years when the great whaling fleets spent the winters in the harbors of Hilo, Lahaina, Koloa and Honolulu.  A British seaman, George Lincoln, jumped his ship while it was anchored off the Big Island and made his way to the Waimea plateau where a small British colony was doing a flourishing business in hides and beef.  Another British seaman, Charles Robert Notley, had arrived there in 1845 and set up a tannery.  George Lincoln found his way to the tannery and joined Mr. Notley as a partner in the business.  The tannery flourished.  Mr. Notley branched out into the sheep raising business.  George Lincoln became a dairyman.  Both men prospered by marrying Hawaiian woman with land.  George Lincoln found his wife in Kohala.  Her family history is unknown for everyone knew Mrs. Lincoln simply as Kaaea.  Hawaiians in that day did not bother with surnames.  George Lincoln and his wife Kaaea settled on land which was probably hers at Hawi in Kohala, then the principal center of population.  It was at Hawi that Father Elias Bond moved the Protestant mission and started building his famous stone church Kalahikiola.  The Lincoln's lived on a nearby plot of land.  George Lincoln found dairy farming to be good.. from a herd of cattle run on the property called Kehena ranch, located at the top of the mountain ridge between Kohala and the Waimea plateau.  The Kehena homestead land belonged to Kaaea’s family and is still in the Lincoln family.  Kaaea may also have had other land at Kawaihae-uka.  The George Lincolns had four sons: George Washington Lincoln, William, John and James Lincoln.  The boys were raised to be cattlemen, the ambition of all healthy boys of that age living in and about the cattle country.  They received a basic education in Hawaiian in the schools of Kohala.  The three eldest sons became expert cattlemen, but Jim, the youngest inherited his father’s early wanderlust and became a seaman.  He eventually went to the mainland and settled there.  He left no family here.  George Washington Lincoln was raised as the “alii” son of the family, being the eldest.  He learned the dairy business as well as cattle ranching.  William grew up to be a giant with tremendous strength gained by riding and roping.  William married a Hawaiian girl named Keai and had one child which died young.  John Lincoln became a cattleman and rancher settling on the ranch at Kehena, while his brother George Washington Lincoln settled on the Kahua lands of Kawaihae-uka and built up a prosperous business.  John Lincoln married Luka (Ruth) Keawemauhili, a descendant of the Alii Keawemauhili family of Hilo and a chiefess with some property in her own right.  George Washington Lincoln married two sisters, hapa-haole girls-Rebecca and Mary Ann Bell of Kohala.  It is through these two brothers George Washington and John Lincoln, that the family has grown and spread through Hawaii nei, “loaa no he mau pua lehulehu e ola nei”., as the Hawaiian genealogist would say.  John Lincoln and his wife Ruth Keawemauhili raised three children, a small family, but one which was better than average in that period of history when few births were recorded in proportion to the number of Hawaiian deaths.  Their first child was Harriet Kaualokuokamaile born in 1877, the second, John George Lincoln, born in 1881 and a third, Hannah Kalanilehua, born in 1882.  The beautiful long Hawaiian names were given the children by their mother to indicate their descent from chiefs and chiefesses of the distinguished alii, the Hilo house of I.  Each name indicated descent from a particular alii and belonged to the family.  The names could not be used by others outside the blood line.  Unfortunately, their mother did not teach the children all the rich lore went with their names.  She belonged to the generation which began the process of burying the wreath of knowledge about their Hawaiian forebears which should have been the heritage of children.  When asked about their alii blood, she would tell them to forget about it, that being an alii meant nothing in this modern age.  When pressed for information she would say it is too sacred for you to let out, forget about it.  Harriet and Hannah grew up to be fine horsewomen and good cattle drivers just like their father.  Hannah has lived all her life at Kehena on the divide between Kohala and Waimea, the original family homestead.  She is Mrs. Edward Kekuewa, still a small spry woman who has raised nine children of her own and.....Parker ranch, Robert Naea Stevens and live all her life at Waimea, dying in 1942 at the age of 65.  She had two children, Robert Naea Stevens Jr. of Hilo and Daisy Kanoealii, Mrs. Albert Uiha Lindsey of Waimea.  Harriet was a large commanding woman, 6 feet tall.  She walked and rode a horse with the majestic air of an alii.  Her grandchildren called her “Big Grandma”.  John George Lincoln, the only son, married a neighbor girl, Jennie Kekuewa and eventually came to Oahu and took up a homestead at Nanakuli where he lived until his death at 68 in 1949.  His children are Mrs. Philip (Lucy) Naone and George Lincoln Jr. of Nanakuli.  The children of John Lincoln had more Hawaiian blood than their father, for their mother was pure Hawaiian. It is said of George Washington Lincoln, son of original George Lincoln and his wife Kaaea, that he was a successful man: he raised many children and many cattle.  He ranched the lands at Kawaihae-uka which were probably inherited from his mother’s family, adding to them through leases.  The home place was called Keawe-wai.  He is remembered as a very large heavy set man who commanded everyone in his family, his workmen and the fractious cattle.  His word was law.  Living in this cattle country was another hapa-haole family of English extraction, the Bells.  William Peter Bell came to the islands about 1860 from England to work as a mill engineer.  Not long after, he settled at Waimea as a bookkeeper for the Parker Ranch.  He married a Hawaiian girl, Kipikane and raised a family of four handsome sons and two winsome daughters.  The sons were William, George, John and Henry.  The daughters were Rebecca and Mary Ann.  The family eventually made its home on Kipikane’s lands at Kohala, the site of the present Honomaku school (which is not the Kohala High and Elementary School).  George Washington Lincoln first married the elder sister Rebecca and had eight children by her: Ned, James, Caroline, Becky, John, Hannah, William Kealoha and George Kawai.  he then married Mary Ann Bell, the youngest sister and fathered another family of seven, making 15 children in all.  The confusing part of the story is that several of the children in the second family were given the same names as their elder half brothers and sisters.  The seven were: Lawrence Bell, Caroline, Kipikane, Becky, Hannah, Kehei Alice and Kawai Lincoln.  The prophets of doom who said the Hawaiian race was dying out had not heard of the George Washington Lincoln family.  Now the amazing part of the story is that Mary Ann Bell was still a young and attractive matron after having seven children.  She married Charles Anderson, moved to Honolulu and five more children, John, Wilhelmina, Mary, Charles and Cecelia, making a grand total of 12.  Ranch life was an ideal environment for raising children.  All 15 of the Lincoln children grew up, married and had good sized families so that today it can truthfully be said of the Lincolns “loaa no he mau pua lehulehu e oia nei”.  Most of the Lincolns continued to live on the Big Island intermarrying with the big......Mary Ann and George Washington Lincoln, raised a family of 13.  He has 71 grandchildren living in the islands today.  Lawrence Bell Lincoln was the oldest of George Washington Lincoln’s family by Mary Ann Bell Lincoln.  Lawrence’s name is sometimes recorded as Lorenzo Bell Lincoln on property deeds.  Lawrence was a young man of 20 still living at home with his father at Keawe-wai in Kawaihae-uka, when our story begins.  He was born in 1869.  His elder brothers and sisters were married and settled either on the ranch or in nearby communities.  Lawrence was tall, very handsome and dashing.  He wore the hand tooled polished cowboy boots and the big sombrero hats which marked the cattleman of the 1880’s and 1890’s.  He had his won fined horse, Cannonball, and being his father’s favorite son, had the privilege of ridding off the ranch to look for recreation.  Today’s young people will be amazed to know that a craze for roller skating had struck the islands in the late 1880’s and had reached into the lonely cattle country.  The craze induced a Hawaiian, Henry Mana of Kawaiha-uka, to build a rink and to buy a supply of roller skates.  these he rented out to young people and conducted contests to stimulate business.  Lawrence Bell enjoyed the sport and soon became the champion skater.  This was in the summer of 1889.  One evening while skating, Lawrence bumped into a pretty girl of 14 and knocked her down on the skating rink.  He apologetically helped her up and that started a romance.  The girl was Abigail, one of Henry Mana’s daughters.  She was just finishing her education at the nearby Hawaiian school and was being prepared to enter the Girl’s seminary at Makawao, Maui.  Abigail Mana at 14 was already an accomplished young lady.  She could sew and cook and made her own gay red holokus to wear to church.  She also made herself big lauhala hats of fine weave.  That summer of 1889, Abigail was church soloist and won a singing contest for young people, “Kaleo o naunau”.  Lawrence’s courting was frowned upon by Abigail’s grandparents with whom she lived.  They wanted the girl to become a school teacher.  So, Lawrence persuaded Abigail to elope.  The young couple was assisted by Abigail’s sister who smuggled Abigail’s pretty white Sunday dress outside the gate.  Lawrence came riding up the house on Cannonball and swung Abigail up into the saddle in front of him.  The young couple galloped away to Waimea where they called at the home of relatives.  Abigail dressed in her pretty white tucked dress and the two went with relatives to the home of the Rev. Kalino, where they were married.  The Lincoln family welcomed Abigail, the bride of 14 whom Lawrence Bell Lincoln brought home in August 1880 after their elopement and marriage in Waimea.  The sweet young bride and her dashing, handsome husband of 20 went to live with Lawrence’s father, George Washington Lincoln at the main ranch house.  Marriage made adults of the two young people.  Lawrence now displayed his serious, stern temperament.  He devoted himself to the cattle and butter business and soon showed himself to be the best rancher among the Lincoln sons.  Lawrence was a ........ the young not for mothers.  Abigail was a welcome addition to the many pairs of working hands about the ranch.  She could do most any type of work from cooking to riding in the roundups and milking the cows.  In spite of the fact that she had 16 children, on practically every year, Abigail’s work never ceased.  She was a good mother too.  She raised 13 of the 16 babies born during those years of hard toil.

The 13 are all living today and between them 71 children, the largest family in the Lincoln clan.  The 13 Lawrence Lincolns are: Sarah Kawaikui (Mrs. William Merseberg) of Kohala; Lawrence Bell Lincoln II of Damon Tract, Eva (Mrs. George Smith) of Hilo; Maryann (Mrs. John Lindsey Jr.) of Kamuela; Emma (Mrs. Harry Ching), Nulii, Kohala; Alice (Mrs. Alfred Kimokeo), Lanai City; Solomon Lincoln of Waianae, Oahu; Albert Lincoln, Honolulu; Ilima Alite (Mrs. E. F. Conroy), Honolulu; Lei (Mrs. Richard Yamane), Honolulu; Annie (Mrs. John Stevens) Kamuela; William Lincoln, Honolulu; Elizabeth (Mrs. Samuel M. Maialoha), Honolulu.  Before continuing the story of Abigail and Lawrence Bell Lincoln, a correction must be made in the story of the Bell family as published in Monday’s Little Tales.  Mary Ann Bell was not the Mary Bell who married Charles Anderson of Honolulu.  The correct Bell was a granddaughter of the original William Peter and Kipikane Bell.  She was the daughter of the second William Bell and his wife Wainee.  Charles and Mary Bell Anderson lived in Honolulu and had five children.  When Mr. Anderson died his widow married Frank Caitano and had four children by him.  Our apologies to the Mary Bell Anderson-Caitano family.  The Bell family is another of Hawaii’s large part-Hawaiian clans whose story we hope to tell at a future date.  The life of Abigail Mana (Mrs. Lawrence Bell Lincoln) at Kawaihae-uka was typical of the ranch life by Hawaiian women of the 1890s and early 1900s.  It is the type of life similar to that of the pioneering women of the American west.  Abigail Lincoln considers herself an ordinary country Hawaiian.  She makes no claims to being an alii.  Her vitality and character are the heritage of the great middle class Hawaiian people who were the proud artisans and agriculturists of old Hawaii.  That she and her children and her parents before her survived and multiplied is probably because the pure blooded Hawaiians loved the ranch life and adapted themselves to this one industry introduced by the white man better than any other.  Ranch life was carried on like the family system of ancient Hawaii.  The father and mother were the center of the family.  The father was the boss.  He took all the profits and in return had the responsibility of feeding and clothing all members of the family.  The children married and set up families on the ranch, thus supplying more hands to accomplish more work.  The work was done in communal fashion.  The father and sons worked together as a group.  Many hands made light work.  The mother and daughters worked together to do the housework and varied their housekeeping with work on the ranch with the men.  Abigail Lincoln’s........

Obituary of Lorenzo Lincoln: LINCOLN-In Honolulu, July 18th, Mr. Lorenzo B. Lincoln, of Waimea, Hawaii.  The deceased had long resided upon the islands but was a native of Taunton, Mass., where his friends are supposed to reside. ~Hawaiian Gazette, July 20, 1886.


  1. Aloha,
    here's a death announcement for George W. Lincoln i came across this morning, from a 100 years ago.

  2. Mahalo nui for this little gem of 'ike.


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