Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Ripe Old Age

Here's an interesting story about Kepoolele Apau, a woman, 124 years old.  She died in 1898 at the age of 127.  In some ways this story reminds me of that made for TV movie I saw as a child back in the 70's, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman".  Like the African-American slave, Jane Pittman recalling historical events in her 110 year life, Kepooleleapau recalls historical events in Hawaii's history.

Familiar "With Earliest Events in History.  Visited Kilauea Volcano With Kaplolanl I Trained by the Missionaries.

After passing Smith street, walking on the mauka side of King, one notices a 'number of dingy, muddy alleys.  In the second one from the bridge there is a relic of the early days of the Hawaiian Islands. Walk through the alley, and when you get to the rear of the store facing King street, there is another passage way, narrower than the one which leads from King street, to a collection of old tumble down cottages occupied by Hawaiians.  If you want to find and converse with the oldest inhabitant of the Islands, turn into this narrow way and stop at the two-story house on the left. It is an old place, so old that the date of the erection of it is almost forgotten by the people who live in it or in the cottages around. On the upper veranda an old koa bedstead stands exposed to the Kona winds and rains of the winter months. A bit of bedding and a bunk, at some time used by the younger generation of Hawaiians, has been cast aside for the Hawaiian of the old school, is not a believer in soft beds; a mat on the floor has greater attractions than the most modern spring mattress.  On the lower floor the house is divided into three rooms: a large one in the center and flanked on either side by two small ones. Here the family eat and sleep? 'the'"cooking is done on a keronsene tin in the yard.  On a mat in the largest of the three rooms a reporter for the Advertiser found the old woman. She piped an "Aloha" to her visitors and took their hands with the grasp of a girl of 20.  She is not a beautiful woman, though the traditions of her family aver that she was noted for her charms in her youth. The hand of Time, however, has seared her face and left many wrinkles as evidence of the years' she has passed through. Being to an extent deprived of her hearing it was with difficulty that one in the party who spoke Hawaiian, could make himself understood. She was willing to talk, and she was able, but she must be allowed to go on in her own way without being bored with questions. Sir. Atkinson, General Inspector of Census, made several visits subsequently,
and investigated the case of the woman, who is supposed to be anywhere from 120 to 124 years of age. He tells his story in his own inimitable way.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

J. R. Honest

I went back to Oahu Cemetery yesterday, to re-take the pictures of the Hiram graves.  I also noticed other families that I've stumbled across in my own research.  The Holts, Meresburgs, Topolinskis, Smith and Clarkes.  I noticed their all in the same area.  What they have in common are they all have ties to Kohala/Waimea of the Big Island and all seem like they came to Oahu about the same time and are part of the early prominent, hapa-haole families of Oahu.

J. R. Honest died when he was 5yrs old and we think that he might possible the 5 yr old boy mentioned in this article about the son of Moses and Lizzie Puahi, who was playing with matches and died.  Lizzie is the widow of Chas. I. Hiram who is a grave over from Honest.  But why is he Honest and not Puahi?  Seems very strange.  He could be a grandchild of Lizzie and Charles that was raised by Lizzie and Moses.  That's very common in Hawaii.  The Kelii Imakakoloa and P. Keoua are strange there.  I know that Keoua was a famous chief who was the father of King Kamehameha the great.  Imakakoloa was an earlier ancestor of the Hiram family, and there also was a priestly order of Imakakoloa.

J. R. Honest, Elizabeth Hiram and Charles Hiram

Kelii Imakakoloa

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who is J. R. Honest?

My great-great grandmother was adopted into the HIRAM family, or they could be related, I'm still working on that.  Most Hawaiian adoptions were done between family members, so it's quite possible.  I think all those with the Hiram last name are related, back then anyway, so I'll take pictures, if I run across any Hiram headstones.  I took this ages ago, but could never find any of these people until recently, cousin Connie found Charles Hiram and we figured out he was the brother of Solomon Hiram and Hattie Hiram.  Hattie was married to a Mr. Cummins at one time and she either kept her last name or divorced him, it's unclear, but her obit has her named, Miss Maliakamalu Kaomeamea Kahaulehale Hattie Hiram.  Her headstone reads just Hattie Hiram and in back of it has "Malie Mushburch".  I always thought that was a typo for Merseburgh, just because it's such a strange name and because there's a William Meresburgh headstone nearby and I know that William had a daughter named Maria Malie Merseberg, but she's buried in another part of the cemetery.

Hattie's daughter married Clement Cromwell, so the headstone near Hattie's that says Cromwell Cummins, makes me wonder if that's Hattie's grandchild.

What I really want to know though is, who is J. R. Honest and why is he buried in what looks like the same family plot, with Elizabeth and Charles Hiram?  It looks like he was born in 1804, so he would be an elder member of the family, if he is family and if he is, he could possibly be the originator of the Hiram name in Hawaii.  Looks like there was a picture at one time on the headstone.

J. R. Honest, Lucy Elizabeth Maukaa Hiram, Chas. I. Hiram

Hattie Hirum (Hiram)
Malie Mushburch

Cromwell Cummins, possibly Hatties grandchild.

Could be Hattie's brother Solomon, or an earlier ancestor.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Emily and Amy and the sorry state of vital records in Hawaii

With all the brouhaha, about Obamas birth certificate, I was hoping that the Dept. of Health would start offering copies of the actual birth certificates, but no such luck.

The first vital record I ever ordered was back in 1999 and at that time, they gave you a certified copy of the actual record, not the computer generated ones they give today.  Novemeber 15, 2001, was the date of my 1st computer generated record, my grandparents marriage certificate, but then on Nov. 16, 2001, I got an actual copy of the original death certificate, so I wondered if it was just marriages.

The vital records I ordered after that were all originals, no marriages, until Feb. 29, 2003, when I received another computer generated copy.  Another marriage, so maybe it just applied to them?  2004, was the last actual document and I stopped and didn't order anymore, since I exhausted my ancestors by then and then ordered some on Aug. 28, 2008.  The Obama controversy had been going full swing by then, so I was aware I was going to get the shorter, computer generated "certification of live birth" and I got it. The thing about the shorter forms are how much info is left off them. Those last two I ordered, I did so because I wanted to find out if they were twins and how many children the mother had, how many living etc...of course that info is not on there. These two girls were the last of my great grandmother's sister's children to be born and in the birth index it has them both being born on the same day, but one being born on this side of the island (Koolaupoko) and the other being born in Honolulu. The one born on this side was born at 6pm and the other has the comments, "Time of Birth not given on original birth certificate".  The only thing I can think of as to why one is on one side and the other twin is on the other side of the island, is that there were complications and they took her to a Honolulu hospital to have the other twin.

But what happened to that other twin (Emily)?.  The Koolaupoko twin (Amy) has descendants today, but Emily just vanishes from the records.  I couldn't find her in the death index, for that year and in the newspaper article about her mother's death, only one baby is mentioned....

"The police said that Hookano threatened his wife's life while she had her baby in her arms and that she pushed him away."

So Amy and Emily were born on Nov. 12, 1923 and their mother was killed March 4, 1924, with one baby in her arms and I can find record of death for Emily, what happened to her?  Another strange thing is the mother Emma is part hawaiian on one birth certificate and portuguese on another..

I think seeing the original where they ask how many children born to this mother and how many alive now, would help.

Pepehi Kanaka (Murder)

The following English and Hawaiian language newspaper articles deal with the murder/suicide committed by my 3rd great grandfather, Samuel Sm...