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.


  1. In some states you can ask for a "long copy" or a photocopy of the original for genealogical purposes. You need to do this in person at the office in Concord, New Hampshire, and I've usually had good luck. In Boston, when I've stated this to the clerk, especially for lineage applications, they tell me all the information (even notes penciled in the margins). Can you try this in Hawaii?

  2. There's no long form option and they don't take walk in's, but according to the article, they'll let you view your own certificate.

  3. Thanks for the post. I got to know some new information. Keep posting . Hawaiian restaurants


Pepehi Kanaka (Murder)

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