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Genealogy Roundup

18 Mar

It’s been an exciting few months recently for ShakinTrees.  As a Christmas present to herself, my mother ordered an AncestryDNA kit and we’ve been excited exploring new connections for her over the last month since her results came in. We’ve identified several of her matches that raises our confidence level that Naluahine Kaopua is her Great-grandfather, the biological father of Jennie Violet Keawe Hii Ku O Kalai Kauhane/ Kaopua Waiwaiole.  We’ve also found paternal cousins who are very likely from her grandfather Paul Whitfield side vs. her grandmother Lola Elizabeth Brown. This St. Patrick’s Day weekend I invested in getting the Lucky Pack special and soon will be testing too.

Last month over President’s Day Weekend, it was a great experience learning more family history for our Kauhimaka side.  Starting at our family chapel/cemetery Ma’eMa’e Sunday School, we continued on with visits to Oahu Cemetery, Makiki Cemetery and visited several sights along Wilder before convening on Metcalf near the University of Hawaii to learn more about our Fernandez ancestors and what life was like at Fernandez Court.  Our talk story then continued over to the Windward side for a wonderful meal together where some other ohana joined us who were not able to attend the morning’s tour. I’m looking forward to the next family gathering for a Good Friday early Easter celebration.

I’ve learned that the work of figuring out DNA matches really relies on sharing and building trees.  My mother has a bunch of 2nd cousin matches that perplexed us and we’ve only made some “sense” of a few of them.. figuring out which branch of the match’s family we are related to – but how that surname/family actually ties to our tree is still very elusive. So I’ve spent a great deal of time learning about our probable common ancestors Polly Gooch married to Nathaniel Pendergraft/Pendergrass/Pendergraph.  It’s highly likely we come from the branch of the family that shoots off from their son Richard Pendergraft, but we’re still not sure.  It is frustrating and exciting to have this new mystery to solve.

Part of solving this puzzle is really understanding the tree of Paul Alexander Whitfield.  I started a note with my research and a timeline and names cluster.  Some key surnames in this North Carolina part of the family include: Whitfield, Sawyer, Harris, Meeks, Edmondson, and Asby.  It’s also highly likely that my great-grandfather had a first wife Viola Council prior to Lola E. Brown which resulted in the birth of an elder son, John Calvin Council Whitfield/Nipper.  Viola remarried to NIPPER and her son John Calvin used his stepfather’s name Nipper as a surname on occasion.

Visiting Kupuna

20 Feb

What should have been a simple Facebook video upload that didn’t work – forced me to finally take the leap into YouTube to share this my first public video – Kauhimaka Ohana Family Tour: Visiting Kupuna.  I’ll be adding future creations to my new ShakinTrees playlists.

I’ll be collaborating with other cousins who also captured video at our recent tour to create more videos about our talk story tour that went from 8:30am – 3:30pm Sunday, February 18, 2018.  Along with our Ohana matriarch, Winifred Jones – four generations of descendants of Joseph Kauhimaka and Sarah Kanohokai gathered for a tour to explore family roots in some of the places of significance.

It isn’t everyday that you get to visit with six Grandmothers in your family tree in one day – granted four of them are conveniently in one place at Ma’eMa’e Cemetery Chapel grounds.  I hope you’ll enjoy this and share your feedback with me.

A Hawaiian Lady – Ellen Kamae

25 Jul

Ellen Kamae was a half sister of Joseph Kauhimaka my Great-great-grandfather through my FERNANDEZ line. They shared the same mother Anahua.  She was born in April 1858 and died at the age of 70 in March 1929.

Ellen falls into the history books due to her marriage to the prominent Chinese merchant Goo Kim Fui ( He came to Hawaii in 1867 and married Ellen in 1872. Mr. & Mrs. Goo Kim were members of the Bethel Church under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Damon. Source: Annual Report, Volume 86 by the Hawaiian Evangelical Association “A Pioneer Chinese Christian”

Together they had the following children: Annie A., Ella S.Y.  and John K..  Annie and Ella took up teaching positions at Royal School and Kaahumanu Elementary respectively and were also very active in the operations of the Aala Sunday School their father pastored. (1910 US Census)

She is in the 1900 Census as Kamae Goo and her husband as Kim Goo.  It states that she had four children with only two living… so will have to uncover where Ella comes in as only Annie and John are listed as children.. There are a few other children listed as a neice and boarder.. so perhaps one of these children were hanai’d or adopted as their own later.  Ellen’s brother Joe Kauhimaka, sister Kuhihewa married to Aaron KANAI, and her mother Anahua are in nearby households.

Goo Kim Fui and my great-great-grandfather LEE Toma were from the same province of China.  Goo Kim was a contemporary and friend of LEE Toma which shows the link between my LEE and KAUHIMAKA lines much earlier in Honolulu history then the meeting of my Great-grandmother’s at Ma’eMa’e Chapel which later led to the marriage of their children / my grandparents Marilyn Han Jin LEE and Lino FERNANDEZ III.

Both LEE Toma and Goo Kim Fui are buried at Makiki Cemetery in the Chinese Christian section. Goo Kim Fui precedes Ellen in death in 1908. He and Ellen Kamae are buried in a gated section on the lower walkway near the Wilder Street Corner.  Their son John Kameeualani Yin Fook Goo Kim (1889 – 1963) is also in the family cemetery plot in a nearby grave.

Headstones at Makiki Cemetery of Ellen & Goo Kim Fui

Headstones at Makiki Cemetery of Ellen & Goo Kim Fui

She was a remarkable woman dedicated to her husband’s Christian values in uplifting the Chinese community and building the Chinese Christian faith and following in Honolulu and beyond.  She learned his language and traveled with him to Leen Tong to erect a church.

“Mrs. Goo Kim accommodated herself to this change in life and work so gracefully as to make a strong impression upon her husband’s country folk.” Source: The Friend, Volume LXV, Number 6, 1 June 1908 Edition 01 – The State of Hawaii.

An influencer in the elite circles of Honolulu life – Ellen’s prowess stood on its own and afforded her invites to the most posh events like those hosted by the Dillinghams or Queen Liliuoukalani.  She hosted her own share of gala events like her husband’s 60th birthday bash in their Nuuanu home (on Liliha between Judd and Wylie).  Ellen could often be found traveling with the who’s who of Honolulu on occasions like an impromptu lava viewing excursion aboard the steamer Kinau.

Other Sources & References

1878 – pupils for the Sabbath School at Makiki are from Mr. Goo Kim’s rice field in Waikiki.


1880 – Property Ownership – Transfer of deed  [IMAGE]

Transfer of deed….
Mika Kauhao to Samuel Smith, then Samuel Smith to Ellen Kamae Goo Kim on Feb. 20, 1880, 4pm.


1887 – Lava Flow viewing excursion aboard the Kinau – but too late for the show from madam Pele

The daily herald. (Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands), 07 Feb. 1887. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>


1897 – Goo Kim’s 60th Birthday Dinner — hosted lunch for the Chinese ladies as thanks at their home on Nuuanu Avenue

The Hawaiian gazette. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), 22 Oct. 1897. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>


1904 Children: Daughters help with Sunday School at AALA MISSION.


1905 – Mention of daughter Annie Goo Kim

The Independent. (Honolulu, H.I.), 07 July 1905. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>


1908 –

The Friend, Volume LXV, Number 6, 1 June 1908 Edition 01 — THE STATE OF HAWAII. [ARTICLE+ILLUSTRATION]

he married a Hawaiian lady, Miss Ellen Kamae, a most fortunate and happy union. Mrs. Goo Kim set herself to learn her husband’s language and succeeded remarkably well.

In — therefore he and his wife went to Leen Tong and labored with such success that he was soon enabled to erect a Church building, for which he himself paid,and to gather a number of converts. Mrs. Goo Kim accommodated herself to this change in life and work so gracefully as to make a strong impression upon her husband’s country folk. After…years of successful evangelism the exigencies of business called Mr. and Mrs. Goo Kim back to Honolulu.


1908 – Mrs. Goo Kim — aboard the Bethel Street Workers Reunite Train Ride and Dinner party hosted by the Dillinghams

Evening bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii), 04 June 1908. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

1913 – At Queen Lilioukalani’s 75th birthday at Washington Palace:

Honolulu star-bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii), 06 Sept. 1913. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

Hits & Misses in the 1940 Census

17 May

I’ve had a few successes and a few disappointments in searching the 1940 Census as I search for MY PEOPLE.

I have mixed feelings about the ED 2-129 where i found in the last few images of the district the Kalihi Street Orphanage hoping to catch up with Hazel, Joseph and Walter Fernandes who were there in 1930. I guess maybe I’m happy they are no longer in the orphanage – but then where are they?

Ma’eMa’e Sunday School Headstone Mapping & Transcriptions

22 Dec

Yesterday on a wet and rainy Puunui morning my helper and I visited my Grandparent’s grave at the former site of the Ma’eMa’e Sunday School. I have many fond memories of attending family functions, holiday potlucks, and Sunday School there. I miss the warmth of the pews; the Na Himeni bound in red dotting each row. I miss ringing the bell – its cheerful tone marking the start of another Sunday afternoon service. I miss the scent of the plumerias that used to shade my grandparent’s graves….removed I guess to make the landscaping and upkeep of the grounds fuss-free.

A surreal feeling envelopes you as you wander this tiny cemetary.  We took a brief shelter from the Nu’uanu rains under the last remaining large tree on the top side of the chapel.  Many of the Mahoe family are buried in this area of the grounds.  Kaumakapili Church Deacon Charles Mahoe started this sister chapel with his wife Haleaka. I understand the Ma’eMa’e bell is now at Kaumakapili and continues to be rung every Sunday.

Stairway to Nowhere

Stairways to Nowhere

The stark foundation and concrete steps leading to nowhere where the little green chapel in which my parents were married once stood till extreme winds blew down the 137 year old chapel in May 2000.  Orange “safety” netting now surrounds the stone foundation. Garish and out of place in this peaceful setting.

a fragment of the paint color still evident on this crawl space gate built into the stone foundation

Not only are my grandparent’s there, but also my great-grandparents Lino Fernandez, II and Phillipa Fernandez, great-great-grandparents Joseph & Sarah Kauhimaka, and great-great-great-grandmother Momona Kanohokai. Countless other aunts, uncles and close family ties surround.

In my last few visits there I’ve been working at photographing the headstones in the churchyard. With umbrella shielding the steady rain we added another 30 headstones to our growing collection of documentation yesterday morning. Many of the headstones are quite ornate with carvings and designs. Some with photos of the beloved, so haunting.  Ever more haunting the headstones of infants. lists 47 internments as of this writing — some of the transcription data is incorrect and doesn’t match headstone information however.  Many more of the memorials are not yet recorded there. I hope to get the information corrected and add the photos and memorials not yet on the grave search results.  I believe there are possibly many more internments for which no headstone remains…I’ve found some reports in turn of the century newspapers of folks being buried there and want to compare those names against the inventory and transcription of headstones I’m building…

My Grandparents Lino Fernandez, III and Marilyn Hann Jin (LEE) Fernandez

Today is my grandmother Marilyn Hann Jin (LEE) Fernandez’ birthday.  She would have been 91.  She died at an early age the day after her last child, my Uncle Lee, was born due to complications during delivery.  I’ve only ever known her from  photographs, other’s stories and memories, and my own quiet visits to her graveside through the years. She grew up nearby on Rooke Avenue and her mother and my grandfather’s mother were good friends at the Sunday School. It’s where they met and fell in love.

Visit: Ma’ema’e Chapel Cemetery – 401 Wyllie Street

Favorite Something

15 Nov Fernandes Family Photo

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted…been busy researching FERNANDES/ FERNANDEZ, AYRES/ MOSS, and WAIWAIOLE lines recently. I also joined a 30 day photo challenge this month and today’s theme photo to capture was “favorite something”.

I couldn’t resist and put together a quick shot of my Lino Fernandes I and family photo with a descendants Ahnentafel chart. Genealogy and family history research is afterall my “favorite something.”

Fernandes Family Photo

my favorite something

On the Fernandes line — I’ve made some headway into discovering some living relatives and finding out more about what happened to Uncle Manuel Lino Fernandes‘ family by 1930. (Manuel is pictured above 2nd row last on the right).  In 1920 — his wife and five children are found residing on Tenth Avenue in Palolo Valley, but by 1930 the family is completely separated – the children in two different orphanages/institutions, Manuel back on Metcalf with relatives and wife Mary Faria Neves still missing – but oral tradition says she may have been admitted to the “insane asylum” or the Oahu Asylum in Kalihi/later moved to the Territorial Hospital in 1930 now known as the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe.

Not much more is known at the moment about this mystery of a family broken right at the turn of the decade in the era of the Great Depression.  I did find a lead/ possible resource and hope to collaborate further after I read the essay, “The Remembrance Project – Remembering the Past to Move to the Future” written by Randolph Hack a Consumer Advisor to the Adult Mental Health Division in Honolulu.  Apparently from its opening till 1960, deceased patients were cremated and then stored in cardboard boxes with names handwritten on front — by 1960 a local reporter exposed the poor conditions and record keeping of the deceased – names faded, cardboard remains boxes deteriorated and mildewed, remains spilling out.  As a result the 668 remains were inurned at Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery July 1, 1960.  Several bronze plaques list “names” for 541 of the 668.  I’ll have to do a visit and search for Mary on the plaques; she would have been about 33 years of age in 1930 so it could be possible she passed by 1960 and would have been one of the interred.

Until the 1940 Census is released next year, the 1930 Census is the only clue of the whereabouts of the children: the eldest two James and Herbert are found at the Home for the Feeble-Minded persons at Waimano (now Waimano Home).  The three younger children Walter, Hazel and Manuel, Jr. were at the Kalihi Orphanage Asylum also known as St. Anthony’s Retreat Center.

Portuguese Power Lunch

7 Oct Steamship S.S. Hankow

In the heart of Palama, I entered the modest office space for the Portuguese Genealogical and Historical Society.  A sole volunteer staff person was researching at the large work table at the center of the room surrounded by bookcases lining each wall with volumes of family history binders, passenger lists, vital records and other treasures.  Some of the walls had enlarged “show and tell” foam core boards with historical photos of early Portuguese immigrants, another a timeline of sorts of the “Famous” Portuguese in Hawaii.

I was greeted warmly and invited to have a seat, quickly my host asked what  I needed and proceeded to ask my ancestors’ name, he then got up and sat himself in front of the lone PC desk near the door.  We jumped into our conversation,spelling and typing names and I apologized and introduced myself and asked his name, with a smile he said, “Charlie.”

Within minutes Charlie Lake tapped into the Society’s proprietary database of Portuguese in Hawaii and had my Great-Great-Grandfather Lino Fernandes and wife Maria Gonsalves da Encarnacao on the screen.  A whiteboard above the desk had a running total of the databases’ treasure trove of names, in excess of 259,000. The PGHS database was built over many years collected from public records including censuses (1890 – 1930), vital records (1909 – 1949), obituaries (1996 – Present) and the personal histories of hundreds of descendants.

Another quick click of the mouse and Charlie printed a descendants chart and my direct line Family Group Records with citations.  He said he could continue printing but suggested I return on another visit since it would take several hours to do the Family Group Records for all the descendants.

Charlie pulled the passenger list books for the S.S. Hankow which brought them from Funchal, Madeira Portugal in 1883.  The sailing took 66 days to complete the journey and came as he said “the long way” around Cape Horn through the Straits of Magellan.  They would arrive with two children Manuel 3 years old and Marie 1 year old and a newborn about one month old, Henry Lino, born at sea (one of 19 births aboard the ship).  It was the first time I’d seen the actual Passenger List — the page he shared however didn’t reference the newborn addition.  On a return visit I’ll be sure to ask if I can personally examine the ledger to see where they might have noted the birth.

Charlie made sure I received a copy of the passenger list ledger page, a copy of the Hankow photo courtesy of the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, London and an article excerpt originally published in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser telling of the voyage of the steamship Hankow and detailing the grand reception  for her arrival including His Majesty, King Kalakaua who was present for the concert and arrival of the 1,403 passengers.

Meanwhile, he handed me three books of Passenger Registrations donated by Robert De Mello in 1984 (a pencil inscription signed in the front cover of each).  None of them had a citation or record of my ancestors. But there was a clear photo of the same xerox copy he’d handed me and I shot a quick photo of the page.

Steamship S.S. Hankow

I got really excited about a resource that Charlie showed me which was also the source for some of the citations in the reports on my ancestors– the website for the Arquivo Regional da Madeira (ARM) or the Madeira Regional Archives.(

My one hour break time was up and it was time for me to leave. I quickly filled out the society membership application and happily paid my annual $10 individual dues (family dues were just as affordable at a mere $12).  Charlie said the next quarterly newsletter was due out soon.  Beaming, I thanked him for his kind assistance. He said he’d be there again on Wednesdays.  Looking forward to my next lunch break to do a Portuguese Power Lunch.

Portuguese Genealogical & Historical Society

Palama Settlement

810 N. Vineyard Blvd., Room 11

Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am – 2pm

P: 841-5044

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