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The “Eh Cuz” Cousin Game

20 Sep

When doing genealogy research you really can’t discount the value of finding cousins (or understanding how you are cousins.)

A cousin is a relative
with whom a person
shares one or more
common ancestors.

Near or far the children of our ancestors and their siblings can be a wealth of connectivity to more information about ourselves and our past, present and future. (okay, maybe I’m waxing poetic.)

But, when I connect to living relatives in a genealogy forum there’s a warm camaraderie of knowing – “eh we related” or “eh we might be cousins”  or at a minimum – “eh we looking for the same people.” This has happened a few times over the last month as I’ve been researching my various lines WAIWAIOLE, MOSS, KAHELE, and as my research wondering/wandering has found cousins who may be able to answer the question about  if there truly is a connection from my Great-Grandmother Violet to the famed cowboy Naluahine KAOPUA which a family scribbled note says was somehow her grandparent. The resemblance is uncanny, though right???

Violet Keawe Hii Ku O Kalai Jennie KAUHANE

b. 1896 Kahaluu, N. Kona d. 1975 Kapaa, Kauai

Father – John Napua KAUHANE Mother – Mary KALAUWALU
married Elia Waiwaiole and resided in Kapaa, Kauai



Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.04.22 PM

b. March 4, 1870 d. April 13, 1961


I’ve connected with a possible cousin half way around the world in Sicily, found a clue as to how my son’s Great-Great-Grandmother MOSS was cousins with William I. KANAKANUI, and found out that several friends I’ve known for years, my niece and also one of my first cousins may be related to my KAHELE line and we may have an opportunity in coming months due to a cousin’s friend visit the ancestral lands in Kaupo where my Great-Grandfather Joseph KAUHIMAKA was born.

This “cousin” warmth and welcoming lei of aloha is NOT limited to genealogy buffs — it is felt by all at celebrations and gatherings in the islands.  A typical scenario may play out like this — you attend a 1st Birthday Lu’au celebration and at the event – you recognize friends, neighbors, former co-workers and ask, “Eh, how come you at this party?” Well the answer so many times turns out to be, “that’s my relatives” and then you say, “Eh, me too, we cousins!”

This same kinda thing happens on Facebook — you comment on your known cousin’s page or see a photo of folks from different parts of your life together and suddenly – a mutual friend is asking how you know each other – and guess what – now you are all cousins…

People worldwide are sending in their swabbed spit samples to get that same “cousin” warmth feeling when 6-8 weeks later their AncestryDNA (currently on sale for $79) or 23andMe report returns with DNA matched relatives.

So where else can you play the cousin game?’s world tree has an interesting feature for cousin matching with their Master Profiles of famous celebrities living and passed on…So once you’ve got some critical mass of ancestors and branches on your tree that you load/build there – then you can search for a Master Profile and see if it tells you “You are connected” then you can click a step further to see the relationship path.

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It’s loads of hours of potential fun (no really my son and I had hours of fun searching our favorite celebs) – to see just how many famous people you are related to and how closely – like 44th President Barack Obama – my 15th cousin,  Justin Drew Bieber – my 20th cousin, or Taylor Swift – my 11th cousin twice removed or Walt Disney – my 13th cousin thrice removed.  (Will this qualify me for Club33?)

Research Ramblings – brick by brick and brick walls

28 Feb

Been busy with field research continuing at MaeMae Cemetery in Puunui. Nearly finished with photographing all the headstones and still have to transcribe to my spreadsheet. Then to compare to the items found in digital archives of other known burials to the site. Still need to map the stones and reach out to Kaumakapili Church to see what records and information they might have as well as sharing my research with them.

I’m also spending much time in Facebook Groups – like Helu Papa Kūʻauhau and also the Native Hawaiian Genealogy Society (NHGSoc) page. Another useful resource has been the group Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy. The camaraderie of the groups is infectious and there are many ‘ohana connections.

Spent some time learning more of my North Carolina roots – and learned that some of my ancestors and family were brick makers and instrumental in building and supplying the brick for buildings like the Mills River Chapel Methodist church. The Chapel is one of a few antebellum churches in Henderson County and the only one used for worship since its construction. The King family farm passed this craft down through generations. Building more family history – brick by brick.

Looking forward to the Akana ‘Ohana reunion coming up in mid-July and will be returning to Hilo where my Great-Great-Grandparents Wong Sing Akana and Kaili Kaapuiki made their home. My Great-Grandmother Ami Akana Lee was the eldest child. It will be exciting to meet many distant cousins in person for the first time after months of corresponding online.

Finally a brick wall has been busted — and I’ll post a more detailed article about this find. In September, I discovered that Virginia K. Ayres – my husband’s great-grandmother – had a blood connection to the name KAMA. It turns out her birth father was known as Kama. Well I ran the search again on Chronicling America and a new article came up this time “Missing Girl has been found” … with his first name and the brother’s first name. Very exciting and now some concrete material to continue the search to find her blood kin and perhaps more of her story.

Our Paniolo Pete

19 Nov

With great honor, we remember Papa Pete a 2011 inductee today into the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council Paniolo Hall of Fame at ceremonies to be held at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Peter Pa’akahi Kama, Sr. was born on Maui on New Year’s Eve, 1919. He married his sweetheart, Virginia Kaiponohea Moss on May 7, 1949, at Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu. They had four children, Deborah, Kathleen, Peter, Jr., and Gary.

His mother Carrie Lupaliilii Kenui was an entertainer and lived in Honolulu on/near Kalia Rd. with her Uncle Willy. Peter was fathered by an older man, a Korean merchant Kim Sun.  Carrie returned home to Waihe’e Valley in Maui to give birth.  Her father Kaauamonui Kenui  (he was born Kenui Kaauamonui but later took his first name as his surname) and mother Mary Poni Kapela Hookano were living in the valley at that time.

In January 1927, Peter was adopted by Carrie’s neighbors who were childless – Freddie Kaiminaauao Kama  married to Mary Kahawaiolaa – and took on the surname KAMA.  According to Peter’s first cousin Anna Kahana, his adoptive mother was also known as “Makaole”; she was a lei seller and grew gardenias in her yard in Kalihi Uka.

Pete was one of those lucky people whose profession was also his lifelong passion. He left high school early, eager to pursue his dreams of an exciting and rewarding life working with horses, livestock, and good men. His first job was as cattle tender on a barge sailing between the Big Island and Honolulu. He moved on to become a ranch hand at Dillingham and Mokule‘ia ranches and others. He began working with Kahua Ranch in 1953, where he happily spent the rest of his career.

He was a frequent competitor in rodeos through the years, and kept cows and horses in the pasture behind his Waimea North Shore home. As founding members, he and his best friend Alex Napier were pioneers of the 4H program in Hawai`i. Pete was also an extremely skilled leather craftsman who enjoyed whiling away spare hours creating beautiful belts and custom saddles.

Some of the leather handiwork of Peter Kama, Sr.

A gentle soul, Pete dearly loved his family and friends and he loved a good time, too. Working together at Kahua Ranch, Pete and Alex Napier and their families became inseparable. Bobby Napier even calls Pete his “second father.” Friends for life, Pete and Alex loved sharing a few drinks and pupu with the boys after a hard day’s work, and as a result were no doubt responsible for a few gray hairs on the heads of their beloved Kaipo and Clara.

The holidays were Pete’s favorite time of the year. His birthday and New Year’s Eve celebration were always very special events, eagerly anticipated by family, friends, and North Shore neighbors. He loved fireworks, and made sure that he had more than anyone else on the North Shore! In true Hawaiian style, during the holidays he was famous for organizing the whole family in making a huge batch of laulau so that everyone who stopped by to visit had some to take home with them. He loved helping his friends with their own parties, too, often bringing a round or quarter to “huli” for them.

A great family man with a giant heart, Pete led by example and with a quiet authority that brought respect from all who knew him. None of his children can recall him ever raising his voice. He didn’t need to. Peter Kama, Sr. passed away on April 24, 1985.

Moss ‘Ohana

19 Oct Moss Ohana c. 1925

This photo of the young Moss Family was possibly taken before they left for California in 1925.  On the 17th January 1925, the Moss’ set sail aboard the S.S. “City of Los Angeles” from Honolulu arriving in the Port of Los Angeles by the 25th.  The young Herbert is listed on the manifest as 1 year and 11 months.  The family’s U.S. address is stated as Watertown, Oahu, T.H. which is where the Hickam Air Force Base was built up about 10 years later.  The wicker rocking chair Virginia is seated upon remained a family heirloom till it fell into disrepair from decades of loving use.

Herbert K. Moss, Virginia Kahawanu (Ayres) Moss, Robert K. Moss, Henry Edmund Moss. c. 1924-1925

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