Hawaii Genealogy & Ancestry Resources

Hawaii History Timeline

  • 1627 – The Spanish first visit Hawaii.
  • 1778 – James Cook visits the Islands. The islands were originally called the Sandwich islands by Captain Cook. They  were named after his friend John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and first lord of the Admiralty.
  • 1779 Captain Cook’s visit to the Islands results in his death. He was killed in dispute with Hawaiians at Kealakekua, Island of Hawaii.
  • 1790-1810 – King Kamehameha I (the first Hawaiian monarch) unites the islands and establishes political and social control.
  • 1794 – Hawaii is placed under the protectorate of Great Britain by Vancouver.
  • 1813 – The Spaish introduce coffee and pineapple to Hawaii.
  • 1820- the protestant missionaries arrive from New England and convert many native Hawaiians language and used the printing press to create a fairly literate and educated society by the 1850’s.
  • 1826 – U.S. enters in treaty with Hawaii.
  • 1839- King Kamehameha III agreed to a Western-style constitution.
  • 1840 – Hawaii adopts its first constitution.
  • 1843 – Lord George Paulet claims Hawaii for England for 5 months but then enters a treaty.
  • 1849 – French admiral Legoarant de Tromelin fails in attempted invasion of the islands.
  • 1850- Mormon missionaries arrived from California.
  • 1893- The Hawaiian monarch ends when Queen Liliuokalanai is overthrown.
  • 4 July 1894 – Republic of Hawaii established.
  • 1898 Hawaii was annexed to the United States Congress passes the Newlands Resolution which annexes Hawaii as a territory.
  • 7 December 1941 -Pearl Harbor is bombed. Prior to the war, Japanese-Americans had become part of the larger Hawaiian community demonstrating their patriotism.
  • 21 August 1959 – Hawaii became the fiftieth state. New immigrants arrived from Korea, the Philippine, Samoa, and Tonga.- 

Hawaii Vital Records

  • The Hawaii State Health Department has birth, marriage, and death records from 1896 to present, although some records date back to 1853. 
  • Divorce records were not registered by the state Department of Health un July 1951. 
  • For a summary of Vital Records in Hawaii, see Charles G. Bennett’s article “Vital Records in Hawaii, ‘ Hawaii Medical Journal 15 (November/December 1955).

Hawaii Census Records

Federal Population Schedules

The Hawaiian Islands were annexed to the United States in 1898. The 1900 U.S. census was being taken of the island population when they became a U.S. territory on 14 June 1900. The 1900 U.S. census is arranged by island since there were no counties at the time. The island of Nihau was enumerated as E.D. 84 of Kauai; the island of Kahoolawe was E.D. 107, and Lanai as E.D. 100 of Maui.

Counties were established beginning in 1905. By 1910 these included Kauai County with Nihau as E.D. 16; Maui County with Kahoolawe as E.D. 91, Lanai as E.D. 95, Moloai as E.D. 72, and Honolulu County with the Midway Islands as E.D. 135. 

In 1910 Kalawao County on the island of Molokai was comprised of a a leper colony.

Territorial and State

  •  Portions of the Hawaiian Islands were enumerated in 1866, 1878, 1890, and 1896. The 1878 census covers the isalnds of Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu, and the 1896 census covers Honolulu only. Copies of these early census records are on file at the Hawaii State Archives and FHL.
  • The Hawii state Archives has two ‘cenus files’ (1840-66 and 1847-96) that contain miscellaneous recoreds such as school censuses, population lists, and vital record summaries.
  • The 1847 ‘Foreigners in Honolulu’ census has been indexed in volume 2, #1-2 (Aril-July 1993) issue of Ke Ku’auhau magazine.

Hawaii Counties Map

Hawaii Counties Map
Hawaii Counties Map

Hawaii Genealogy Resource Links

FamilySearch.org links:
Hawaii Online Genealogy Records:
Hawaii Births and Christenings, 1852-1933:  
Hawaii Marriages, 1826-1922: 
Hawaii Deaths and Burials, 1862-1919: 
Hawaii Vital Records: 
Hawaii Census: 

State of Hawaii Genealogy Research Guide

Hawaiian Genealogy Indexes – ullukau.org

Ancestry.com – Hawaii Data Collections

Genealoger – Hawaii Genealogy Resources:

  1. Third Edition Red Book, American State, County, and Town Sources, Edited by Alice Eichholz Ph.D., C.G., Ancestry Publishing,The Generations Network, Inc.1989, 1992, 2004.