Hawaii Church Records
|Hawaii Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
Between 1820 and 1850, missionaries of many churches visited Hawaii. By 1900 the largest religious groups in the islands were The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Congregational (United Church of Christ), Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic. Later, the Buddhists became a major group.
For an excellent introduction, see:
- Mulholland, John F. Hawaii's Religions. Rutland, Vt.: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1970. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 996.9 K2m
Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
Finding the Records[edit | edit source]
Look for online records.[edit | edit source]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
FamilySearch[edit | edit source]
- Hawaiian Genealogy Indexes, Ulukau, Hawaiian Electronic Library.Browse the indexes.
- 1843-1909 Hawaii, Births and Baptisms, 1843-1909, index, incomplete — How to Use this Collection
- 1852-1933 Hawaii Births and Christenings, 1852-1933, index, incomplete — How to Use this Collection
- 1826-1922 Hawaii Marriages, 1826-1922, index, incomplete — How to Use this Collection
- 1862-1919 Hawaii Deaths and Burials, 1862-1919, index, incomplete — How to Use this Collection
- 1930, 1935, 1955 Census of church members, 1930, 1935, 1955, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hawaiian Mission; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hawaii Mission, images
- ca. 1940 Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii ca. 1940, images
- Chinese in Hawaii, images
Other Collections[edit | edit source]
Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]
- The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
- Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
- If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
- Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
- To find records:
- a. Click on the records of United States, Hawaii.
- b. Click on Places within United States, Hawaii and a list of counties will appear.
- c. Click on your county if it appears.
- d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- e. Click on Places within United States, Hawaii [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
- f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
- g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
- Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
- To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
- Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
- A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
- If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
- See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
- Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.
Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.
Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.
- The State of Hawaii has compiled many of the Vital Records from Churches and holds these records in the state archives. For more information see Hawaii Vital Records under the section on State Records.
State Archives[edit | edit source]
Hawai‘i State Archives
‘Iolani Palace Grounds
364 S. King Street
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
- Genealogy Research Guide
- Hawaiian Genealogy Indexes, Ulukau, Hawaiian Electronic Library. Browse the indexes.
Congregational[edit | edit source]
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 523-0470
Fax: (617) 523-0470
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
South West California Synod / ELCA Region 2 Archives
1300 E. Colorado St.
Glendale, CA 91205
- Archives hold records for closed churches. For open churches write directly to the local church.
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516
Phone: (215) 627-1852
Fax: (215) 627-0509
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
Requests for information should be directed to the local parish. If the parish is not known, ask the Chancery Office for help, but provide full information, date of sacrament (christening, marriage, or death), full names, address of residence if known.
Diocese of Honolulu, Chancery Office
1184 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 533-1791
Fax: (808) 521-8428
Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
- Robert Benedetto. The Hawaii journals of the New England missionaries 1813-1894 : a guide to the holdings of the Hawaiian Mission Children Societies Library. Honolulu, Hawaii : Hawaiian Mission Children's Society, c1982 FHL 996.9 A3b
Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
|Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations|
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). At various libraries (WorldCat) FHL Book 973 K2ah.
- Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.