Kauai County, Hawaii Genealogy

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United States
Kauai County

Guide to Kauai County, Hawaii ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Kauai County, Hawaii
Map of Hawaii highlighting Kauai County
Location in the state of Hawaii
Map of the U.S. highlighting Hawaii
Location of Hawaii in the U.S.
Founded 1905
County Seat Lihue
Address Kauai County Courthouse
4963 Rice Street
Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: 808.241.6371
Kauai County Website

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
  • Parent County: created in 1905 from Lihue (old) county
  • County seat: Lihue [1]
  • Neighboring Islands Honolulu

History Of Kauai

Kauai is known as the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of 562.3 square miles (1,456.4 km), it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the “Garden Isle”, Kauai lies 105 miles (170 km) across the Kauai Channel, northwest of Oahu. This island is the Site of the Waimea Canyon State Park.

The United States Census Bureau defines Kauai as Census as Census Tracts 401 through 409 of Kauai County, Hawaii, which is all of the county excepts for the islands of Ka’ula Lehua, and Ni’ihau. The 2000 census population of Kauai (the island was 58, 303

There is no known meaning behind the name of Kauai. Native Hawaiian tradition indicates the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa — the Polynesian navigator attributed with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates how he named the island of Kauai after a favorite son; therefore a possible translation of Kauai is "place around the neck", meaning how a father would carry a favorite child. Another possible translation is "food season.

Kauai was known for its distinct dialect of the Hawaiian language before it went extinct there. Whereas the standard language today is based on the dialect of Hawaii Island, which has the sound [k] at the beginning of words, the Kauai dialect was known for pronouncing this as [t]. In effect, Kauai dialect retained the old pan-Polynesian /t/, while 'standard' Hawaii dialect has innovated and changed it to the [k]. Therefore, the native name for Kauai was Kauai, and the major settlement of Kapaau would have been called Tamara.

Kauai’s origins are volcanic. The highest peak on this mountainous island is Kawaikini at 5,243 feet (1,598 m).] The second highest peak is Mount Waiʻaleʻale near the center of the island, 5,148 feet (1,569 m) above sea level. One of the wettest spots on earth, with an annual average rainfall of 460 inches (1,200 cm), is located on the east side of Mount Waiʻaleʻale. The high annual rainfall has eroded deep valleys in the central mountains, carving out canyons with many scenic waterfalls. On the west side of the island, Waimea town is located at the mouth of the Waimea River, whose flow formed Waimea Canyon, one of the world's most scenic canyons, and which is part of Waimea Canyon State Park. At 3,000 feet (914 m) deep, Waimea Canyon is often referred to as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific". The Na Pali Coast is a center for recreation in a wild setting, including kayaking past the beaches, or hiking on the trail along the coastal cliffs.

During the reign of King Kamehameha, the islands of Kauai and Niʻihau were the last Hawaiian Islands to join his Kingdom of Hawaii. Their ruler, Kaumualiʻi, resisted Kamehameha for years. King Kamehameha twice prepared a huge armada of ships and canoes to take the islands by force and twice failed; once due to a storm, and once due to an epidemic. In the face of the threat of a further invasion, however, Kaumualiʻi decided to join the kingdom without bloodshed, and became Kamehameha's vassal in 1810, ceding the island to the Kingdom of Hawaii upon his death in 1824. In 1815-17, Kaumualiʻi led secret negotiations with representatives of the Russian-American Company in an attempt to gain Russia's military help against Kamehameha; however, the negotiations folded and the Russians were forced to abandon all of their presence in Kauai, including Fort Elizabeth, after it was revealed that they did not have the support of Tsar Alexander I.
[missing reference]

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.




Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
HIGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
HIGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Hawaii Interment
Billion Graves
See Hawaii Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Kauai County, Hawaii Genealogy census records online, see: Hawaii Census.

  • 1849
  • 1850
  • 1866
  • 1890
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930

 Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Hawaii denominations, view the Hawaii Church Records wiki page.

Court Records

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political and Religious Groups



Local histories are available for Kauai County, Hawaii Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Hawaii Local Histories.

Land and Property


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Public Records

State Health Department has marriage, death, birth wills, probate and land records.[2]



The County Seat is Lihue and was Founded 1905. It is located in the islands of Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, Lehua, and Kaʻula.[3]

Family History Center

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


Kaua‘i Historical Society
Historic County Building
4396 Rice Street
Suite 101
P.O. Box 1778
Lihu‘e, HI 96766
808 245-3373
Email: nfo@kauaihistoricalsociety.org


Vital Records

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. The State office has some records as early as 1853 up to the present. See the State of Hawaii, Department of Health website for information on acquiring the records and any restrictions.





  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kauai County, Hawaii page 170, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Kauai County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kauai_County,_Hawaii