Hawaii Emigration and Immigration

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United States Emigration and Immigration Gotoarrow.png Hawaii Gotoarrow.png Emigration and Immigration


Less than 1 percent of Hawaii's population is pure-blooded Hawaiian. Many immigrant groups originally came as contract laborers to work in the sugar fields. The Chinese began arriving in 1852, followed by the Portuguese in 1878, the Japanese in 1884, Koreans in 1903, and Filipinos in 1906. Those of Japanese descent presently constitute about 30 percent of the total population, and are the largest ethnic group in Hawaii. American missionaries from New England started coming in 1820, but the number of Americans was not significant until about 1875. For a summary of immigrant information see A History of Hawaiian Immigration

An especially helpful history of the many ethnic groups in Hawaii is Eleanor C. Nordyke, The Peopling of Hawaii(Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of Hawaii, 1989) FHL book 996.9 W2n). Family History Library records of ethnic groups are listed in the Family History Library catalog under the subject heading HAWAII - MINORITIES. There are published histories for the Japanese and Filipinos, and annotated bibliographies for the Chinese and Koreans.


The principal port of entry for immigrants into Hawaii is the Honolulu Harbor.

  • The names of early passengers and the ships they came on are indexed in Bernice Judd, Voyages to Hawaii Before 1860, Reprint (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1974) FHL book 996.9 W3j
  • Hawaii Collector of Customs, Ships' Passenger Manifests, 1843-1900 (SLC, Utah, 1976-1977) FHL film 1002794 (first of 72) On these films there are separate indexes for the Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese, and a general index for the rest of the passengers.
  • Hawaiian Sugar Planter's Association, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Passenger Manifests of Filipino Contract Laborers (SLC, Utah, 1977-1978) FHL film 1002824 (first of 85) Digital version available through FHL catalog entry. An alphabetical index of immigrant Filipinos for the years 1906 to about 1977.

On Line Resources

Hawaii, Honolulu-Index to Passengers, Not Including Filipinos (FamilySearch Historical Records)