Kalawao County, Hawaii Genealogy

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United States  > Hawaii > Kalawao County

County Courthouse

Does not have a county government. The only law enforcement is a local resident selected by the State Department of Health, which administers the county.


The county is on the Kalaupapa Peninsula, on the north coast of the island of Moloka'i. The small peninsula of Kalaupapa is isolated from the rest of Moloka'i by sea cliffs over a quarter-mile high — the only land access is a mule trail.

Kalawao County is a separate county from the rest of Moloka'i, which is part of Maui County. Maui County does not claim jurisdiction over the three villages of Kalaupapa, Kalawao, and Waikolu. Some maps, however, do not show Kalawao as a separate county.

The county is coextensive with the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, and encompasses the Kalaupapa Settlement where the Kingdom of Hawaii, the territory, and the state once exiled persons suffering from leprosy (Hansen's disease) beginning in the 1860s. The quarantine policy was lifted in 1969, after the disease became treatable on an outpatient basis and could be rendered non-contagious. However, many of the resident patients chose to remain, and the state has promised they can stay there for the rest of their lives. No new patients, or other permanent residents, are admitted.

Parent County

1905--Kalawao County was created in 1905 from Maui County. County seat: Kalaupapa [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

  • Unincorporated Communities:

Kalauppa | Kalawao | Waikolu

Neighboring Counties






Local Histories






Vital Records

Societies and Libraries

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).