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Hawaiʻi - Genealogy Research

Getting Started

This guide was created to help genealogy researchers locate the genealogy records they need to trace their lineage and to learn more about their family. The various tabs will point you to key genealogy resources and include some helpful background information to help you along the way. Some of the tabs are long with content. Use the icon  that appears on the right side of the page when you start scrolling down to quickly move back to the top. Consult with a librarian if you need help. Fill out the Ask a Librarian form or chat with us.

Before you begin searching in all the databases, take a few moments to populate your Kupuna Chart (linked below) to gather all the information you have so far. Go back as far as you can. Be sure to write down any "vital" information—birth, marriage, and death dates. This will be the foundation that you build upon, and it can help you strategically and critically use the various databases to find genealogy records. Talk with your family as well to gather even more information and records that they have collected previously. It is easy to get disorganized while researching. To help you stay organized, I suggest you download or print the other genealogy worksheets linked below. You should also keep a notebook or some document that you can log and keep track of all the databases and names you searched. The last piece of advice—sign up for a free Hawaiʻi State Public Library (HSPL) card. With your library card, you can access remotely the library edition of HeritageQuest Online. In any HSPL branch, you can also access the library edition of Sign up too for It is free and you can find a lot of information in there that is also findable in There are a number of genealogy resources and tips online.

Key Databases

The main tabs in this research guide will give you a broad and deep overview of the kinds of genealogy records you will find in a number of key research repositories. This can easily be overwhelming because many records exist in print and microfilm and are oftentimes duplicated between repositories. Nowadays, with the increase of records being digitized, many of the records that were microfilmed are now available online in a number of genealogy-related databases. Start your research with the short list of key databases listed below. If you are not finding much, then I suggest you research using the main tabs as these will get you into the specific indexes of the database to make your research more focused.

Moʻokūʻauhau Research Guide and Worksheets

Below is a genealogy research guide and a set of genealogy research worksheets that was created specifically to help kānaka research their genealogy and to help them navigate all the various repositories. It was created by Jessica Kalika EnYuck Wong as part of her Hawaiian Studies Plan B thesis titled: Navigating Through Repositories: Making Mo'okū'auhau Research User-Friendly. Mahalo nui to Kalika for sharing these excellent genealogy resources with us. Form fillable charts are also available through the National Genealogy Society.