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Hawaiʻi - Genealogy Research



Databases | Indexes | Clippings File


Newspapers are a huge body of published materials that can help you find interesting stories about your kupuna. Newspapers provide critical and interesting genealogy information about the life of the ancestor you are researching such as birth, marriage, and death notices, obituaries, and news reports. In Hawai'i, newspapers were first published in 1834 and continue to be published today. There are 3 key databases to find newspaper articles. 

  • Papakilo's Nūpepa Search (free)
    Hawaiian-language newspapers published from 1834-1948. Many Hawaiian family members that you cannot find in the English-language newspapers may be found in here.
  • Chronicling America Hawai'i Newspapers (free)
    English-language newspapers published from 1836-1922. Many of these newspapers are from the establishment press, which means that many Hawaiians were not reported in these papers or they were reported differently than the Hawaiian-language papers.
  • Honolulu Star-Advertiser Collection (paid)
    English-language newspapers of all the former newspapers that eventually merged to become the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Coverage is from 1836 to now. The coverage overlaps slightly with some newspapers in Chronicling America up to 1922. This is an excellent website to find obituaries and other news articles about your family members from 1923 to now. It saves you from having to check the indexes and having to then access the newspaper articles on microfilm.


Indexes help point you to the information you are looking for. For genealogy research, indexes will point you to obituaries and in some instances articles about your family if any of them made the news. Not all the papers are indexed and the coverage of newspapers indexed varies by island and is very limited.

Clippings File

Many libraries have clippings files of newspaper articles about various individuals. These files are usually in filing cabinets and called biographical research files, vertical files, or a clippings file. Check with your local public library to see if they have any. Below is a key clippings file in the microfilm room at UHM Hamilton Library.

  • Hawaii Newspaper Agency Morgue (Available on Microfiche)
    Popularly called "the morgue," this is a clippings file, organized in two sets - Names and Subjects of newspaper clippings from the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu-Star Bulletin Dates,1920s through mid-1980s, that are housed in the microfilm room on microfiche. This is another great place to look for interesting newspaper articles about your ancestors. You can search online to see if there are any clippings but you will need to physically go to Hamilton Library's microfilm room to access the collection.