Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii Works Wonders
by Melody Lassalle
When I was beginning my family tree research, the PGSH proved invaluable. They provided me with the only proof that my Great Grandmother, Ana Jacinta (de Melo) Pacheco really did live in Kilauea. The efforts of this small band of volunteers have touched many researchers over the years.
There arenít many Portuguese Hawaiian researchers who have not had contact with the Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii at one time or another. Baffled beginners contact the PGSH to find out where to begin their research. Seasoned researchers contact them in hopes of finding the clue that will take their research from Hawaii to the "old country". Others, who don't live in Hawaii, find the assistance they need with records they might not have easy access to. The PGSH has worked mini-miracles for many researchers who are locating their Portuguese ancestry in Hawaii. They provide information about a migration that many Portuguese organizations ignore.
The PGSH was founded in 1980 by Joseph Freitas Miranda. The society started with information compiled from records found at the State Archives. Their holdings consisted of a cardex file and some books. After several months, Miranda contacted Doris Naumu to see if she would take over. She has been President ever since. In the beginning, the entire library was housed at Doris Naumu's house and she completed the research requests. Eventually, the society found it's current home in Honolulu.
The society boasts a membership over 200. However, only a small group of four dedicated and knowledgeable individuals volunteer at present. Despite their limitations, they do an incredible job of handling research requests. They take requests by mail, telephone, and e-mail. Maxine, a PGSH volunteer, can be found on the Internet providing assistance via e-mail and e-mail lists like Azores-L. While they will do research for specific information, they cannot compile your family tree for you.
When submitting research requests remember to be concise but include important details (complete names, dates, and places). It is impossible for the society to supply all available records on any given surname, but they can locate specific families if enough information is provided. A small donation is requested to help defray costs.
Individuals are invited to visit their office if they would like to do their own research. Volunteers are on hand to point you in the right direction. See information below on how to contact the PGSH.
The PGSH library includes many valuable resources for Portuguese Hawaiian genealogy. In addition to the Portuguese resources, they have a small collection of Spanish records. Although the collection is too large to list in its entirety, here is a sampling of their holdings:
Passport Index, Portuguese Immigrants from Azores to Sandwich Islands, 1879-1883
Passport Index, Portuguese Immigrants from Madeira to Hawaii, 1878-1884
Both by Robert S. DeMello. Honolulu , DeMello Publishing Co.
Copies of marriages from 1911-1929 (Oahu Only)
Several logs for various Hawaiian cemeteries
Repository of over 20,000 family names of the Portuguese immigrants arrival in Hawaii, 1878 to 1913
Pre-1878 records of whalers or seamen
Consulado Geral De Portugal Em Hawaii (Portuguese Consulate Logs)
Excerpts from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser (the newspaper of the time) on the voyages of ships bringing Portuguese immigrants to from Madeira, Azores, and Portugal to Hawaii
Photographs of some of the ships that brought immigrants to Hawaii
List of Catholic Parishes where one may write for further information pertaining to baptismal, marriage, and death records
Family Histories donated by members
The PGSH depends entirely on member donations. Membership is $10 a year. Membership includes a subscription to their quarterly newsletter. Volunteer opportunities are always available. If you live in the Honolulu area and have some free time, you might like to consider volunteering with the PGSH. You would help provide a service that is greatly appreciated by the Portuguese Hawaiian community.
PGSH, 810 N. Vineyard Blvd., Room 11, Honolulu HI 96817
Phone: (808) 841-5044
Hours: The PGSH is currently on a very limited schedule. Please call the office to verify hours they are open.
© 2002-2003 Melody Lassalle
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