11. Oral Genealogies in the Pacific Islands

By Kip Sperry

Kip Sperry, “Oral Genealogies in the Pacific Islands,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The Pacific Isles, ed. Reid L. Neilson, Steven C. Harper, Craig K. Manscill, and Mary Jane Woodger (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2008), 75–92.

Oral Genealogies in the Pa​cific Islands

Kip Sperry

Kip Sperry was a professor of Church history and doctrine at BYU when this was published.

 

Several hundred Pacific Island genealogies have been recorded by representatives of the Genealogical Society of Utah since the 1930s.[1] This chapter is a survey and description of oral histories, also known as oral genealogies, which have been recorded in the Pacific Islands and preserved at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[2] The majority of these lineage-linked genealogies were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of these oral interviews relate to genealogies of Latter-day Saint families, but other families are included in the oral histories as well; however, most genealogies pertain to ancestors and progeny of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints residing in the Pacific.[3]

Backg​round

Genealogies were originally preserved by memory of the island people, primarily adults, known as oral genealogies and oral tradition. The oral genealogies give names of individuals and relationships for multiple generations. Many Pacific Islanders prior to European contact memorized names of their ancestors, which may have been associated with proof of ownership of tribal and family lands.[4] William A. Cole, former head of the Polynesian Unit at the Genealogical Department, and Elwin W. Jensen, former director of Records Processing and former supervisor of the Polynesian Unit at the Genealogical Department, inform us that individuals who do Polynesian genealogy become aware “that the only records which antedate the advent of the [Europeans] in the Pacific, which are available to the Polynesians today, are the stories, genealogies and traditions which were preserved in the memories of the people.”[5] Confirming that genealogical information is sacred, Derek Metcalfe, former manager of the Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific areas in the Acquisitions Division of the Genealogical Department, observed that “oral genealogies have been handed down from generation to generation in an effort to preserve rank and succession.” Metcalfe further states that “the right to recite a genealogy was in some instances a jealously guarded privilege.”[6] V. Foli Po’uha Fisiipeau, who worked for many years as a Polynesian records specialist in the Names Processing Unit of the Genealogical Department, confirms further that “Polynesians kept [their] own histories in [their] memories and passed them down orally, from one generation to another, through memorized chants, dances, songs, legends, and pictorial designs.”[7]

John W. Orton, a former manager in the Acquisitions Division of the Genealogical Department, confirms the value of oral histories and oral pedigrees when he states that “written records of peoples indigenous to the Pacific Islands . . . were not kept until the Europeans introduced the practice.” Orton further explains, “The people in the Polynesian Islands made no written records of individuals in their society until about the mid-nineteenth century. In spite of this, Polynesians today trace their lineages back many generations, often much earlier than Europeans who have written genealogical sources dating from the fifteenth century.”[8] Oral traditions and genealogies are valuable for tracing lineages in the Pacific Islands.

Originally, Pacific Islanders were identified by only one name, a given name, which may have been descriptive. Later, they began adding surnames, especially after Europeans arrived in the islands. Some people may have received honorary names. Regarding given names and surnames, William Cole and Elwin Jensen have observed that surnames as we know them today were generally not used by the Polynesians prior to the time of the coming of Europeans. They state that “under European influence, Polynesians began to adopt the modern name styles.”[9] However, Cole and Jensen inform us that “no explanation of types of names, and name styles, would apply to every Polynesian group,” even though “there are many similarities between the peoples of all the island groups. On the other hand, each group has certain peculiarities of its own in the use of names.” A major “problem with Polynesian names is that neither given names, nor family surnames, were standardized or made permanent. One [Pacific Island] family may give a person’s name in one fashion, while another branch of the family may give the name of this same person in another manner.”[10]

Languages in the Pacific Islands were not written until the mid-nineteenth century. Spelling was not standardized—the same name may appear differently in historical and genealogical records. Researchers need to be aware of spelling variations of given names and surnames when researching Pacific Island pedigrees, as well as genealogies for other regions. Surnames were not used in the Pacific Islands before the mid-nineteenth century. In addition, some distinct Polynesian names sound or are written very similarly.

Pacific Island genealogies do not always indicate the gender of the person. Thus it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish between male and female names from the oral genealogies or written records, sometimes known as ancestral stories, genealogy books, or origin stories (depending on the island). Oral genealogies were kept by island leaders and nobility. Researchers may be able to determine gender clues from the person’s name, place of residence, traditions, local legends, or stories.

The indigenous people of New Zealand are known as Maori. While discussing Maori research, Irene Beazley, a genealogist who resides in Hamilton, New Zealand, observed that “the Maori people taught the eldest son the names of the family ancestors. If the eldest son was unable to fulfill his duties, the names were taught to the son who was found to be most capable.”[11] Beazley further states that “Maori people are known for having an extensive knowledge of their ancestry, and there are many legends that get handed down orally. Some legends contain information about families, while others speak of Tribes and Tribal Customs, their Chiefs, wars, and the coming of ‘the White Man’ (Pakeha).”[12]

Regarding surnames in Polynesian genealogies, William Cole observes that surnames were unknown until a very recent date. For example, the name Keita Ropiha will appear in some genealogies as Keita and in others as Keita Ropiha—such names may appear twice in an index—once as Keita Ropiha and once as Ropiha, Keita.[13]

Dates of events, such as births, marriages, and deaths, were not kept until Europeans arrived. Thus there is often a scarcity of dates in South Pacific genealogies.[14] This problem is partially solved by beginning the pedigree with the person being interviewed and working backward. The age, birth date, and marriage date of the person being interviewed is a good place to begin calculating dates.[15] The person interviewed may also know his or her parents’ and grandparents’ dates of birth, marriage, and death, as well as localities (where the events occurred). A knowledge of culture, history, and tradition is also helpful when calculating historical and genealogical dates of Pacific Island residents.

Many Pacific Island genealogies have been written, while others have been recorded in computer databases. Noel Cardon, former instructional developer at the Genealogical Department, relates that “many Tongan families keep a genealogical relationship chart (hohoko) where they write the names of their ancestors, descendants, and other relatives,” and other information. One Tongan wrote her chart on a sail cloth, while another person used a computer with an architectural computer program.[16]

How reliable are oral genealogies? Regarding credibility of the genealogies, it must be remembered that the Pacific Islands was an oral society. Although some professional genealogists are skeptical of oral genealogies since they are preserved by memory, the genealogies are usually considered a reliable source by most researchers. Elwin Jensen discussed this subject when he said that “many qualified experts agree that . . . most Polynesian oral genealogies are acceptable, and reasonably accurate within their own tribal groups. . . . But at the least, the modern-day Islander should be able to unravel the lineages, and prepare an acceptable pedigree of his noble ancestry, and provide for his posterity a meaningful traditional heritage which may be looked upon with justifiable pride.”[17] Noel Cardon has also observed that “some Islanders have a specific order in which they recite a formal genealogy.”[18] In addition to oral histories, other sources, such as newspapers, are also available to researchers.[19]

Genealogic​al Society Oral Genealogy Project

Oral history interviews in the Pacific Islands began as early as the 1930s. During the 1960s and 1970s, oral history interviews were conducted in various islands in the South Pacific by employees of the Genealogical Society of Utah.[20] Oral genealogy interviews were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes in their native languages and have been transcribed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[21] Genealogies of those interviewed are included, as well as historical accounts, charts, drawings, family genealogy books, and other records. Most pedigrees begin with the earliest known ancestor and continue to the late twentieth century.

Persons interviewed in the oral genealogy project gave names of family members, living relatives, names of deceased ancestors, relationships, and other family history details, often extending back to the nineteenth century and sometimes earlier. Persons with noble titles could often extend their pedigree beyond the nineteenth century. John Orton has stated that in each Genealogical Society of Utah oral history project, “the interviewer must know the local dialects, as interviewing and transcribing is done in the dialect of the people. English is not used even though most of the oral genealogy interviewers have command of this language also.”[22]

An example project is the oral genealogies of Samoa that were recorded and transcribed onto forms by employees of the Genealogical Society of Utah, beginning in 1967 and continuing into the 1970s. These forms are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.[23]

Another example is the family group records, known as Archive Records, and pedigree charts compiled by William Cole and Elwin Jensen from the 1930s to the 1960s, often known as the Cole and Jensen Polynesian Genealogies, or the Cole-Jensen Collection.[24] This large and valuable collection of over fifty binders, available on microfilm at the Family History Library, contains not only Maori and French-Polynesian genealogies but also Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongan family group records and pedigree charts.[25] It also includes some records from other Pacific Islands. This collection is one of the major resources for locating Polynesian genealogies (known as whakapapas) at the Family History Library.[26]

“Over 500 Tongan oral histories, 50 Samoan oral histories, and various histories from a mixture of other islands and Africa were recorded on open reel tapes during the 1970s. All of them contain genealogies. These histories were recorded in the native languages and were later transcribed onto paper.”[27] Noel Cardon estimates that “there are over 700 oral histories from Tonga, Samoa, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and other islands in the Family History Library’s collection which were collected in the 1970s in the native languages.”[28] These interviews were transcribed, and the paper transcripts were then microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah; they are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.

The original Pacific Island oral genealogy open reel-to-reel audiotapes created during the 1960s and 1970s have been deposited for permanent storage in the Granite Mountain Records Vault (often abbreviated as GMRV) outside Salt Lake City.[29] The audiotapes have been copied onto compact discs (CD-ROMs) into MP3 digital audio files.[30] The majority of the audio files pertain to families living in Tonga, but they also include American Samoa, Austral Islands, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, Society Islands, Tuamotus, and Western Samoa.[31] Typewritten transcriptions of the oral histories are available at the Family History Library in paper copy and on microfilm.[32]

Pacific Island oral genealogies available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City are cataloged in the online Family History Library catalog (www.familysearch.org).[33] A useful approach for locating references to Pacific Island genealogical and historical resources in the Library Catalog is to search by keyword, such as Kamehameha, Oral Genealogy, Pacific Islands, Polynesian, or South Pacific. Other useful methods for locating Pacific Island references in the library catalog are to search under the following:[34]

1. Author (main entry) for name of person interviewed (for example, Vaka, Tevita)

2. Place Search (locality search), such as Fiji [Republic of the Fiji Islands], French Polynesia, Hawaii, Melanesia, Micronesia, Oceania, Polynesia, or Tonga[35]

3. Subject Search, for example, Samoa or Tonga

4. Surname (name of Pacific Islanders who had surnames)

5. Title, for example, Oral Genealogy Interview or Whakapapa

6. Microfilm number (for example, Family History Library number 795707)

Unless restricted, most Family History Library microfilms may be loaned to family history centers (local branch libraries of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City).[36] Many records are now being digitized and indexed by the Family and Church History Department where they will be available online at FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org).

Many Pacific Island genealogies have been entered into the International Genealogical Index; hereafter cited as IGI. For Latter-day Saints, a check of the online IGI (www.familysearch.org) will reveal if proxy temple ordinances have been performed, such as proxy baptisms for the dead.[37] Because of the way Islanders recorded their genealogies, researchers will need to look in the IGI under different personal name spellings and localities. People of the Pacific Islands sometimes recorded place names (localities) differently, and the exact spelling of personal names, such as surnames, may be difficult to determine.

Pacific Island oral genealogies are being entered into the computer and organized by employees and volunteers in two units at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

1. Medieval Families Unit, which is located on the lower library level (B2) where Tongan genealogies are being entered into the Legacy family history program, known as the Pacific Island Royalty Project.[38] Many Pacific Island family group records are also housed in this unit (most family group records and pedigree charts were created in the former Polynesian and Manual Processing units which were dissolved in the early 1980s).

2. Library Public Affairs Unit, which is on the main floor of the Family History Library where Tongan oral genealogies are being entered into the Personal Ancestral File (PAF) family history program from oral genealogies on compact discs (CD-ROMs). A register (index) of persons interviewed is maintained in this unit, known as the “Tongan Register by Tape Number.”[39] Genealogical pedigree charts may be printed from the PAF program.[40] A “Tongan Register by Tape Number” is then prepared, as are related forms, including an oral genealogy lineage chart. Transcripts of Tongan oral genealogy interviews are being translated from Tongan into English in this unit.[41]

Example Pacifi​c Island Genealogies

Genealogical Society of Utah interviewers used various forms of lineage charts created by the Genealogical Department, but many used an Oral Genealogy Lineage Chart.[42] Information on lineage charts usually shows the following:

Name and address of informant

Name of interviewer and date interviewed

Gender

Generation number

Names of ancestors, spouse(s), and children’s names

If individuals are living or deceased

Birth and death dates and places

Explanations (examples follow):

                                “An Irishman who lived in Matuku, Lau.”

                                “Daughter of the Chief of Matuku.”

“She was adopted by . . . “

“Her nickname was . . . “

“The couples are now in England.”

“Now citizen of Australia.”

“He was a Methodist minister who traveled to all the parts of Fiji and was later installed by the people of his village to be their leader and was called Tui Lamiti.”

Three example Pacific Island genealogies read:[43]

Name: Mapa, Penisimani Latuselu

Ancestral Place: Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu

Birthplace: Kolomotu’a Nuku’alofa Tongatapu

[no dates are shown]

Name: Tulali Tauvao Laulu

Born: 5 July 1899

Birthplace: Faaala, Savaii, Samoa

Died: 31 May 1971

Death place: Faaala, Savaii, Samoa

Name: Tupufua

Gender: Male

Spouse: Suluiaimauga

Father: Nu’u

Mother: Palapala

Grandfather: Lupe

Grandmother: Ma’ata’anoa[44]

Conclusion

Oral genealogy histories of residents of the Pacific Islands have preserved the heritage of the Islanders and are generally considered accurate and reliable. John Orton has stated, however, that “due to the encroachment of western civilization the reciting of an oral genealogy is fast becoming a dying art.”[45] It is hoped that individuals and organizations will continue to record and preserve the oral histories, genealogies, and legacies of residents of the Pacific Islands, thus fulfilling the prophecy in the Book of Mormon, “Great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:21).


[1] “The Genealogical Society of Utah [GSU] is dedicated to gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical information throughout the world. Established in 1894, it is an incorporated, nonprofit educational institution entirely funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA with local representatives in all parts of the world.” See the Society’s Web site for more details (www.gensocietyofutah.org). The Genealogical Society of Utah is traditionally known as the “microfilming arm” of the Family and Church History Department. “FamilySearch (historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah) is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries” (www.familysearch.org).

[2] The Family History Library was previously a part of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894–1944; Genealogical Society, 1944–75; Genealogical Department, 1975–87; Family History Department, 1987–2000; and since 2000 the library is now part of the Family and Church History Department in Salt Lake City. I appreciate the following individuals at the Family and Church History Department for providing valuable background information: Jeanine S. Bell, Steve Fox, Elaine Hasleton, Dorothy (Dottie) Behling Hemaloto, Debbie Latimer, Kahlile Mehr, Mel Thatcher, Tab Thompson, and Spencer Wood.

[3] Additional oral histories of Pacific Islanders, not related to the Genealogical Society of Utah oral genealogy project, are housed in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (http://sc.lib.byu.edu). Consult, for example, the LDS Polynesian American Oral History Project by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. Similar oral histories are also housed at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City (www.lds.org/churchhistory/library); Joseph F. Smith Library, Brigham Young University–Hawaii (http://w2.byuh.edu/library); and several other repositories, including those in the Pacific Islands. A useful reference is Russell T. Clement, Mormons in the Pacific: A Bibliography (Laie, HI: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young University–Hawaii Campus, 1981), although this work is partially outdated.

[4] Mulivai Purcell, Oral History Methods Applied to Recent Pedigree Studies in the Pacific, Part 2: A Field Operator’s Report on the Taping Program in Samoa, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-5b (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969), 1–2. Also useful is James B. W. Roberton, Methodology in the Study of Polynesian Genealogies and Traditions, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-2 (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969); Bengt Danielsson, Development of a System of Collecting, Alphabetizing and Indexing Polynesian Pedigrees, Part 3: Collecting Polynesian Pedigrees and Genealogies in the Eastern Pacific, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-3 & 4c (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969); and Elwin W. Jensen, Development of a System of Collecting, Alphabetizing, and Indexing Polynesian Pedigrees, Part 5: Methods of Identifying, Indexing, and Alphabetizing Polynesian Pedigrees, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-3 & 4e (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969).

[5] William A. Cole and Elwin W. Jensen, comps., Israel in the Pacific: A Genealogical Text for Polynesia (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society, 1961), 140.

[6] Derek F. Metcalfe, Oral History Methods Applied to Recent Pedigree Studies in the Pacific, Part 1: Background of Oral Genealogy Among the Polynesians, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-5a (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969), 1.

[7] Noel N. Cardon, Pacific Island Guide to Basic Family History Work (Salt Lake City: Cardon, 2005), 6. This is a valuable unpublished reference work available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

[8] John W. Orton, “Oral History and the Genealogical Society,” Catholic Library World 47 (October 1975), 110.

[9] Cole and Jensen, comps., Israel in the Pacific: A Genealogical Text for Polynesia, 289.

[10] Cole and Jensen, Israel in the Pacific: A Genealogical Text for Polynesia, 289–90.

[11] Irene Beazley, “New Zealand Research: Maori,” BYU Family Historian 4 (Fall 2005): 23; www.lib.byu.edu/dlib/spc/famhistorian. Another useful reference for Maori research is Bruce Biggs, Development of a System of Collecting, Alphabetizing, and Indexing Polynesian Pedigrees: The Genealogical Records of the New Zealand Maori, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-3a (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969).

[12] Beazley, “New Zealand Research: Maori,” 24.

[13] William A. Cole and Elwin W. Jensen, comps., Polynesian Genealogies (Rupert, ID: Cole and Jensen, 1940), typescript at Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[14] A useful reference for Latter-day Saints is Polynesian Ancestors: Checking the IGI to Find Out If Temple Work Has Already Been Done (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 2003).

[15] Researchers in the Pacific Islands often use the “thirty-year” generations rule, meaning age thirty is calculated as the age of the person’s father—mothers are usually estimated at five to ten years younger then her husband. The author would like to thank Dorothy (Dottie) Behling Hemaloto (1940–2007) who helped confirm some of the information for this chapter. Dottie worked as a records specialist in the Medieval Families Unit of the Family History Library until her untimely death on October 20, 2007.

[16] Cardon, Pacific Island Guide to Basic Family History Work, 12.

[17] Elwin W. Jensen, Tiki, Our Forefather: A Look at Polynesian-Pacific Genealogy (Salt Lake City: Jensen, 1976), 99–100.

[18] Cardon, Pacific Island Guide to Family History Work, 11.

[19] A valuable resource for Hawaiian genealogies published in local newspapers between 1834 and 1920 is Edith Kawelohea McKinzie, Hawaiian Genealogies: Extracted from Hawaiian Language Newspapers, 2 vols. (Laie, HI: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young University–Hawaii Campus, 1983). Also useful is Bill Hart, comp., LDS Voices from the Past: A Collection of Newspaper & Magazine Articles about SOMOA, 1889–1917 (Downey, ID: Ati’s Samoan Print Shop, [1996]); and R. Lanier Britsch, Moramona: The Mormons in Hawaii (Laie, HI: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young University–Hawaii Campus, 1989).

[20] The Genealogical Society published a guidebook, Genealogical Handbook, Polynesia (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society, 1960), which contains chapters on Polynesian names and patronymics, rules on surnames, dates of events, place names, and a family relationship chart.

[21] Many oral histories can be found at the Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150–3440. Individuals who were interviewed sometimes spoke in their native language and sometimes in English. In addition to the Family History Library, many Pacific Island oral histories are available at the Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 (www.bishopmuseum.org). See, for example, Hawaiian Genealogies in Bishop Museum (microfilm of original manuscripts housed at the Family History Library). Another useful reference is Kenneth P. Emory, Development of a System of Collecting, Alphabetizing, and Indexing Polynesian Pedigrees, Part 2: The Bishop Museum Polynesian Pedigree Collection, World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, Area G-3b (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969).

[22] Orton, “Oral History and the Genealogical Society,” 111.

[23] Samoan Pedigrees: Oral Genealogies of Samoa Gathered by the Genealogical Society, 1967–1970, 2 vols.; microfilm numbers 823779–823781, Family History Library. This two-volume reference work shows genealogies of Samoan residents.

[24] The Cole-Jensen Collection: Oral Genealogies and Genealogical Information Collected from the Polynesian Peoples and from the Pacific Islands, comp. William A. Cole and Elwin W. Jensen; microfilm numbers 1358001–1358009, Family History Library. Also valuable for a study of Polynesian genealogies is the Manual Processing Collections, 1949–1981, microfilm numbers 1553385–1553391, Family History Library, containing pedigrees and genealogical notes for various Pacific Islands, although this collection is not indexed.

[25] The Cole-Jensen Collection has been indexed and shows Family History Library binder and microfilm numbers. See Patricia Glancy Todd, Description of Materials in the William A. Cole and Elwin W. Jensen Collection (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 2005), unpublished reference notebook housed in the Medieval Families Unit, Family History Library. A related register by Patricia Glancy Todd is titled Description of Contents of the Manual Processing Collection (Mostly Polynesian) (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 2005).

[26] Pacific Island resources (mostly books and microfilms) at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City are located in the United States and Canada Collection (Hawaii), British Isles Collection (New Zealand), and International Collection (Fiji, French Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Samoa, and Tonga). Researchers should be aware that Hawaii is often abbreviated as “T.H.” for Territory of Hawaii in some of the records at the Family History Library.

[27] How to Find Tongan, Samoan, and Other Oral Histories in the Family History Library Catalog (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 2003).

[28] Cardon, Pacific Island Guide to Basic Family History Work, 25.

[29] The Granite Mountain Records Vault has been carved into the Wasatch Mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and houses original microfilms and other records of the Family History Library and Family and Church History Department. Consult Steven W. Baldridge, “Granite Mountain Record Vault,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:563–64, for more details. This major reference work is online (www.lib.byu.edu/spc/Macmillan).

[30] Spencer Wood, “Polynesian Oral Genealogy Migration Project Final Report, December 2004” (unpublished manuscript). The completed project contains 1,111 audio MP3 files. Mr. Wood has a backup copy of this project in DVD-ROM format. Not all of the oral genealogy audio tapes have survived.

[31] A project is underway at the Family and Church History Department to make these audio tapes available online at FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org).

[32] Oral genealogy by Kalolaine Mapa is an example.

[33] Registers of Family History Library microfilm numbers and oral history reel numbers are housed in the Medieval Families Unit at the Library. An example is Register of Tongan Oral Histories (Family History Library microfilm numbers 795912 and 795831), although this register (index) is being updated.

[34] Many interviews are cataloged under the title “Oral Genealogy Interviews, 1968–1977.” The authors are Mulivai Purcell and Tagomoa Matua. This is a collection of interviews conducted from 1968 to 1977 by these two individuals. They are also cataloged under “Samoa—Genealogy.” See microfilm numbers 795863–795864, Family History Library. The transcripts are of genealogical and historical data from the tapes.

[35] Melanesia and Micronesia are names of regions in the western Pacific Ocean consisting of many islands.

[36] To locate the address of a family history center, see the FamilySearch Web site (www.familysearch.org), click on the “Library” tab, then click on “Family History Centers.”

[37] The International Genealogical Index (IGI), part of FamilySearch online, is an index of temple ordinances of deceased individuals and contains over 750 million names. This massive computer index is arranged by geographic regions, such as “Southwest Pacific,” but “World Miscellaneous” should also be checked for Polynesians. References to genealogical events which occurred in Hawaii are listed under the person’s name, North America Region, and then United States. An example IGI search for “Kamehameha” as a surname under North America Region, United States, and then Hawaii, will reveal many references to this famous Hawaiian king. In addition, a search for “Liloa” as a surname in Hawaii will also reveal many references in the IGI. Researchers may also need to check the DOS Ordinance Index (a duplicate of an older version of the International Genealogical Index) in cases where Polynesian names do not appear in the Internet IGI. The Internet IGI and DOS Ordinance Index are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and at family history centers throughout the world. Internet IGI and DOS Ordinance Index are being replaced by a newer version of FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org) as temple districts come online; this process is known as New FamilySearch.

[38] Approximately five thousand Tongan names have been entered into the Legacy genealogy program using variant spellings and titles. The Medieval Families Unit houses eleven volumes of unpublished Tongan genealogies, Samoan genealogy books, family group records of mostly Hawaiian families, and other related reference sources.

[39] “Tongan Register by Tape Number,” showing Family History Library microfilm number, Oral Genealogy Lineage Chart, and a summary of oral history interview. This register is kept in the Public Affairs Unit at the Family History Library.

[40] An example pedigree chart from the Tongan oral genealogy project in the Library Public Affairs Unit at the Family History Library shows Lote Moala, born 1869 at Nukuleka, Tongatapu, Tonga; son of Sosiua Tu’ivakano and Vika (no maiden surname); married about 1898 in the same locality to Lavinia Latai Tu’ivai; Lote died in 1936 (no locality shown). In addition to these standard pedigree charts printed from Personal Ancestral File, oversize Pacific Island pedigree charts are filed in the map cases in the United States and Canada reference area at the Family History Library. A useful reference for Latter-day Saints doing Tongan research is Eric B. Shumway, ed., Tongan Saints: Legacy of Faith (Laie, HI: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, 1991).

[41] Paper copies of transcripts of Tongan oral genealogies are housed in the high density storage area at the Family History Library. It is estimated that some five hundred interviews were recorded in Tongan for the Genealogical Society of Utah project.

[42] An “Oral Genealogy Identification Sheet” usually accompanied the oral history interviews. See, for example, microfilm numbers 795707, 795708, and 795831, Family History Library, which includes notes by the interviewer, date interviewed, and various genealogical details.

[43] Tongan Oral Genealogy Project Register (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, n.d.), unpublished typescript, also known as “Tongan Register by Tape Number.” Biographies and genealogies are also published in Tongan Research, comp. missionaries of the Family History Library (Salt Lake City: Family and Church History Department, 2001), unpublished register; and Tongan Research #10, comp. missionaries of the Family History Library (January 2002).

[44] Purcell, Oral History Methods Applied to Recent Pedigree Studies in the Pacific, Part 2: A Field Operator’s Report on the Taping Program in Samoa, 7. The data in this Polynesian oral genealogy transcript were submitted by Mulivai Purcell of Apia, Samoa. No dates are shown in this genealogy and the source shown is “Oral Genealogy.”

[45] Orton, “Oral History and the Genealogical Society,” 112.