To Japan Hawaii Roots!
Japan Hawaii Roots would like to assist Japanese Hawaiian families get in touch with their history through their ancestors.
Where and how do you start. Ask yourself What you want to find and can you truly “get in touch.”
Start here: Determine your goals and the extent of the research you want to do.
WHO – Decide which ancestor you would like to research. Generally Japanese records are kept through the patriarch with the family surname. Many families experienced “adoptions” which were basically a family’s need to carry the surname forward. In many cases, women were in need of carrying on the family name, so, families with boys were adopted out to these male-less families. These boys were adopted out to carry on the name but in many cases were still in contact with their biological families.
- Determine research needs- define goals
- Tracing ancestry – where they came from…timeline discovery.
- Researching specific ancestor.
WHAT – The best way to find your roots is to obtain a family register (koseki). Japan being a country that esteems family lineage keeps family registers in the temples and more recently in city offices of the different prefectures. Other documents like passenger lists, marriage and birth certificates and death notices can also give information on pedigree.
- What you want: pedigree charts, family history/traditions, birth or death records/documents, diaries, journals, letters, photos.
- Find military records, government documentss, photos, family mon (crests).
- Oral histories, matriarch or patriarch accounts.
- Vital records from official offices.
- Newspaper records or articles.
- Church or temple records.
- Government documents and files.
- Journals and travel records.
- Probates and wills.
- Genealogy books & charts.
- Ship and passenger records.
- Tax maps.
- Census records.
- City directories and phone books.
- School yearbooks.
- Cemetery indexes.
- Land commission awards.
- National and foreign registers & testimonies.
- Adoption records.
- Criminal records.
How – There are various ways to find your koseki and these documents.
- Develop a plan to find these documents and records.
- Find out where to conduct research.
- Suo-Oshima, Japan Hawaii Emigration Museum
- Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii – Resource Center
- Japanese Consulate
- Department of Health
- National Archives – San Francisco (San Bruno, CA)
- National Archives – Riverside, CA
- Review information received and acquired. Consider different spellings of names and places. Dates might also be within a range.
- Analyze the materials and make a record or spreadsheet to document findings. Make copies as needed. Keep folder or online files to organize data.
- interview relatives and friends.
- Be patient and develop your research capabilities and anticipate what expenses, postage, services, fees, supplies, utilities, etc. you will need.
University of Hawaii at Manoa – www.guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/genealogyinhawaii
National Genealogical Society NGS (has a quarterly journal and CD course)
Federation of Genealogy Societies FGS online site
Association of Professional Genealogists APG (has a quarterly journal)-Professional Management Conference
Utah Genealogy Association – Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
National Archives – National Institute of Genealogy Research in Washington DC
Study – Hawaii-Akamai University
Join – International Association of Professional Genealogists in Salt Lake City or with NGS
Certification – Board of Certified Genealogists (DC)
International Commission for the Accreditation of Genealogists (ICAPGen)
Association of Genealogy & research archives (AGRA) London
Other Genealogy sites and books:
Nippu jiji Hawaii
Nenkan Hawaiian Japanese Annual Directory
Consulate General – resident registrations/records
Okinawan Genealogy Society of HI (OGSH) database
Moiliili Cemetery – Japanese
Kobayashi Hotel Register 1901-1956
Books: Finding Your Roots – general manual
Beginners Guide to Genealogy Research – Okinawa