My grandma Mataniu shared family stories with me one day that sparked my interest in genealogy. Though she has done much work, there still is more to do. SGG was created because I wanted to collaborate with others stories, experiences, resources and more that help support Samoan genealogy research.
I got some plans in the winds for SGG for the coming year 2013. I am grateful for all the emails and posts from you folks that have had questions, shared resources and stories. I've learned from all of them and looking forward to learn more.
My grandma Mataniu often shared with me a few stories of her father in law Opapo Fonoimoana. Other stories of my great grandfather were told to me from uncles, aunties and cousins. I wanted to know a little more about my great grandfather Opapo. So, I gathered all my records I had of him and put them up on a timeline spreadsheet of his life. I was amazed at what I found out. I realized one untouched area I didn't pursue were Mormon missionary journals.
Opapo's birth date is not exact as my grandma and other family sources are all different. In 1890 he was baptized a Mormon in the village of Fogatuli. I believe that this may be the first actual exact date of Opapo placing him in a certain time and place. He helped the Mormon missionaries in proselyting efforts as well as spoke and conducted in meetings on some occasions.
Sure enough search results of my great grandfather Opapo pulled up in some diaries.
When a result of your search comes up click on the journal to load the book. Look off to the right side of the screen under the tab 'Content' and scroll till you see red text that says how many are found of your search on that page.
I’ve already started reading a few diaries. So, now that’s where my focus will be for a little while.
I believe the journals are from 1801-1896 but don't quote on that. I think the dates change to location you are inquiring about.
I wanted to share this resource with you folks. A missionary may have baptized or confirmed a member of your family tree. It’s possible they could have mentioned them in their journals. Even if your families are not Mormon these missionaries could have mentioned them as well in their everyday duties on the island.
In your searches you might also try:
Keep in mind that spellings may be a little off. The palagi missionaries may not have same spellings as your family names.
Here are a two examples of spellings of my family names in these journals.
Journal spelling My grandma’s genealogy spelling
I love cardboard banker boxes! I store all my genealogy in them. One especially is not as organized as I would like it. It's like my "Put it in there somewhere box." Hahahaha!!! I want to start the new year out fresh and organized so I decided to tackle this box!!
I knew it! Stuff is all in this box that isn't genealogy. Aaahhh! I got my piles all set up and how I am going to organize this. I came across some 1999 emails from a Samoan man that has the same last name as me (Fonoimoaona). My dad and I were happy to email this man, Fonoimoana and talk genealogy. He was so surprised that we had the same last name. He even thought he was the only one in the world with the name Fonoimoana. We shared genealogies but could not find a common ancestor. We shared family stories but still could not find a connection. My dad spoke with this brothers and sisters about this man Fonoimoana and his genealogy. Still no connection.
We then moved and lost contact with this man Fonoimoana. Huummmm, I'm thinking of rekindling this. I'll have to write this down in my 2013 Goals.
Off to finish this box!