An Act to Perpetuate the Genealogy of the Chiefs of Hawai'i

This article is about those who belong to the Estate of Nobles (Chiefs) who are eligible to be appointed as Nobles in the Legislative Assembly and/or to the throne in accordance with Hawaiian Law.

This act was signed by the King in 1880. The King wanted a "Board of Genealogy of Hawaiian Chiefs" to record the genealogies of those that were of high ranking blood and could be considered in the event that someone had to be named an heir. The names you see mentioned are all the lineages that were eligible for either role according to law.

On August 9, 1880, the Hawaiian Legislature enacted "An Act to Perpetuate the Genealogy of the Chiefs of Hawaii:" 

To Perpetuate the Genealogy of the Chiefs of Hawaii

WHEREAS, it is provided by the 22d Article of the constitution that the kings of Hawaii shall be chosen from native chiefs of the kingdom;
AND WHEREAS, at the present day it is difficult to ascertain the chiefs, as contemplated by said Article of the constitution, and it is proper that such genealogies of the kingdom be perpetuated, and also the history of the chiefs and kings from ancient times down to the present day, which would also be a guide to the King in the appointment of Nobles in the Legislative Assembly, therefore,

Be it enacted by the King and the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands, in the Legislature of the Kingdom Assembled:

Section 1. His Majesty the King in Cabinet Council shall appoint some proper person or persons to collect from genealogical books, and from the knowledge of old people the history and genealogy of the Hawaiian chiefs, and shall publish a book of the doings of such Board, which shall be called "The Board of Genealogy of Hawaiian Chiefs," during such time as it may be in session.

Section 2. The Minister of Interior is hereby authorized to pay the members of said Board at a rate not exceeding two dollars per day, and for all the other expenses of the said Board, not exceeding two thousand dollars, which sum shall include the purchase of books, travelling expenses, paper, pens, ink, books and so forth, for searching for ancient things which have been lost or concealed in places of concealment, and for ascertaining the places of sepulture of the ancient chiefs, where their bones are now concealed; which sum shall be paid out of any monies not otherwise appropriated by the Appropriation Bill.

Section 3. Said Board may make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for them and for their work, and shall submit the name to His Majesty the King in Cabinet COuncil before commencing their duties.

Section 4. This act shall become a law from the use of its approval.

Approved this 9th day of August, A.D. 1880

According to the Rules of the Board, their principle duties are: "1. To gather, revise, correct and record the Genealogy of Chiefs. 2. To gather, revise correct and record all published and unpublished Ancient Hawaiian History. 3. To gather, revise, correct and record all published and unpublished Meles (Songs), and also to ascertain the object and the spirit of the Meles, the age and History of the period when composed and to note the same on the Record Book. 4. To record all the tabu customs of the Mois (Kings) and Chiefs."   

In its report of 1884, the Board stated it was examining some copies of genealogical books by Kamokuiki, Haoo, Kanahi, Unauna, Hakaleleponi, Piianaia, Kalaualu and David Malo, and that the "Board has not entered into revision of these books and those written by historians as the time has been taken up mostly in attesting the genealogy of those that have applied to have their genealogy established." The Board also reported, that it "has avoided entering into controversies with the genealogical discussions that have been going on for a year or more in the local Hawaiian newspapers, as these discussions have been more or less conducted in a partisan spirit instead of on scientific principles. They loose the merit of usefulness by the hostilities assumed by the contending writers."

On July 5, 1887, the newly appointed Cabinet Council and two members of the Supreme Court committed the high crime of treason by coercing King Kalakaua to sign a new constitution under threat of assassination. This so-called constitution came to be known as the Bayonet Constitution and was never submitted to the Legislative Assembly for approval, which is required under law/ Hawaiian constitutional law provides that any proposed change to the constitution must be submitted to the Legislative Assembly, and upon majority agreement, would be deferred to the next legislative session for action. Once the next legislature convened, and the proposed amendment or amendments were were "agreed to by two-thirds of all members of the Legislative Assembly, and be approved by the King, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the Constitution of this country (Article 80, 1864 Constitution)."

This so called constitution was drafted by a select group of twenty individuals and effectively placed control of the Legislature and Cabinet in the hands of individuals who held foreign allegiances, which led to the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government by the United States of America. The leader of this insurgency, Lorrin Thurston, was the Minister of the Interior, and he refused to fund the Board of genealogists as required by law. In a letter to her Royal Highness Princess Po'omaikelani, President of the genealogical Board, dated July 29, 1887, Thurston writes, "I beg to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 27th inst. in which you state the labors of the board need not be suspended because the appropriation cannot be paid. There can, of course be no objection to a continuation of the work by the Board of Genealogy so long as it is carried out without expense to the Government."

Despite the lack of government funding and the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government, the Board continued their work to complete the genealogies of Hawaiian Chiefs (Mo'okua''auhau Ali'i) that were eventually published in the Ka Maka'ainana newspaper in the year 1896.

That article stated that August 3, 1896--Genealogies of Robert Hoapili Baker was published.

Any person today who is a direct descendant of the Hawaiian Chiefs identified in these published genealogies belong to the Estate of Nobles (Chiefs), and are eligible to be appointed as Nobles in the Legislative Assembly and/or to the Throne in accordance with Hawaiian law.

HRH Prince Darrick Lane Kekaulike Kaeokulani Hoapili Kahekili Kamehameha Kalakaua Baker is a descendant of Robert Hoapili Baker.

(transcribed and translated:)

  1. Liloa (male) lived with (married) Akahiakuleana (female), and had Umi (male).
  2. Umi-a-Lilloa (male), married Kapulani (female), and had Umi (male).
  3. Keawenui a-Umi (male), married Koihalawai (female), and had Kanaloakuaana (male).
  4. Kanaloakuaana (male), married Kaikilani (female), and had Keakealani (male).
  5. Keakealani married Kaleiheana (female), and had Moana (male).
  6. Moana (male), married Piilani (female), and had Ilikiamoana (female).
  7. Kauhi-a-Haki (male), married Ilikiamoana (female), and had Kahanaumalani (male), Heiaholani (male), Moana (female), Koialiipuheelani (male), and Huapuaalani (male).
  8. Kahanaumalani (male), married Naheana (female), and had Kanuha (male).
  9. Kanuha (male), married Kamanohelii I. (female), and had Napuupahoehoe (male).
  10. Napuupahoehoe (male), married Maunahia (female), and had Luka (female), Malie (female), and Kamanohelii II (female).
  11. Malie (female) married Ikekeleiaiku (male), and had Kamai (female), Robert Hoapili Baker (male), Henry Kanuha (male), and Kinohou (female).
  12. Kamai (female), married Patrick Cockett (male), and had no lineal descendants.
  13. Robert Hoapili Baker (male), married Emma Merseburg (female), and had many children.
  14. Henry Kanuha (male), married a woman and had a huge family.
  15. Kamanohelii II (female), married Rev. J. Kauhane o Kau, and had many children. 
Copyright © 2019, Chancellor, House of Kamakahelei, Royal House of Hawai'i