However, we have also been able to help descendents whose relatives were admitted to Kalaupapa after 1934 because of information in other books and Census Records and by tapping into the memories of current Kalaupapa residents.
Other ‘Ohana volunteers have added to our digital library by compiling marriage records, birth records and death records. The ‘Ohana also has compiled church records, petitions, letters written by the early residents of Kalaupapa that have been translated from Hawaiian and articles from the Hawaiian language newspaper articles. When a family member contacts the ‘Ohana for information about their ancestors, we have a wealth of sources to search.
To further help people, the ‘Ohana began digitizing and cataloging old and fragile photographs found in various public archives and collections. These photos are now part of the Kalaupapa PhotoBank with electronic scans of these pictures provided to family members, many of whom have never seen a photo of their ancestor before. The ‘Ohana helped two people who were born at Kalaupapa obtain a photo of their mother for the first time – neither of these individuals had seen a photo of their mother until they contacted Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa when they were in their 80s.
From 2011 through 2013, the ‘Ohana has provided family members with information on nearly 1,500 people who were sent to Kalaupapa or who were born there. About 95 percent of the time, the ‘Ohana has been able to find the names of those the families are asking about.
We have had some amazing stories:
*We met the descendent of Nahuina, one of the first three women who was sent to Kalaupapa on January 6, 1866, and who became a founding member of Siloama Church later that same year. Donna Sterling, who lives on Maui, has now become actively involved with Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa to make sure that her kupuna will always be remembered.