Friday, May 7, 2010

Follow Friday - "The Internet Genealogist"

Queen Lili'uokalani in her elderly years
in front of Washington Place

Today is Follow Friday, and I'm recommending that you follow Leah's genea-blog "The Internet Genealogist" [ UPDATE  recently renamed "Leah's Family Tree"]  She writes some very interesting posts on her family and genealogy from the viewpoint of a young person in college. I was about her age when I started with genealogy, so it is fun for me to read along in her bloggings.

Leah and I recently found out that our family histories intertwine somewhat on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. On Monday, April 19, 2010, Leah included on her blog another section (part 12) of her great-aunt’s memoir of her days in Hawai’i. She continued again today with part 13, which included more about Honolulu and the Royal Family. Her great aunt Essie Mott boarded with my great aunt, Mary Dominis, at her home in O'ahu.

In her journal, Essie Mott often writes about three young men: John Owen Dominis, Prince Alexander and Prince David. Here is a guide to the genealogy of the Royal Family, and the characters in Essie’s memoir. It is sort of a "Royal scoreboard" to keep all the characters straight.

Prince Alexander Liholiho was his uncle’s, King Kamehameha III, heir to the throne. He was the son of Chief Mataio Kekuanao and Princess Kinua (daughter of Kamehameha I). Prince Alexander became King Kamehameha IV in 1854. He married his cousin, Princess Emma Rooke Naea. His only child died at four years old. He died in 1863. He was not the brother to Prince David, as Essie mistakenly wrote in her journal.

Next in line was Kamehameha V, who reigned from 1863 to his death in 1872. He was previously known as Prince Lot, born in 1830, but not mentioned in Essie’s journal. He was betrothed to Princess Bernice, mentioned in the memoir, but Bernice married the banker Charles Reed Bishop (she later endowed the Bishop Museum in Honolulu and other institutions including the Kamehameha Schools)

Next was King Lunalilo, who reigned from January 8, 1873 to February 3, 1874, had the shortest reign.

Prince David, son of High Chief Kapaakea and Keohokalole, was voted in as the new king in 1874 after the death of King Lunalilo. The other candidate was Queen Emma, Dowager of Kamehameha IV. King David Kalakaua was known as the “Merry Monarch”. He built the Iolani Palace, and was forced to sign the “Bayonet Constitution” in 1887, which limited the powers of the monarchy and led to the downfall of the kingdom. He proclaimed his brother, Leleiohoku, heir, but since he had died his sister Lydia Kamakaeha was next in line.

Princess Lydia Kamakaeha married John Owen Dominis, Mrs. Mary Dominis’s son. Upon King David’s death, her brother, in 1891 she became Queen Lili’uokalani, and John Dominis became the Prince Consort. He is commonly remembered by the name Governor Dominis. The Queen’s heir was the Princess Ka’iulani, who died young in 1899. John Dominis’s illegitimate son, John Aimoku Dominis, was Queen Lili’uokalani’s heir, and she formally adopted him. The monarchy was deposed on January 17, 1893. The Hawaiian Kingdom became the Hawaiian Republic until it was annexed by the United States in 1898.

There are several pretenders to the throne of the lapsed Kingdom of Hawaii. Quentin Kuhio Kawananankoa is the current heir to the House of Kawananakoa. He is called by the name Prince, and is also the minority leader in the Hawaii State legislature. His distant cousin, Prince kalokuokamaile III is another pretender to the throne through the line of Kamehameha I’s father, Keoua. The term pretender is not pejorative. The members of these families still use the titles of Prince and Princess as heirs presumptive.

I previously blogged about the Dominis family several times, but the family tree can be seen here

And I blogged about the life of Princess Ka’iulani in October 2009 here

For more information on the Royal Family of Hawaii, please see this website

The Internet Genealogist can be found at and the last installment of the Mott Journal which included adventures in Honolulu can be found at this link


Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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