General Guides to Hawaii Research
First, bookmark or print out these three very helpful overviews
Books you might purchase or use in a library include
All of the three reference books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. (note: some libraries may have earlier editions; those are usable)
Atlases, Maps & Gazetteers
For more information on finding and using maps, see Your Guide to Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers.
- Good state maps are available in the Handybook or Redbook mentioned above.
- Print out a Hawaii county outline map (.pdf) -- shows present day counties.
- Perry Costenada maps for Hawaii
- Hawaii and U.S. map links on NetState
- Hawaiian Archipelago -- this doesn't display correctly in some browsers. Scroll down to see maps 1,2,3 and 4.
Statewide Genealogy Web sites
Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. Content will vary, but in usually you will find the GenWeb site to be the most robust. All are volunteer driven sites; all data free.
Societies, Libraries and Archives
For general information see Your Guide to Libraries and Archives
First, use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state Hawaii ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.
Cemetery: For general information, see guide to cemetery records, this web site
Census: Hawaii residents are included in Territorial censuses 1900+, but there are also earlier non-federal census records. This sites guide to census records gives you information on how to find and obtain federal census records.
- Hawaii Census Collection 1840-1896 at the Hawaii State Archives. This is a finding aid of what is available at the Archives, but if it has been microfilmed, it is probably available through the FHL and elsewhere.
- Check the U.S. Genweb Census Project status list for Hawaii to see what transcriptions are available there.
- Discover more online census records for Hawaii through these sites (for the most part they will duplicate each other):
Church: For general information, see guide to church records, this web site.
City and County Directories: For general information, see guide to city and county directories, this website.
County and Local Histories: For general informaton, see guide to county histories, this web site
Court & Legal; For general information, see guide to law libraries, this web site
Ethnic Groups in Hawaii
Immigration and Emigration
Land & Property: For general information, see guide to land records, this web site
Military; For general information, see guide to military records, this web site
Naturalizations; For general information, see guide to naturalizations, this web site
See the Archives of Hawaii overview of naturalization records (be sure to click the more button at bottom)
Newspapers: For general information, see guide to newspapers, this web site
- Hawaii State Library. Hawaii & Pacific Section. Hawaii Newspaper Guide
- Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project
- Hawaiian Electronic Library Hawaiian Language Newspapers 1834-1948 -- note these are not in English! There are digital images of pages and the site has a search function, but it is not clear to me if all or only some of the pages are searchable.
- XXX Obituary Lookup
- Chronicling America list of newspapers published in XXX -- click a title to get more information
- The Hawaii State Library has a Hawaii Newspaper Index. Oddly, I can find no description of the database and the search page is not intuitive, but I searched "Smith" and got over 1000 hits, including some obituaries, but going back only to 1989 -- so I think it is not useful for historical searches..
- The Hawaiian Electronic Library includes a copy of Index to the Honolulu advertiser and Honolulu star-bulletin 1929-1967. Volume I: A to Death, 1965 -- if you expand the contents of chapter 4 D, you will be able to select pages index into one alphabet deaths reported 1929-1950, then for each year subsequent to 1950.
- And go to vol. 6 and expand chapter 6 M. Images on p. 1299-1301 indexes "marriages", It doesn't index marriages by year, but does contain an indexing of significant wedding anniversaries... often golden.
Probate: For general information, see guide to probate records, this web site
See the Hawaii State Archives overview of Probate and Will records
Search the Genealogy Indexes
Vital: For general information, see guide to vital records, this web site.
Queries & Help
- Check the Hawaii Genweb page for look up volunteers in the county you are researching.
- Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: Hawaii
- Read or make queries at