People may think obituaries mostly aim to record the deaths
of people in the community, but these news articles also summarize and
celebrate these people's lives.
Obituaries can provide biographical information:
Age and cause of death
Plans for funeral services and burial or cremation
Place of birth
Family background (e.g. marriage)
Membership in clubs or civic organizations or churches
Quotations from people who knew that person
However, read obituaries with skepticism. Older newspapers may not objectively report facts, sometimes writing positively. Other times, newspapers may make clerical errors, due to deadline pressures.
Newspapers covering large areas (e.g. cities and states) cover only a
few notable people for obituaries. However, newspaper covering smaller
areas, such as small
towns, may publish obituaries about any resident.
newspapers have documented and summarized the lives of prominent community members, including business people, government officials, members of the
Hawaiian Monarchy, socialites, religious figures, humanitarians, and other influential people. They include King David Kalakaua, Claus Spreckels, an influential man in Hawaii's sugar industry, and Father Damien, a Roman
Catholic priest who cared for the quarantined leprosy victims on Molokai.
To find obituaries in Hawaii's newspapers, search on the Chronicling America
website and browse the microfilm Index to
obituaries published in Hawaii's newspapers, 1836-1950 (MICROFILM
S00418) at Hamilton Library.
The following are links to some of the obituaries of prominent people in
Hawaiian history in Chronicling America:
Rev. Hiram Bingham - Missionary
"Hiram Bingham Is Dead"
The Hawaiian star, November 2, 1908, SECOND EDITION, Image 1
"Rev. Hiram Bingham Dies in Baltimore Hospital"
The Hawaiian gazette, November 6, 1908, Page 6
"The Memorial Sermon for the Late Rev. Dr. Bingham"
The Hawaiian gazette., November 13, 1908, Page 4, Image 4
Sybil Mosley Bingham - Missionary
"Death of Mrs. Hiram Bingham after an Illness of Ten Years"
The Hawaiian gazette., November 20, 1903, Page 3
Laud Life of Micronesian Missionary: Tributes to the Memory of the Late
Mrs. Hiram Bingham by the Woman's Board of Missions"
The Hawaiian gazette, December 4, 1903, Page 2
Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell
"Death of Mrs. Campbell-Parker at the Hospital"
The Hawaiian gazette, November 3, 1908, Page 3
Archibald Scott Cleghorn
"Death Came Last Night to Governor Cleghorn at His Home at Ainahau"
The Hawaiian gazette, November 4, 1910, Page 2
Saint Father Damien (Jozef De Veuster)
"Father Damien Dead: the Famous Leper Priest Goes to His Long
Home--Sketch of Life by Charles Warren Stoddard"
The Hawaiian gazette, April 23, 1889, Page 7
"Father Damien: the Leper Priest Passes to His Long Rest"
The Daily bulletin, April 20, 1889, Image 2
Theophilus Harris Davies - Guardian of Princess Kaiulani
"Mr. T. H. Davies: Sad News of His Sudden Death in England"
The Hawaiian gazette, June 3, 1898, Page 4
John Owen Dominis - Prince Consort and Island Governor
"Death of H. R. H. the Prince Consort"
The Hawaiian gazette, September 1, 1891, Image 1
"Died Suddenly: His Royal Highness John O. Dominis, Prince Consort, Died"
The morning call, September 6, 1891, Image 3
"A Second Sorrow: Death of His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort"
The Daily bulletin, August 28, 1891, Image 3 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1891-08-28/ed-1/seq-3/
Queen Emma (Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea
"The Late Queen: a Biographical Sketch"
The Daily bulletin, April 27, 1885, Image 3
"Honorable John Ena Dies in Los Angeles: a Former Inter-Island President
The Hawaiian Gazette, December 14, 1906, Image 3
"Charles Furneaux, Who Came Here Thirty-five Years Ago, Claimed by Death"
The Hawaiian gazette, November 11, 1913, Page 6
Robert Robson HindKing Kamehameha III
"Death of Robert Hind, Pioneer of Kohala: Story as Told by One of His Old
Neighbors and Friends"
The Honolulu Republican, December 03, 1901, Page 6
Princess Kaiulani (Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawēkiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn)
"Day of Sorrow: All Grieved to Learn of Kaiulani's Death"
The Pacific commercial advertiser, March 7, 1899, Image 1
"The Call of Grim Death"
The Hawaiian gazette, March 14, 1899, Image 1
King David Kalakaua (David Laʻamea
Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani
The Hawaiian gazette, February 17, 1891, Image 7
"Kalakaua Dead: the King of the Hawaiian Islands Dies in San
The appeal, January 24, 1891, Image 2
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole
"Prince Kalanianaole Is Dead: Beloved Prince of Hawaii and Delegate to
Congress Passes Away at Waikiki Home"
The Garden Island, January 10, 1922, Image 1
"Death of the King!: Kamehameha IV Proclaimed"
Polynesian., December 16, 1854, Page 126, Image 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015408/1854-12-16/ed-1/seq-2/
"Obituary [Under Special Authority]"
Polynesian, January 06, 1855, Page 138, Image 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015408/1855-01-06/ed-1/seq-2/
King Kamehameha IV, Alexander Liholiho
"Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!"
The Pacific commercial advertiser, December 3, 1863, Image 2
King Kamehameha V, Lot Kapuaiwa
"Death of the King"
The Pacific commercial advertiser, December 14, 1872, Image 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1872-12-14/ed-1/seq-2/Prince Albert Kamehameha
“Death of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Hawaii”
The Pacific commercial advertiser, August 28, 1862, Image 2 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1862-08-28/ed-1/seq-2/
“Death of H. R. H. Prince Albert of Hawaii!”
Polynesian, August 30, 1862, Image 2 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015408/1862-08-30/ed-1/seq-2/
Queen Kapiolani (Esther Kapiʻolani Napelakapuokakaʻe)
"In the Fullness of Years: Death of Queen Dowager Kapiolani"
Austin's Hawaiian weekly, July 1, 1899, Page 3
"Passing of the Queen Dowager"
The Hawaiian gazette, July 5, 1899, Image 1http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1899-07-05/ed-1/seq-1/
"Queen Dowager Kapiolani Passes Away: Death Came at 8:45 This Morning---Peaceful Ending of a Well Rounded Life"
Evening bulletin, June 24, 1899, Image 1http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016413/1899-06-24/ed-1/seq-1/Prince David Kawananakoa (David Laʻamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki Kawānanakoa Piʻikoi)
"Death of Prince David Kawananakoa Yesterday: Was Heir Presumptive of the Throne of Hawaii"
The Hawaiian gazette, June 5, 1908, Page 2 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1908-06-05/ed-1/seq-2/
Princess Ruth Keelikolani (Ruth Luka Keanolani Kauanahoahoa Keʻelikōlani)Queen Liliuokalani
"Death of Her Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani"
The Daily bulletin, May 28, 1883, Image 2
"Queen Who Wrote Famous 'Aloha' Passes to Her Rest"
The Tacoma times, November 12, 1917, Page 5
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085187/1917-11-12/ed-1/seq-5/Jack London - Writer
"London Died as He Was Creating Hawaiian Novel: Gifted Author Expressed 'Fond Belief All Hawaii Would Like Book'"
Honolulu star-bulletin, November 23, 1916, 2:30 Edition, Image 1 & 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1916-11-23/ed-1/seq-1/http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1916-11-23/ed-1/seq-2/
The Maui news, December 1, 1916, Page 4http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014689/1916-12-01/ed-1/seq-4/King William Charles Lunalilo
"The Death of the King"
The Pacific commercial advertiser, February 7, 1874, Image 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1874-02-07/ed-1/seq-2/
Claus Spreckels - BusinessmanJules Tavernier - Artist
"Claus Spreckels, the Sugar King, Is Dead"
The Hawaiian gazette, December 29, 1908, Page 3
"Former Sugar King Spreckels Dead"
Evening bulletin, December 26, 1908, 3:30 EDITION, Images 1 and 4
"Tavernier Dead!: Jules Tavernier, the Famous Artist, Found Dead in His Room--Some Particulars of His Life"
The Daily bulletin, May 18, 1889, Image 3http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1889-05-18/ed-1/seq-3/Dr. Georges Phillipe Trosseau
"Dr. Geo. Trousseau Dead"
The Daily bulletin, May 5, 1894, Image 2 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1894-05-05/ed-1/seq-2/
"George Trousseau: A True Friend of Hawaii has Gone to Rest"
Hawaii holomua = Progress, May 5, 1894, Image 2http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016410/1894-05-05/ed-1/seq-2/
Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox - Politician
"Robert W. Wilcox Dead: Well-Known Home Ruler King Passed Away Quietly at
His Home in the Presence of His Wife and Children"
The Hawaiian gazette, October 27, 1903, Page 2
"Death Calls Alexander Young: Honolulu's Most Widely Known Citizens Answers the Final Summons"
The Hawaiian gazette, July 5, 1910, Page 3
- Alice Kim
Kelley, Harold H. In Search of Your Family Tree. New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1977.
Hough, George A., III. News Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988.