Saffery Ancestral Gravesite

Update on the preservation and access 
to the Saffery `Ohana 
ancestral gravesite on Maui 
by Donnalee HueSing-Curimao, February 2016

Aloha my Ohana Saffery on all Islands, my name is Donnalee HueSing-Curimao of Lahaina, Maui.

I continue to do research on all the burial sites of our Saffery Kupuna and their (14) children.

The burial site of Capt. Edmund Saffery is located on Maui in Ulupalakua - now on a parcel of private land. I was able to reach the new owners of the Saffery property where the gravesite is located at Paeahu, to ask to gain access to the site for my research and our `Ohana.

In the 1980's I remember visiting the ʻĀINA and the gravesite at the time the land was under different ownership. At that time, the gravesite was quite large and there were many little graves around with larger headstones. One grave in particular had a dome-like shape, and I was told then that it was Captain Edmund Saffery’s - my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. 

These graves were all fenced in with an entry gate under large trees. 
Unfortunately during my last visit 5-6 years ago I noticed the gravesite looked very different. Apparently it seemed that it was encroached upon, and all of the graves were either covered and the tombs were shaved down. Now, three graves are visible.

I was able to get in touch with and then met with a beautiful and accommodating lady who is the new owner. She and her family are originally from Japan.  I have been in contact with her, and have recently discovered, that her family is selling the property.  * Update: the land has been sold to Ulupalakua Ranch.

To understand what our rights are in regard to visiting our kupuna gravesite, I went to visit the State of Hawaii Burial Council, to inquire about access rights, and the history of the site. I was told that we are entitled to access by law, especially since the cemetery is owned by the Saffery family.

My current research involves learning who else is buried there besides the Captain, his grand daughter Sarah Saffery, her husband James Brown, the Captain’s son Edmund Jr. and his wife Emmalia. I think there are many more buried in the family cemetery.  * Update: Please contact us if  
you are interested in more information on claiming Lineal Decendency to the gravesite.

I feel that I am not alone in my desire to know as much as we can about this part of our family history.

Currently, I am leading an effort to install a plaque on a monument placed in front of the cemetery with all our ancestor’s names who are buried there - to honor and recognize their place in Hawaii’s (and our own) histories. 

We also would like to know if there are any family on Oahu that have access to maps of the original gravesite to determine the footprint that is our kuleana. Additionally, we are working towards getting a Burial Treatment Plan (BTP) needed to establish an easement entrance to the family burial site so we don't need to go through the owners.

If you have more information about the site, i.e. pictures, family anecdotes, historical records, OR if you would like to be involved in the planning of the memorial plaque - please email me.

Sincerely, your cousin,