Friday, April 25, 2008

Hawaii Plantation Village - Genealogy Day

Saturday, May 3rd from 10 am to 2 pm the Hawai'i Plantation Village in Waipahu will host the 2nd Genealogy Day at the Village, focusing on Hawaii's ethnic groups. It is free and our Honolulu County Genealogy Society will have two tables there to help people work with their genealogy.
Unfortunately the Hawaii Plantation Village does not update their website, but here is a link, to get general information and directions to the Village.
Come out to the Plantation Village as see what it's all about. It's wonderful. Here's directions:

From downtown: Take H-1 West to Exit # 7 --Waikele/Waipahu. Coming off of H-1 turn left at the stoplight onto Paiwa St. Continue on Paiwa Street until the 5th stoplight, onto Waipahu Street. Turn right onto Waipahu Street and the entrance to Hawaii's Plantation Village is on your left.

You can get a glimpse of last year's Genealogy Day from the video I submitted to and put "Hawaii Genealogy" in the search box. Click onto the picture of our Fran McFarland and watch the 6 min video.

Below is information from the Hawaii Plantation Village website that describes the diverse ethnic groups that have migrated to Hawaii and that they have village exhibits for:

"A Global Workforce Creates a Multi-Ethnic Community"

With options of fishing, taro farming and other traditional food activities, Hawaiians were less than enthusiastic about the regimen of industrial labor. Furthermore, their communities were not large enough to provide the thousands of workers needed for the rapid expansion of the sugar industry after 1876.

Between 1852 and 1946, approximately 395,000 people were brought to Hawaii to work in the sugar fields. Other immigrant groups who came to Hawaii, although in much smaller numbers include: Gilbert Islanders, Norwegians, Germans, Galacians, Spanish, Hindus, African Americans and Russians. Many workers chose to return to their homelands and for some, like the Spanish, Hawaii was a stepping stone to the mainland. Many remained and made Hawaii their home.

The shared experiences of backbreaking labor, low pay and constant supervision created the foundation for these laborers to overcome their differences and find common ground. Hawaii’s plantation communities always had a disproportionate number of single male workers and in the early years, social relationships were associated with a bachelor lifestyle. Not until 1920 did women and children make up half of the plantation community. It is the workers who stayed in Hawaii and raised families who forged a new plantation community in which elements of their individual cultures merged to form the basis of modern multicultural Hawaii.

Prior to 1876, Hawaiians constituted 80% of the sugar workforce. While there would always be Hawaiians on the sugar plantations, after 1880, their numbers dwindled in comparison to imported laborers.

Chinese 1852-1897
Primarily bachelors intending to return to China, the men who stayed usually left the plantations after finishing their contracts. They often started families by marrying Hawaiian women. 46,000 came during these years.

Portuguese 1878-1913
Recruited as families, the Portuguese came to Hawaii with every intention of staying. Although starting as field workers, they often moved into Luna positions.17,500 came during these years.

Puerto Ricans 1878 - 1913
Recruited as families, Puerto Ricans emigrated to Hawaii expecting to establish a new community. They traveled to Hawaii via a long railroad ride across the U.S. from New Orleans to California. 5,200 came during these years.

Japanese 1885-1924
Originally, single men dominated this group. But after women emigrated as picture brides, families became more common. As the largest immigrant group, their cultural influence is seen throughout the plantation community.

Koreans 1903-1905
Over 40% of Korean emigrants were Christians seeking religious freedom and a western way of life in Hawaii. Others had political motives and sought to establish an overseas base for the Korean nationalist struggle. 7,000 Koreans during these years.

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