Anyone know who Laulani Koki is? 1890.


Hanohano Hanalei i ka ua nui
He pakika i ka limu o Manuakepa
Anu hewa i ka wai o Lumahai
Kalehuamakanoe o Luluupali
Alai e ka noe paa o Naue
E ena Haena i ka ehukai
I maliu i ke ala o ka lauae
A heaha ka hana a Lohiau ipo
O ka li’a i ka wai Kuauhoe
O ka nihi a ke ahi i Makuaiki
Haaheo i ka haka o Nualolo
Ka anohi uakoko i ka moana
Wehiwehi Polihale i ka Pahapaha
I ka lei makahehi a ka malihini
Ua nani Mana i ka liula
Ka anapa ka alohi aiai na ike
Ike i ke one kani o Nohili
Kohu Vaiolina ke hone mai
Haina ia mai ana ka puana
O Halia Laulani ko’u inoa.

Ua nani Waimea i ka waikea
He paihi i ka Waiulailiahi
Ua ahi uka i ke ahe a ke Kiu
Ike i ka auwai a ka Menehune
O ke kupueu o Kikiaola
Nana iho oni poli o Lehua
Aia i ka lai o Maluaka
Kuu lei ohai alo ehukai
He hoa kaana no Limaloa
No ka olali o Kalanamaihiki
Hiki mai ke aloha wela Waineki
Hoapaapa la i Papiohuli
E huli e pili me Panaewa
Me ke one haaheo la o Luhi
Luhi hewa i ke anu o Aipo
I ka uka leo manu o Alakai
Ike i ka uka lipo o ka palai
I ka maha ua la o Hihimanu
Haina ia mai ana ka puana
O Halia Laulani ko’u inoa.

Hanohano Niihau i ka malie
Kaulana i ka wai a ka Paoo
Hooheno i ke ko o Halalii
I ke kai kui hone o Kauakahi
Hookahi o Lehua e alo nei
I kolu i ke ao a ka Naulu
Uluhua i ka leo o ia manu
I ka iku-wa la iluna o Kaula
Oki pau e ka lai ia Nihoa
I ka pa kolonahe a Kainuwai
Ua lai Haupu noho i ka uka
Aloalo ehu wai a o Kemamo
Haina ia mai ana ka puana
O Halia Laulani ko’u inoa.

Hanohano ka uka i Pihanakalani
I ka leo o ka ohe o Kanikawi
Nana i hooipoipo ke aloha
A loaa o Kaililauokekoa
Ke Kuini i ka home o na manu
Ke ala anuhea pua Mokihana
He kona piliahi no Kawaikini
He uwila i ka luna o Waialeale
Aneane no au e laiwale
E noho kapena no Kawelowai
Pa-ha pa-lima kuu lohe ana
Ua hui Huleia me Niumalu
Ua malu Kuhiau noho i ka iu
Ua paa i ka pono a Lihue
Haina ia mai ana ka puana
O Halia Laulani ko’u inoa.

[Laulani Koki is the daughter of Kamuela postmaster Moses Koki. Does anyone have further information on her and why all references in this mele are Kauai centered?]

(Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, 4/19/1890, p. 4)


Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Buke XIII, Helu 16, Aoao 4. Aperila 19, 1890.

23 thoughts on “Anyone know who Laulani Koki is? 1890.

  1. I did some research at, and also searched cemeteries on the Big Island. I used many records (including a couple of public family trees) to compile this information.

    Laulani “Nellie” Koki was born Nov 1887 in Waimea (Kamuela), island of Hawai’i to Moses Koki (Dec 1869- 1 Mar 1941) Moses’ heritage was Chinese and Hawaiian. Moses was divorced when he first appears with his daughter in the 1900 Census, so I haven’t found Laulani’s mother. Some of the online family trees (where I might have found her mother) have inaccuracies. Moses is married 2 more times in later census records, but each wife would have been too young to be Laulani’s mother (those other wives come from Kawai, Parker and Purdy families).

    In the 1910 census, Moses has not yet re-married, but Laulani is now married to Robert Kihoi, who was principal of the Waimea School from about 1907 to at least the last time I have records for him in 1940. They were apparently newlyweds in 1910 and living in Moses’ household.
    Laulani can be found with her husband Robert Kinoi in the 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 censes, always in Waimea (Kamuela). She is listed as “Nellie” or “Nellie L.”) in all censes after 1910.

    Together they had 7 children, beginning in 1910. After the late 1930s some of the children are listed in some Honolulu and Kaneohe directories (a daughter is pictured as a sophomore in the 1936 McKinley H.S. yearbook).

    I have no death dates for Laulani, Robert Kihoi or Moses Koki. They very likely remained in Waimea. All died after the 1940 census, which is the last year any records can be found in the Ancestry dot com files (all U.S. censes after 1940 have not been opened to the public yet — there is always a 70 year lag to respect privacy of people who may be living).

    Normally people born after the 1880s will be found in the Social Security Death Index, but Robert’s profession as a teacher may have excluded him from SS benefits because he was a public employee under a public pension system. Moses was probably nearing retirement when the Social Security Act went into effect, and may not have qualified. He had a large home in Waimea in the 1930s and 1940s, because a number of boarders lived at the house.

    Only three Waimea cemeteries have online burial records, and I couldn’t find any Koki or Kihoi family. However, two other important local cemeteries don’t have indexed records online at this time, so the case isn’t closed yet (could use some local volunteers to compile the information from headstones, because a lot of prominent Hawai’i families are buried in Waimea)

    Laulani has living descendants in Waimea (Kamuela), Honolulu County and a few places on the mainland. Some have Facebook pages and one is on LinkedIn. I have obviously made no attempt to contact them and their privacy should be respected, but they would very likely have information on their grandparents (Laulani and Robert).

    No idea why there would be a reference to Kauai in this mele!

    • Moses Koki was Married to Kaniu Purdy (sister to the famous cowboy Ikua Purdy). Their daughter was Laulani Nellie Koki…, Laulani married Robert Kihoi and they both are buried in Waimea. Laulani is my grandmother. Aloha

  2. I have just discovered some very early marriage records (from state archives) that the Koki surname appears in Kauai in 1855. From the context of the records I searched earlier, I believe Moses Koki was born on Hawaii island, but he may have had relatives on or parents from Kauai.

    • Mahalo. That is very interesting and puzzling… Maybe there is another Laulani Koki.
      And maybe i should spend more money and get a subscription to that I am always trying to find out relations and what not for people I find here…

      • Hawaiian genealogy is challenging! (Before I continue, the death date for Moses Koki (Mar 1941) was noted in someone’s family tree without citing a source. Nothing wrong with that, if it’s from family records or family oral traditions!)

        The best overall databases in Ancestry dot com are from US (mainland) sources, because church parishes, counties, states, the military and the federal government all have records which are being made available to Ancestry’s subscribers.

        Hawaiian records (especially for the 19th century) are more sparse, so a subscription to might not be as useful as it is for parts of the mainland. The three most important life events when researching an individual are birth, marriage and death. There are some Hawaii databases for each of these, but they are nowhere near as thorough for the 19th century as we might want them to be. In fact, they are frustratingly sparse.

        The next important item, of course, is parentage. In some US states the parents’ names are on birth and death certificates, but in general online searches that’s rare. We rely more on the censes, to see who lived in which household. From there we can determine one’s parents.

        There are several problems when identifying families. In the 19th century many Hawaiians didn’t have first and last names. That single name could also be male or female. A second factor is the custom of hanai, where a child may have been placed in the household of relatives. Lastly, although there were Hawaii censes after the 1830s, most have not been transcribed yet and some may have been incomplete to begin with. The 1860 Island of Hawaii census, for example, is only digitized for parts of Hilo and the Hamakua coast (Waipio Valley is documented for 1860 and it’s fascinating!). The first US federal census in Hawaii was in 1900, immediately after Hawaii became a territory.

        There is one final, potentially rich resource for Hawaiian genealogy which has been unexplored until recently. Thomas A. Woods, of the Mission Houses Museum, has been studying the personal property tax rolls over several decades of the 19th century. Landowners and the landless poor were all taxed on personal property and there were assessments for labor for road maintenance, etc.The tradition goes far back into pre-contact times with the tribute which commoners made to the ali’i.

        Personal property tax rolls offer a glimpse into how people lived, because their houses, their household possessions and their livestock are all enumerated and assigned a value. More discussion of this research can be found in the Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol.. 45 (2011). Since everything in these documents is enumerated in Hawaiian, volunteer translators are sorely needed to transcribe these and make the databases available to scholars.

      • The youngest daughter of Laulani Koki, Lorna Kihoi Tefft, as well as her sister, Edna Kihoi Kwock lives in Ca. I am Lorna’s daughter, Demetria (aka Anakura) who is visiting from B.I. happened to sit with my Mom, Lorna, typed in Moses Koki, then Waimea, and found this. This is my Tutu (who died a year after I was born in ’47) and my Mother’s Mom.
        I think Errol is my cousin Errol. Amazing he typed the message above just yesterday and my Mom and I just asked to know about her TutuKane, Moses Koki.

        • I am Herbert Emmett Kihoi, Jr grandson of Robert and Laulani Kihoi. Our family has two cemetaries one in Waimea next to the Lucy Henriques Hospital the other in Pahoa , Oahu next to the Akaka house our Koki cousins. Robert Kihoi Jr is buried there next to Rev Abraham Akaka. Moses Koki is buried on the grounds at Hawaii Prepertory Academy. Laulani Kihoi Adams our first cousin would have a truck load of information for the Kihoi Ohana.
          Nice aticle,

          • Aloha! Moses Koki was married to my greatgrandmother, Miriam Kawai. Both of them are buried in our family cemetery in Waimea behind Parker Lodge and Parker School.

          • My Great grandfather Moses Koki married our great grandmother Kaniu Purdy he could have been married more then once. In that case, aloha oe (love to you) cousin.

          • ʻO ia nō, cousin! Would love to meet one day. I have a beautiful picture of Tūtū Moses Kōkī, and my dad was named for him as he raised my grandma (as a stepdad).

  3. Aloha, my name is Kathy Kwock Decker and Laulani Koki is my grandmother. My mother was Edna Kihoi Kwock who my cousin Demetria mentions in her notes. I notice a couple of other cousins wrote to you too. My mother passed 2 years ago at the age of 96. As Herbert said, Laulani Kihoi Adams will be your best bet if you are looking for specific information. But I do have some pictures of my grandfather and grandmother Robert and Laulani Kihoi as well as a picture of Moses Koki, my mother’s grandfather, sitting in his old car surrounded by his grandkids, one of which is my mom. Nice to see interest in our family.

  4. Aloha Kathy, my name is Sherry Hester. My mother is Elizabeth Halialaulani Kihoi, but most everyone knows her as Dusty. Her grandfather was Robert Kihoi, the school teacher from Waimea, and her grandmother was Laulani Koki. She carries her grandmotherʻs name (Halia)Laulani. I remember hearing my mother speak of her Aunty Edna and the Kwock family. I would love to be able to share your photographs with her somehow. She has been living in NC since 1959 and has very few photos of her parents and grandparents. She is now 77 and the trip back home is becoming very difficult. Would you please email me at Perhaps I can assist you in getting those photos reproduced or even publishing them online for all our families!
    Me ke aloha pumehana,
    Halia (Sherry)

  5. Laulani Nellie Koki. She passed away on April 27, 1948 the day after I was born. She was my grandmother. She was the 5th generation greatgrandaughter of King Kamehameha 1st. Her roots is from John Palmer Parker I who married Kipikane. One of their child was Mary Ann who married twice, the second marriage was to Waipa family. Their daughter was Anna Waipa who married William Purdy. A number of kids, including Kaniu and Ikua. Moses Koki married Kaniu Purdy. Their only child was Laulani Koki. Moses Koki was a USPS Postmaster. Kaniu Purdy was sister to Ikua Purdy. Eventually Moses Koki seperated from Kaniu Purdy and again married Miriam Kawai. According to my mother, Laulani was raised by an Ali’i…maybe because of the seperation of father and mother? I don’t know who raised Laulani? Laulani married Robert Kihoi who was a school teacher at Waipio and eventually transfered to Waimea. Laulani was a lei maker. Their shack/shed outside had hundreds of pheasants. Their ranch was where Puu Nani St. There was an old broken down house on the immediate right as you enter Puu Nani St., not sure if they lived there. There is a new house now, kind of the same configuration as the older house. They also had some property next to the old Ice House. There is an old greenish house that my cousin Kaiwi Kihoi lives in, that was my grandfather and grandmother’s house. That old house was originally located at the old shell service station in the hearts of Waimea. At the Shell Service Station or at the time old the house was there, there was a river behind. My mother Beatrice Kihoi would swim with her siblings. The river was like a reddish clay… The river runs red….

    In the days before, birth certificates were not required untill the late 1800’s and eventually becaume law by the early 1900’s. My mothers middle name doesn’t show on her birth certificate but she aways mentioned that the name Hali’alaulani was given to her. That person might be Lumaheihei…but not sure. My granddaughter middle name is also Hali’alaulani but with permission from my mother. Others in my Ohana also carries the name Laulani or Hali’alaulani. As far as the song goes, it was never mentioned from my family. I’m just as curious.

    Robert and Laulani Kihoi is buried behind the food court shopping center and across the road. Buried are Kihoi, Koki and Denis as I know of. Moses and Miriam are buried behind the Parker School. I don’t know where my greatgrandmother Kaniu is buried.

    • Aloha! My greatgrandmother was MIriam Waiohinu Kawai (Koki). My dad was the eldest boy, names Moses for his stepgrandpa, Moses Koki. Miriam’s house still stands behind Parker Lodge/School and our family graveyard is there. That you for explaining the Purdy/Waipa/Parker connection. Miriam and Kaniu were cousins and I’m trying to find that link.

  6. Aloha I’m related through Kealiimaikai did some research and notice Laulani Kihoi daughter Katherine is buried in Kauai.

    • Hi Valerie. Laulani Nellie Kihoi’s daughter Catherine Kumakalehua Kihoi is buried in Waimea. She was born March 11, 1911 and died May 20, 1911.

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