Clarice B. Taylor on the Beckleys, 1960.

Clarice B. Taylor’s

Tales about Hawaii

Captain George Beckley and Family

The Beckleys are a proud family. They have a right to be.

Their story is well known because each generation of Beckleys has produced a writer, one who could tell the family stories and keep them before the public. The most prolific of these writers was the late Ahuena Davison Taylor, wife of the late A. P. Taylor.

Beckleys married writers. Prominent was the late Emma Nakuina, mother of Fred Kahea Beckley, who wrote authoritative legends and a paper on the old water right system of ancient Hawaii.

All the Beckleys come from good Alii (chiefly) stock of Kohala. All can trace their lineage to Naiole [Naeole], the chief who saved the life of Kamehameha at his birth. Another big name of their lineage is Kameeiamoku, the royal twin who stands to the right on the state seal.

These old chiefs were rulers of the Kohala district and were kahu to the royal family. Being a kahu was the highest and most trusted honor in old Hawaii.

The Kamaka Stillman branch of the family prides itself upon being descended from Kaha-o-pulani, the chiefess who nursed Kamehameha, through her daughter Kaha-ku-akane. The daughter shared her mother’s breast with Kamehameha and it makes all Stillmans “milk-brothers” or “milk-sisters” of the Kamehameha family.

The Stillmans say “If it hadn’t been for Kaha-o-pulani, there would have been no Kamehameha.”

The name Akika-maka-o-kawaukeo-pio-pio (Snatching-the-Eye-of-the-Young [wauke] is a name carried by the family in commemoration of the event.

Mrs. Stillman’s name, Ou-Kamaka-o-waukeo-i-opiopio, could be translated “Pick off the leaf bud.”

Other branches of the family are descended from the chief Hoolulu who hid the bones of Kamehameha at Kamehameha’s death. The young chief Hoolulu was selected by Hoapili  to help secrete the bones. He did his job so carefully and so well, the bones have never been discovered to this day.

All this Hawaiian background is most interesting, but the story of their great=grandfather Captain George Beckley, the Englishman, is full of adventure.

He arrived in Hawaii about 1806, so we meet all our old friends—John Young, Issac Davis, Alexander Adams, John Harbottle and other founders of Hawaii’s First Families.

(Star-Bulletin, 7/5/1960, p. 46)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume 49, Number 187, Page 46. July 5, 1960.

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