The McCorristons of Molokai is an online resource for descendants of Daniel and Hugh McCorriston, Irishmen who immigrated to the Kingdom of Hawaii in the mid-1800s, and for anyone who is interested in the rich history of Hawaii in the Victorian era and beyond. We seek to share our moʻokūʻauhau—our genealogy—and to play our small part in perpetuating the history and culture of our Hawaii.
Like many families, we’ve experienced a resurgence in interest in family genealogies due to the abundance of at-home DNA testing services. As the stories of our ancestors began to develop, we realized that some of what we were finding was brand-new information and that we needed to record our findings. New information comes available on a fairly regular basis, which may change some of the narratives.
A Small Disclaimer
As previously mentioned, the narratives sometimes change as new information comes available. Similarly, the stories that we put together are only as good as the resources we have—and they’re not always reliable. Sometimes dates are wrong, sometimes memories fail, and sometimes people change the story to cover up the truth. We aim to share the (true) stories to the best of our abilities.
The profiles on this website are only about people who are no longer living. We aim to protect the identities and privacy of living people to the best of our abilities. It may be possible for readers to put together the pieces (for example, if census information attached to a deceased person also applies to a living person); however, we will not directly draw those conclusions. Exceptions may be made with the explicit permission of the living person, and possibly the permission of their living elders.
In most cases, this website uses current, modern-day Hawaiian orthography; words that need an ʻokina or kahakō (over-vowel macron) typically include them. When transcribing or quoting original documents or passages, the orthography of the time is used. Therefore, some words that use an ʻokina or kahakō in the present day may not include them in the text of the past. Furthermore, because this website is written in English, Hawaiian words are italicized. When used, pidgin—or Hawaii Creole English—words are not italicized. Hawaiian and other non-English names are not italicized; however, some names are transliterated using the English alphabet for wider comprehension.
A Special Note on the Word “Molokai”
Molokai is spelled without an ʻokina (glottal stop) throughout this site (“Molokai”) for several reasons: firstly, many historical documents omit the ʻokina; secondly, our family has historically not used the ʻokina, nor do many present-day residents of the island; thirdly, Mary Kawena Pukuʻi, noted Hawaiian scholar, confirmed in May of 1986 that the correct name is “Molokai,” or “Gathering of the Ocean Waters.” From Tales of Hawaiʻi: the Voice of Harriet Ne:
The reason that the name Molokai is left without the glottal stop is because my tūtū wahine (grandmother) says that when she was growing up in Pelekunu it was never pronounced Molokaʻi (Moh-loh-kah-ee), but rather Molokai (Moh-loh-kī). Then in about the 1930s, the name changed to Molokaʻi, in part she believes because musicians began pronouncing the name that way. Mary Kawena Pukuʻi, three weeks before her death, called my tūtū and told her that the correct name is Molokai, which means “the gathering of the ocean waters.” On the rugged north coast of the island, the ocean slams hard into the pali. On the south and east shores, the ocean water glides gently to shore due to the ocation of reefs at least a quarter of a mile offshore. Hence the name, Molokai, “Gathering of the Ocean Waters.” —Edward Halealoha Ayau
The exception to this rule is if a quoted source or publication title spells Molokai with an ʻokina (“Molokaʻi”).
If you are a descendant of the McCorristons and/or would like to contribute to The McCorristons of Molokai, please contact the editor by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.