The ancient civilisation of Hawaii traces its origins into the mists of time. The four great islands of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu were originally ruled by separate Alii Aimoku, under whom, subordinate district Alii r held feudal sway. All four dynasties were interrelated and claimed descent from a certain Wakea. Believed to be of devine origin, he is said to have arrived in the islands from the Moluccas, in the Indonesian archipelago. Information on all four dynasties is provided within these pages.

For some condsiderable time, during the latter half of the eighteenth century, the kingdom of the island of Hawaii fragmented into several petty principalities and chiefdoms. Internecene warfare between them became common. Unity had to wait until a young Chief of the main dynasty, began a series of wars of conquest and strategic alliances. Succeeding his brother as Alii of Kohala and Kona in 1782, he set out to unify Hawaii proper, and later to subdue the neighbouring islands. Known to history as Kamehameha the Great, he came to unify the whole of the Hawaiian, or Sandwich, islands into a single kingdom by 1810. His descendants ruled the united kingdom, until the extinction of his direct line in 1874.

At the extinction of the male line of Kamehameha, the nobles and chiefs chose David Kalakaua, a great noble of high standing and a descendant of Kamehameha the Great's grandfather. He died without issue having nominated his sister, Liliu-o-kalani, as is successor. She was deposed by an armed coup d'etat by American colonists in 1893.

The leaders of the coup proclaimed a republic in 1894, filling all senior government positions themselves, to the exclusion of Hawaiians. Four years later they succeeded in persuading the United States to annex the islands outright. After a period of sixty years, in which, free immigration from the continental US reigned, Hawaii was given the opportunity of becoming a State of the United States. Not surprisingly, the majority of the electorate eventually chose, so to do. Throughout this period, the Hawaiian monarchy, its institutions and its symbols have provided a powerful source of national pride and reminder of freedom to the indigenous population.

Queen Liliu-o-kalani not having had any living issue herself, adopted and appointed David Kawanakoa as her Heir Presumptive. He was raised to princely rank and granted the style of Royal Highness, along with his children and siblings. It is with his descendants, that the claim to the regal title now rest.


See separate link below.

Dorothy B. Barrère. Kamehameha in Kona: Two Documentary Studies. Pacific Anthropological Records No 23. Bernice Puahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, September 1975.
C.C. Bennett. Honolulu Directory and Historical Sketch of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands. C.C. Bennett, Publisher, Stationer and News Agent, Honolulu, 1869.
A.-C. Eugène Caillot. Histoire de la Polynésie orientale. Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1910.
A.-C. Eugène Caillot. Mythes, légendes et traditions des Polynésiens. Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1913.
Abraham Fornander. An Account of the Polynesian Race, its Origins and Migrations, and the Ancient History of the Hawaiian People to the times of Kamehameha I. Three Volumes. Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1878-1885.
Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1892. Thos. G. Thrum, Honolulu, HI, 1891.
Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1893. Thos. G. Thrum, Honolulu, HI, 1892.
Libro d'Oro della Nobilita' Italiana. Edizione XXI, Volume XXIII, 1995-1999. Collegio Araldico, Roma.
Gordon Medcalf. Hawaiian Royal Orders: Insignia, Classes, Regulations and Members. Oceania Coin Company, Honolulu, 1963.
Barbara Bennett Peterson. Notable Women of Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1984.
H. Stanford Smith. The Minor Non-European Dynasties. Material not included in Vol. 1 of Manuel d'histoire, etc. by A.M.H.J. Stokvis. Manuscript, 1951.
A.M.H.J. Stokvis. Manuel d'histoire, de généalogie et de chronologie de tous les Etats du globe, etc. B.M. Israël, Leiden, 1888.

Dr. Morris L. Bierbrier, FSA
Stephen Bunford.
Hermann Ganseforth
Eugene Gregory Kaleonaheokahekili Green
David Williamson
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