Hawaiiana & Family History

Do you have Hawaiian ancestry? Most of us would say no because we only think about the indigenous peoples who arrived early in Hawaii.

In fact, Hawaii, like the mainland United States, is a melting pot of ethnicities. Not only are there natives whose families settled in the islands centuries ago, there are immigrant groups ranging from the Japanese and Chinese to the Portuguese who sailed from the Azores in the 19mth century.

If you suspect that you have Hawaiian ancestry and wish to learn more about Hawaiian history in general and how your ancestors contributed to society and local culture, there is a great bookstore in Hilo, Hawaii that you might want to contact.

Big Island Book Buyers
14 Waianuenue Ave, Hilo, Hawaii

Big Island Book Buyers is owned by Mary Bicknell:


This bookstore has an entire section dedicated to Hawaiiana.

The books go on and on:

Does Mary have every book ever published about Hawaii and its people? Nope, but she has a great collection of Hawaiiana books for sale. What she doesn’t have this month, she might have in the future.

Can’t make it into Hilo for a personal visit? Yes, there is a website:

I don’t often promote businesses, but for those with Hawaiian roots, finding books about Hawaiiana that you’d like to own isn’t always easy. Many books had limited printing runs and are not even found on that site we all go to online when we are searching for an item.

The Big Island Book Buyers, which opened in 2007, is a fabulous source for both used and new books about Hawaiiana.

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