I have been researching my family history since 2005. This blog is my attempt at having my research all in one place, as well as build a list of resources available for anyone else who are researching their family history in Fiji.
I also have two other projects, Fiji Shipping Index were I publish information about ships that arrived and departed from Fiji during the 19th Century. And Chinese in Fiji, which aims to provide a resource for those who are researching their Chinese heritage in Fiji..
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Grandfather: Mar Yook. He arrived in Fiji in the 1940s and was born in China. He had a copra plantation and general store in Delanasau, Lekutu, Bua.
Grandmother: Kelera Adi Bolatini from Banikea, Bua, Vanua Levu
Grandfather: John Michael Stewart
Grandmother: Lizzie (Auny Te) Rounds
Paternal Great-Grandfather: John Stewart
Paternal Great-Grandmother: Filomena Rodan
Maternal Great-Grandfather: David Rounds
Maternal Great-Grandmother: Ruth O’Connor
Families I am researching:
Jensen and Stewart - John Jensen (1891-1975) was born in Sydney to Simon Peter Jensen and Annie Maria Bertlesen. Simon and Annie Maria were Danish immigrants. The family moved to New Zealand a few years after John was born. By the early 1900s John was living in Fiji and had changed his name to John Stewart and may have gone by the name Jack as well. He married Filomena Rodan (1893-1920) in 1918. They had four children – Thomas, John, Harry and Edward. John moved to Samoa after Filomena died and returned to New Zealand resuming his birth name, John Jensen.
Rodan – Spanish Frank/Francis Rodan was the first Rodan in Fiji. His wife was Ana Levu, whose father was Sipiriano Sorr. Frank Rodan was a crew on board French brig L’Aimable Josephine, which was wrecked at Kaba, not far from Bau, in 1834. Spelling variations: Roden, Rodoun, Rodonda, Randono.
Sorr/Shaw – Sipiriano Sorr , was a ‘Manila-man’ who arrived in Fiji on the Manila based Spanish brig Laurice. The Laurice had arrived in Fiji in 1823 to seek beach-der-mer. In January 1824, the crew mutinied and killed the captain. According to oral history he was either the ships chaplain or magician, possibly both. The family later changed their name to Shaw.
Underwood – Achilles Underwood arrived in Fiji around the late 1850s to early 1860s. He married Terugona from Kadavu in 1862.
Rounds – Charles Rounds was the first Rounds in Fiji. He arrived around 1851-1853 on a whaling vessell from New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States. He married FrannyPickering, daughter of Charles Pickering and Burekaria Tavuakovei.
Pickering – Charles Pickering arrived in Fiji in the late 1830s. Charles had children from various women (Fijian, Tongan, Fijian/Tongan and Fijian/European). Charles Pickering was born in 1814 in New South Wales, Australia to convict parents – Charles Pickering and Catherine Burn/Byrne (public records list both spellings).
O’Connor - the O’Connor family are descendants of Patrick Connell, also known as Paddy Connel. Paddy arrived in Fiji 1808/1809 on the brig Trial. The Trial went to Fiji to join the ship General Wellesley to collect a cargo of sandalwood to take to China. Paddy stayed on in Fiji. My line is via Phillip O’Connor who married Maria Sorby.
Sorby - LDS Family Search lists Wilheim Bill Sorby and Mere Balavu as being married around 1869 and that Wilheim was born in Rakkestad, Ostfold, Norway. However an online Beddoes family tree I’ve come across lists Mere’s husband as Joseph Sorby. Their son, Thomas Sorby had two wives -Emmaline Bui Pickering and Mary Mere Shackley. My line is the Pickering one – Thomas Soby and Emmaline Bui Pickering’s daughter, Maria Sorby married Phillip O’Connor. Emmaline was the daughter of Charles Pickering (previously mentioned) and Liku.
Updated: 10 May 2013.