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.

A library assistant by profession, I am also an artist, blogger, and family historian specialising in Fiji research, covering European contact prior to cession (1800 – 1874).

I have Fijian (vasu Bua, Kadavu, Rewa and Bau), Danish, Spanish, Filipino, American, Irish, English, and Chinese ancestry with connections to Australia and New Zealand.

As a family historian, I am interested in fragmented identities and explore mixed race stories, documenting the undocumented and making archival material accessible.

My mixed heritage has influenced my arts practice. My creative works have tried to understand, embrace, accept and acknowledge my “otherness”. I explore my journey as a minority, and the experiences of migration and diaspora. My arts practice explores and celebrates the relationships between visual culture and contemporary Pacific identities through Pacific symbols, motifs and iconography found in my Australian urban landscape.

For more information about my arts practice see http://urbanviti.wordpress.com/dulcie-stewart/

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Dulcie Stewart
Brisbane, Australia

Other Projects

Fiji Shipping Index

The Fiji Shipping Index lists ships and passengers that arrived and departed from Fiji during the 19th Century.

The Middle

The Middle: fragmented identities is an online archival art and research project that documents the use of the identity descriptors half-caste, Part-European and kailoma from the 19th century to the present day. These words have been used to label the descendants of the early European settlers and indigenous Fijian women. By documenting the use of these words in published and archival materials, the artist hopes to map and understand the complex narratives of mixed heritage and identity in post-colonial Fiji. Project has a projected 2014 launch date.

48 Responses to About

  1. Margaret Rose Shanta Patel family nickname BUBU pronounced boo boo) says:

    Hi Dulcie read your very impressive research on Charles Rounds Sr. with interest.If you are Aunty Te’s grandchild.She lived at Knolly St Suva. She was my mother(Jane Round’s first cousin. My mother’s father was John Rounds. You didn’t mention your dad’s name was it Lawrence? John’s brother.So I met you,when you were little, if you lived at Knolly St and your mother as well.
    I have a photo ot my grand father John Rounds if you are interested. Love to hear from you to exchange information. A correction, I think in the Lands Claims Commision Charles Rounds said he was in Lauthla in 1851 not that he arrived in 1851.I read it at theNational Archives, Suva.

    • Dulcie S. says:

      Bula Aunty Bubu! I remember you. Sorry it’s taken this long to repy. I’ll email you asap.

      • James Stevenson says:

        Bula Dulcie. As a child I lived at Lekutu and knew both Mah Yook & his wife Adi. Would
        appreciate an indepth email contact with you. I live on the Sunshine Coast.

  2. Hayward Osborn says:

    Bula Dulcie,
    I think I may have met Mar Yook. Did he live at Lekutu? I certainly knew Bertie Lee who I think took over the property from him, a large coconut plantation. I stayed a few days there once.
    My grandparents, surname Edwards, settled in Bua 99 years ago so we have a long connection there.

    Hayward Osborn
    Christchurch, NZ

    • Dulcie S. says:

      Bula Hayward. Yes, Mar Yook did live in Lekutu. I was speaking to Richard (Dick) Lee (Bertie’s son) who grew up on the property in Lekutu and he does remember the Edwards.

      I’d love to hear about your visit to Lekutu.


  3. karlhain says:

    Found your blog from Geneabloggers. Good luck with your project.

    Moonnanappallil Family History

  4. Judy Bennett says:

    I am a historian at University of Otago, Dunedin esearching children of US servicemen and Pacific Islands women in World War II. Please contact me at email address
    I have some information re Mary Sorby, Daughter of Joseph Dorby (Suva) and Dolly Sorby from New Zealand

    • Caroline Chang(nee sorby) says:

      Hi i am a Sorby and Joe Sorby is my father Bill Sorbys brother. Mary and i are first cousins. SHe still lives in Auckland, New Zealand last i heard. I was in touch with them for many years but have had no news of them for the last 25years.

    • Joe Sorby says:

      Bula Judy I am Joe sorby Joe and dollys grandson they brought me up I moved to Australia in the sixties dolly was a Bennett.

  5. John Underwood says:

    Just browsing google and happened to search my ancestary….Wondering if you might know about it….All I know is we came from Kadavu……My Dads name was Levi Underwood son of John Underwood and Amei (parternal grandmother) a lady from Nakorokoro and Drue I think……

    Would certainly appreciate some feedback….

  6. Mike Shaw says:

    Bula Dulcie,

    I am a decedent of Sipriano Sorr (now known as Shaw). He is my great, great, great grand father. Sipriano Sorr had a son named Jone Soa Catimaibau or Jone Cati as its written in uncle Franks book. Jone had 2 children from his 2nd wife (Amelia Biabiau from Mokani – Matanivanua), Ana and Sipriano (Tukana) Shaw. Tukana had only 1 son who is my grand father, Philip Shaw or Big Philip.
    I am trying to find out more about Sipriano Sorr and how Naqoqo was given to Jone Cati. Uncle Franks book only mentions the land (Naqoqo) was given to him but with no explanation.
    I intend to go to the achieves to research this history and just wondering if you have any more info on the Sorr/Shaw history.
    With what I have read on materials from the achieve is that the Manila Brig “Laurice” arrived in Fiji for Beche-de-mer and the crew including Sipriano Sorr mutinied the ship and later stayed on Bau from whence the history began.
    Any info will be appreciated.

    Mike Shaw

    • Dulcie S. says:

      Bula Mike, I don’t have much information about Sipiano Sorr apart from waht Frank Shaw has written about in the Fiji Times. I read about the book he wrote and will need to get a copy for myself. Your best option would be to go to the Fiji Archives.

      I will email you later on what information I have about the brig Laurice as well as an article about the ‘manila man’.

  7. Frank Smith.. says:

    Thanks Dulcie Frank Smith here..networking..

  8. Gina Demona says:

    Hi Dulcie, I’ve been in touch with you a few times in the past few years. Was desperately going through my emails hoping to find yours. I am a descendant of Charles O’connor. I’ve mentioned to you that someone in our family did a family tree for the O’connor side. I’ve finally had it converted to PDF and JPG file. I would love to have you take a look at it since you’ve been researching this for a while. If you could please get in touch with me. Thanks – Gina

    • Taati Eria says:

      Hi Gina!
      I’m from Kiribati my family descendants from a guy known as Charles O’connor from Kadavu in Fiji. he came to Kiribati in the 18’s and married a lady from Nikunau and have 2 sons named Anare and Albert. i just curious if possible to share the copy of the research done for the O’connor family tree.
      Would be happy to hear from you

  9. Pepe says:

    I would like to know your sources for the John Acraman segment, please, it is important. I have done vast comprehensive research on this and see a major gap in this story.

  10. Pepe says:

    Thank you. Got it.

  11. Matt R. says:

    Hi, I’m looking for the name of the Chinese Shopkeeper who lived in Yaroi Village on the island of Matuku in the early 1950’s. He may have moved to the Vanua Levu and Taveuni area not long after. He may have married a Fijian woman also from Matuku in the 1950’s. ANY help would be so very much appreciated.
    Maciu R.

    • Where in Vanua Levu did he go to? Bua? Did he have a store in Vanua Levu/Taveuni too? What was his wife’s name?

      Have you tried the Fiji National Archives? Try looking up Land leases for Lau at the Archives, the Chinese shopkeeper would have had to have a lease. Although in most cases the leaser would be a Chinese trading company and not necessary the storekeeper who worked for the trading company.

      Found the following in Chinese in Fiji by Bessie Ng Kumlin Ali p 225. Chang Sun Lam from Kaping, China – Storekeeper in Matuku. Arrived in Fiji 1922. Date of Application Jan. 1931 Note: the list doesn’t indicate what sort of application. Bessie Ali’s original source was from documents at the Fiji Archives.

      • Matt R. says:

        Hi Dulcie, thank you very much for your response. I do not have any answers to any of your questions, but I do appreciate your research. I think Chang Sun Lam predates the person I am searching for, which I may have info on. I was told that the person who ran the store on Yaroi village in the 1950s was K.W. March (Yee Kum Wing March), did anyone here know him?

      • Kum Wing March & Co Ltd. owned Chinese stores in Lau. (Source: He Served: A Biography of Macu Salato).

        I believe his son (I could be wrong) is Edmund March who is in his 80’s and lives in Suva.

      • Matt R. says:

        Hi Dulcie, thanks for the info. After a lot more info, including talking to Edmund March, and also revisiting my notes I have a little bit more info.

        The person I was looking for may be a Yee Park (Park Yee) who married a lady called Rita. Rita was from the Gilbert islands. They may have had 2 children. Yee Park passed away in the old peoples home in veisari, so I am now looking for his descendants. If you know anyone who may have more info, it would be greatly appreciated, in the meantime I will try writing to the archives.

        They may have moved to Taveuni after Matuku, in the 1950s.

        Thanks again,

  12. Matt R. says:

    Dulcie do you know anyone from that family? From my above post?

    • The name Rita who was Gilbertise and was married to a Chinese man sounds familiar. I’ve contacted 3 people, email me (cieart@gmail.com) and I will forward on any information they have.

  13. kimere Teratabu Kaisisi says:

    HI Dulice Stewart my name is Kimere Teratabu Kaititi O’connor I,m from Gilbertise or Kiribati I ‘m happy to comment on the above mention for the name Rita for my side is Ritia married to Charles O’connor 3rd generation from fiji. Let me explain for charles O’connor3rd. O’connor has three sons William O’connor or Bill , Charles O’connor., Philip O’connor Charles O’connor has three wifes , namely 1st wife Lydia Whippy legal wife, 2nd wife Litia Wanicau, 3rdwife fijian lady no name they have three children namely Kasava Qelo, Charles, Albert , Charles travel to the Gilbert island married to Ritia , they have two sons namely Anare and Arobete. thank you I happy if this the right person you are looking for

  14. kimeret\ Tertabu Kaisisi says:

    Rita shes a gilbertise lady married to Charles O’connor 3r and have 2 children namely Albert and Anare and I am the line for Charles O’connor 3r from Kiribati
    kimere Teratabu

  15. Edward Bull says:

    Hi Dulcie. My name is Edward Bull and I am putting together a Bryson family tree. My mum was Caroline Bryson who was brought up in Levuka where the family homestead is. I’m trying to find out more about Thomas Alexander Bryson – my great grandfather on mum’s side. From ship manifests available in Australia, one manifest shows him arriving into Sydney from Hokianga NZ on 26 Aug 1868 as a crew for the ship Armistice at the age of 20 (he was born in Scotland in 1848 which ties in with his age). He must have arrived in Fiji sometime between 1868 and early 1870’s but I can’t find any information. I would be grateful for any help. Regards….

    • Hi Edward,

      There are no Bryson’s mentioned in Kaivalagi ni Viti : census of Europeans resident in Fiji 1874-75 / Rondo B. B. Me or in Turpin’s Fijian nautical and commercial almanac and Fiji directory 1874 (https://fragmentedidentities.wordpress.com/resources/turpins-directory-1874/ so Thomas Alexander Bryson probably arrived in Fiji after 1875.

      You could try looking up the Fiji Times from 1875 – there is a Shipping Intelligence section that sometimes had a list of ship passengers. See https://fragmentedidentities.wordpress.com/resources/fiji-times/ for a list of libraries that hold the Fiji Times in their collection.

      • Edward Bull says:

        Hi Dulcie. Thank you for the information. The reason I speculated on the years of early 1870’s as his arrival in Fiji is because he married a woman from Koro – Adi Karalaini Baca – in September 1872. And they settled in Levuka sometime thereafter. But if he wasn’t registered, then that raises some interesting questions and muddies the waters more? Regards, Edward.

  16. Christine Smith says:

    Dulcie….I have ancestors in Levuka around 1863 until at least 1876 and beyond. I found one on the Fijian Times Births Deaths and Marriages that you put up on Fragmented Identitues. Cornelious Smith. I am searching his brother Stephen who is said to have married a Fijian in Levuka….and died diving off a cliff into the ocean….His death notice may be in the Fijian Times. Thanks for helping me find Cornelious…he died 1876 Rewa Pioneer Mills….Christine..

    • Hi Christine,

      I have been in touch with descendants of Elijah and Martha Smith via a mutual friend concerning Matilda, Stephen and Cornelious Smith. I have copies of Stephen and Cornelious death certificates and other documents (newspapers articles, census etc). I’m happy to send you copies.

  17. Christine Smith says:

    Dulcie Just saw what you have said. Do you want to send them by e mail…or through the mail. I would just love to see them. Let me know how to tell you my e mail privately or my snail mail address…..wow….christine smith

  18. Christine Smith says:

    Also Dulcie I am very interested to know about any descendants of Stephen Smith who in family folk lore was said to have married a Fijian princess (or would that be Chieftains daughter over in Fiji.) I don’t think Cornelious married….and Matilda didn’t have time to do much except get dysentery. thanks Christine Smith….

    • Frank Smith says:

      Christine Smith – Stephen Smith what era and what part of Fiji There roughly about Five seperate Famlies bearing the Smith surname..

  19. Christine Smith says:

    Hello Frank. the Era was approximately 1864 to 1878 i Levuka Ovalau, Stephen and Cornelious Smith were twin brothers, blacksmiths and engineers. They went over to Fiji with the first steam engine taken over there…..they had a blacksmith shop in Levuka. Their sister Matilda went over for a stay and died from dysentery in 1866. We know Cornelious died in 1876 at Pioneer Mills Upper Rewa…..it is said that Stephen married the daughter of a chieftain and that Stephen died diving off a cliff….and drowned. The parents were the Rev Elijah Smith of Penrith and his wife was Martha Lucas…..who were in Australia. All born in UK….Christine Smith

  20. Christine Smith says:

    I am wondering whether anyone knows the name of an Institution back in 1877 were children of mixed race were put in some circumstances. I have the name of the institution on the death certificate of my grand uncle Stephen Smith but cant make it out because of the writing. It seems to begin with A and end with oa..Institution. ChristineSmith

  21. Christine Smith says:

    I have the name now…it is the Navuloa Training Institute. If anyone knows anything about it if you don’t mind sharing the information….christine Smith

  22. Patrick Corr says:

    Dear Dulcie,
    Christine has shared the information you have posted with me – we are first cousins and descendants of Rev. Elijah Smith and his wife Martha Lucas. Our Great Grandfather, Edward Lucas Smith was a brother of Cornelius, Stephen and Matilda Smith. What you have shared is fantastic information. I used to work with Kanti Jinna in Canberra, also a Librarian from Fiji. We have talked often about my Smith relatives who lived and died in Fiji. Do you know Kanti? Thank you. Patrick

    • Frank Smith says:

      Patrick Corr – & Christine Smith – There are several ‘Smith’ Names Family origins Levuka Ovalau Fiji the Christian name name ‘Edward’ exists..[In 2015] I was wonderingf if any connections though not related to me as I am Frank [Backhouse – Smith] as I mentioned earlier ,.,.

  23. Frank Smith says:

    Christine Smith I Hope This Link Helps..Fison 1 Tylor papers PRM – Pitt Rivers Museum, University …
    web.prm.ox.ac.uk › Home › Primary Resources

    … Navuloa in Fiji, Fison was principal of the Navuloa [Methodist] Training Institute from 1875 to 1884.—–Fison 4. Answered Feb. 18 1880.

  24. Christine Smith says:

    Frank Smith…what I have read so far of Fison has been largely anthopology mostly about Australian Aborigines and sometimes about Fiji…nothing personal much generally so far….all i have gleaned for my research that there were 70 students at Navuloa in 1877…there was also a school for the sons of chiefs there…Stephen Smith was living on Rambi Island when he died…Edward in our family was brother of Stephen Edward lived in Australia. We don’t know what names Stephens sons had…except I presume Stephen was one of them…I am looking to find the Methodist church archives and these may help…….christine….

  25. Hey Dulcie!
    I see that you’re searching for information about our common ancestor, Simon Peter Jensen b. 1862 in Denmark, arrived to Australia 1883. His grandmother is my direct ancestor. Find me on Facebook!

    Pernille Amanda Bartholdy Kanto

  26. Brian Francis Archer says:

    In addition to Christine Smith and Patrick Corr’s information I am interwiewing a Fijian family who seems to be descended from our Stephen Smith who married a Tongan Girl called punea, but by Fijian tradition and not by Christrian/English tradition. Verification is still being sought. Stephen’s children are Stephen Smith (junior) and Henry Smith (who’s descendents have close ties to the Methodist Church in Fiji). (This seems to be verified by the death certificate listing two children,). They claim descent from Henry and do not know a lot about Stephen (junior). They actually knew things about Stephen and Cornelius before we found items verifying what they have told us. Henry married Harriet Sorby. Stephen and Harriet had children, Stephen born 1892, William born 1894, John born 1896. Harry born 1899, Jimmy born 1901, Robert born 1904 and another son who’s name was not known. I would love to find birth certificates for these children or even death certificates for Stephen Smith Junior and Henry Smith who married Harriet Sorby. The story of a Fijian Princess comes from a different Smith Family who married into the Mitchell family in Fiji (see Face book entry “Smith Family in Fiji”). That family claimed a connection to our own Smith Family but I have not, yet, found that connection. Still looking….Brian.

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