Families I am researching:
click on surnames that are underlinded for more info
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 later returned to New Zealand resuming his birth name, John Jensen.
Mar (Ma 馬) – the Mar family migration from China to Fiji is a continuous one. From as early as 1927 to the present day. The Mar family in Fiji originate, like most Chinese families in Fiji, from Canton – present day Guangdong Province (广东省). My grand-father Mar Yook arrived in Fiji in the early 1930s and had a general store at Vatu Colo and a copra plantation in Delanasau, both in Lekutu, Bua. He had 5 children with my bubu Kelera Adi Bolatini of Banikea, Bua. Mar Yook’s father was Ma Hoon. Ma Hoon’s parents were Ma Sun and Kum Soong. Ma Hoon’s brother Mar Kwong arrived in Fiji in 1927.
Pickering – Charles Pickering arrived in Fiji circa 1833. Charles had children from various women (Fijian, Tongan, Fijian/Tongan and Fijian/European). Charles Pickering was born in 1814 in New South Wales, Australia.
O’Connor/Connor – the O’Connor family are descendants of Irish born Patrick Connell, also known as Paddy Connel, Paddy Connell or Paddy Connor. The Fijians called him Berry. Paddy arrived in Fiji 1808 on the brig Trial from Sydney, Australia. 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 Connor who married Maraia Sorby. Phillip had three other brothers – Charles, William and James Connor.
Rodan – Spanish/Mexican Frank/Francis Rodan was the first Rodan in Fiji. His wife was Ana Levu, daughter of Sipiriano Sorr and Miriama from Bau. Frank Rodan arrived in Fiji in 1834 as a crew on board the Tahiti based French trading brig L’Aimable Josephine. The brig was captured by Rokotui Viwa Namisomalua’s nephew, Varani whose name (France in Fijian) derived from his part in seizing the L’Aimable Josephine. The captain and most of the crew were killed. Rodan lived in Bau and has been recorded to have made bullets of lead salvaged from the ship and thus became of considerable use to Cakobau in the war between Bau and Rewa. Rodan later moved to Nukuwatu, Lami near Suva. Spelling variations: Rondon, Roden, Rodoun, Rodonda, Randono.
Rounds – Charles Rounds was the first Rounds in Fiji. He arrived April 1851 on a whaling vessel from New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States. He married Fanny Pickering, daughter of Charles Pickering and Burekovia Tabuakovei of Burebasaga Village, Rewa.
Sorby – I haven’t been able to confirm who the first Sorby was in Fiji. My line is via Thomas Sorby who had children with Emmaline Bui Pickering who was the daughter of Charles Pickering (previously mentioned) and Liku. Thomas and Emmaline’s daughter, Maraia Sorby married Phillip O’Connor.
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 1825 to seek beach-der-mer. The brig had anchored near the island of Viwa to fish for and cure beach-der-mer. The crew mutinied and killed the captain. According to oral family history he was either the ships chaplain or magician, possibly both. The family later changed their surname to Shaw and reside at Nukuwatu, Lami near Suva.
Underwood – Achilles Underwood of Homer, Michigan, United States arrived in Fiji circa 1856. He married Terugona from Kadavu in 1862. It is unknown when Achilles arrived in Fiji but he was living in Laucala (Rewa) in 1858. He owned cotton plantations with his business partner George R. Burt in Sigatoka and Kadavu. In 1871 Achilles was murdered by Kapitoni, a South Sea Islander from Tanna (Vanuatu).
Updated: 16 January 2015.