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This morning a friend called and invited me to go for a walk with her. It was really a treat because we rarely make time to get together and we’ve been friends for a little better than 10 years. On our walk we talked about Maui and Molokai and how things were when she was growing up here. But the most wonderful thing about my friend, Debbie, is her history. She’s a very humble woman and sometimes I forget just how important her family is to the ranching and farming insustries in Hawaii. She remembers a much simpler time. She grew up on Molokai but her parents sent her to school on Maui where she was a boarder at my husband’s school, Seabury Hall. Her children now attend that school.

If you like to read autobiographies and if you‘re interested in the history of Hawaii, one of her family members, Armine Von Tempski, wrote several books about the subject from her perspective. The title of one is “Born in Paradise”

This very colorful and interesting family descended from Major Gustov Ferdinand Von Tempsky who was born in Prussia and ended up in New Zealand and Australia. Debbie has a room in her house filled with photos of her family all the way back to the Major. I could stand in that room for hours and just drink in all the history.

I’m curious to know if anyone has an interesting family history that they’d like to share. My own history is rather bland. My maternal grandparents came through Ellis Island with their families and my dad’s family all came here from Germany and Eastern Europe. Nothing special or particularly interesting about any of it.  

What about you?

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • very cool!!estatic

      as for me, bland as well!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • I have to ask Debbie why sometimes I see the name spelled with an “i” and sometimes with a “y”

      Here’s the Wikipedia on Armine

      [Link Removed]

      I love to listen to Debbie re tell stories that one of her aunts told her about WWII.  The young military men who missed their families all came to the Von Tempsky family home, which was always open to them for a home cooked meal. one of her aunts realized how young these men were and knew they must miss their moms. She became like a second mom to many of them.


      Chocolatier, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • Mine on my mother's side ran grocery shops near all the cotton mills – they were Irish immigrants came to England during the potato famine in Ireland. Both came from the same village in County Mayo.
      My Dad's are English and were cotton mill workers on his father's side and his mother's side Irish immigrants from the potato famine – my Nana Queenie was deaf from the machines and she worked at the loom from 15 which her father was the overseer he had started at that loom as well – she worked at Shiloh Mill (all the mills had names from the South (as in America) where the cotton came from ........



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • Wow, Vicki! I love to hear family histories. I wish I knew more about mine. It would be great to know who in my family tree I’m most like - in looks, temperment, natural abilities. Who do you think you take after most?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • Cynthia we only have one "gene" in our family we all look identical....... I take after my father's side of the family and I have a huge dollop of Queenie (My father's mother)  in me – when I was home the other week I saw my cousin's daughter Sarah who now refers to herself as Queenie and has flame red hair like my Nana Queenie and is always in very in appropriate shoes for the weather – i.e.: its rains nonstop in the North (hence great for weaving cotton) and she wears peep toe sling backed high heels – just like Queenie and me..... I remember thick snow on the ground and my Nana gingerly walking to work in open toed shoes with clear plastic bags tied round them so her feet didn't get wet !



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • Vicki, that’s great. I can just picture your Nana with her high heels and bags tied on. No wonder you chose fashion for a career!

      Annie, my first husband’s family was fron Minsk. But, Napoliean’s army!! How cool is that?  

      Tracy, even though our family histories are bland, we can live vicariously through the interesting history of others!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Nov 21, 2009
    • very vanilla here



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Nov 22, 2009
    • I’m pretty vanilla here! My moms side is Indian and English and my dads side is Hungarian and Polish. We have stories that are interesting to the family but have no importance outside of us....
      But I do love history and stories of people!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Nov 22, 2009
    • My father never knew much about his family and he left it until after his mother died! But my mother's maiden name is Coggeran and it's a very rare name it's more or less died out so she know all her family history ... thankfully I live near the family records office in London so Dad came down for 3 weeks researching his family – we found out his mother's father although called Kelly were actually called Kellean but the immigration officer couldn't spell it so they became Kelly ..... so you should always ask before older family members die .....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 23, 2009
    • When we visited Hawaii, the entire Isle is fully of history, family, culture and love.  Its a beautiful place.  Lani.. Heaven



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 23, 2009
    • I have two direct great grandfathers from the Mayflower, and one Great Grandfather was Thomas More, he was beheaded for writing Utopia.  Im from a long line of English First Knights to King Richard the Lionheart.  Im from the Foster (Forrester) line of Reginald Foster.  Thats my moms side, my dads side is Meddici lines and I was actually contacted by a MEddici asking to join some society. My famous relatives are JOhn F. Kennedy, John Wayne, Wild Bill HIkock, Clyde Barker, and my lines go back on my mothers side to Charlemange (many different lines since they would marry cousins back then).

      I do geneology in my spare time and I recomend Ancestry.com but just make sure before you add a leaf that the data matches, I cant tell you how many people can mess up thier lineage because they didnt look first before attaching the link.  LOL



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