On outlying islands, people would often wait to get births, marriages, and deaths recorded at the headquarters of the place where they lived. Sometimes, people did not know the exact date of their birth,
for instance. One man had an estimated birth date on his record that had been given by his mother a few years after his birth , besides the one he had been told was his real birth date. When he had to decide which one to keep, he chose the one on the record because it was the same as a favourite relative , even though it was not accurate. It may or may not be possible to be completely accurate with dates.
=== Case Study ===
My mother is ''Salote Lasini Fakatou'', who was born in 1915. Her father was ''Penisoni Kaufusi Fakatou ''and her mother was ''Selu Vaia Mafi''. My parents, Iohani and Salote, had 19 children, of which I am the 5th child born to them.
My father moved to the ''United States ''in 1960. Following are some things I have learned in doing Tongan family history work:
'''1. Interview family members and write their information.'''<br>My father has worked and prayed a lot to get the information of his family, and so has my mom. We have talked for hours with my father and mother, and I helped them record in writing the things they have memorized and the records they have obtained. Also, I talked with my Aunt Edna P. Wolfgramm Burningham, to get information on the German lines. It is important to talk to the older relatives and make sure their information is recorded while they are still living.
'''2. Gather written records.<br>'''My mother wrote our family genealogy on a family map, or ''Hohoko''. Many Tongan families have charts like this. She wrote on sail cloth with a ball point pen so it could be folded up and carried and not be torn or destroyed by the elements. The map is about 4 feet wide and 20 feet long. (See the [[Step 5. Organize your information|picture in Step 5 of the Pacific Island Guide]].) I used this map to copy the basic information I needed.
'''3. Enter information into Personal Ancestral File or similar computer program.'''<br>Family members helped me copy the information from the ''Hohoko'' into the [[PAF and Other Genealogy Organizers|Person Ancesral File computer program]]. From there, it can be printed out as [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Image:Pedigree_Chart_Blank.png pedigree charts] and [[Family group record: roadmap for researchers|family group records]] and
entered into the TempleReady program to request[https://new.familysearch.org/en/action/unsec/welcome LDS temple ordinance work. ]
'''4. Write what is learned and share the information with others.<br>'''We also compiled the stories of our family and published them in a book, Tisina Wolfgramm Gerber, ''[http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/FH27&CISOPTR=31717 Iohani Wolfgramm, Man of Faith and Courage]'' [FHL book 921.9612 G313i]. Testimonies, family stories and memories, as well as family history of our ancestors have been compiled in this book. You also could eventually compile your family stories into a book, if you have the time and the means to do it,
'''5. Share the information with others.<br>'''Before we came to America, my father was able to get permission to copy the royal lineage charts of ''Amelia Tamaha'' at the Kings’ palace, and several other charts of Royal ancestors. He brought these with him. The family donated them to the Family History Library as the ''Iohani and Salote Wolfgramm Papers'' mentioned below.
=== Research Ideas and Resources ===
'''The Cole Jensen Collection'''
An important collection of copied genealogies for Tonga is found in the ''Cole-Jensen Collection: Oral Genealogies and Genealogical Information Collected from the Polnesian Peoples and from the Pacific Islands.'' These records were collected over a 50 year period and microfilmed in 1984 by the Genealogical Sociey of Utah. The original collection consisted of 51 binders. The original materials no longer exist as an intact collection. However, there are nine microfilms: '''1358001''' through 1'''358009''', available at various family history centers. This collection
sontains family group records, pedigree charts, and oral genealoges collected from the lslands of Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Cook Ilslands, and French Polynesia, including the Society, Marquesas, Austral Islands, and the Tuamotu Archipelago. The following microfilms contain Tongan information:
'''1358004''': Newspaper article with pictures of Queen Salote Tupou III and Tongan genealogies from Binder 20.