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Keokilele Halemanu Punana Ukeke: Grand matriarch of Kaua‘i’s Malina ‘ohana

Keokilele Halemanu Punana Ukeke’s (1839-1913) genealogy, published in 1998, lists nearly 700 descendants by her 20 children from two marriages.

That number of descendants is certainly greater now in 2021, with many of them being current residents of Kaua‘i, the descendants of her and her second husband John William Malina (1823-unknown).

She was born at Wainiha to parents Halemanu Ukeke and Kauahipolua, and in 1855 she married her first husband, George W. Coggeshall of Connecticut, who’d arrived on Kaua‘i as a seaman in the early 1850s.

Coggeshall had become a naturalized citizen of Hawai‘i in 1855, the year they were married, and with him Keokilele gave birth to 10 children.

Then in March 1870, Coggeshall “sailed away to a foreign land,” according to Keokilele, abandoning her and their nine surviving children.

As was then the custom, she posted a notice in the Ka Nupepa Kuokoa newspaper, publicly calling for him to return, but he didn’t, and they were divorced in 1875.

Soon after, she married John William Malina, a Filipino who’d come to Hawai‘i from the Philippines in the 1860s as a member of a Philippine constabulary (police) band touring the islands, and had become head paniolo at William Hyde Rice’s Kipu Ranch.

With him, Keokilele would also have 10 children.

Notable among her descendants was Nani Malina Alapa‘i (1874-1928), for over 20 years the prima donna soprano of the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Another was John Solomon Malina (1885-1940), for many years the head paniolo at Kipu Ranch, a job he’d inherited from his father. John William Malina was famous throughout the islands as a great polo player.

Keokilele’s great-granddaughter was Sarah Malina Kailikea (1911-2004), who opened the Menehune Garden in 1962 with her husband Melvin for guided tours on their two-acre estate at Papalinahoa, Kaua‘i.

At the close of her tour, she would lead tourists to a giant banyan tree planted in 1895 by sugar planter George Norton Wilcox, which dominated Menehune Garden and is now the property of Banyan Harbor Resort.

Still another was Hawaiian translator Frances Nelson Halia‘alohanokekupuna Frazier (1914-2015), a Coggeshall descendant.
Source: The Garden Island

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