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James Young Kānehoa
Spouse Sarah Kaniaulono Davis
Jane Lahilahi Kānehoa Young
Full name
James Kānehoa Young
Father John Young
Mother Namokuelua
Born August 7, 1797(1797-08-07)
Kawaihae, Hawaii
Died October 1, 1851 (aged 54)
Honolulu, Oahu
Burial Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii

James Young Kānehoa (1797–1851) was an influential member of the court of King Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III during the Kingdom of Hawaii. Sometimes he is confused with his half-brother John Kaleipaihala Young II known as Keoni Ana.


He was born August 7, 1797 at Kawaihae, Hawaii. His father was John Young who was the British advisor of Kamehameha I.[1] Kānehoa was Young's second son by his first wife, the chiefess Namokuelua of Oahu aristocracy. His mother was of chiefly rank, though not high. Kānehoa had an elder brother named Robert Young, born in 1796. His father had four children from another wife named Kaʻōanaʻeha who was the niece of Kamehameha I. His half-siblings were Fanny Kekela, Grace Kamaikui, Jane Lahilahi, and John Kaleipaihala.

He left Hawaii at a young age, perhaps at the age of nine. He was sent to the United States to be educated along with his brother Robert. Robert would join the US Army and die in the War of 1812. He became a merchant mariner like his father; for many years he sailed between Philadelphia, his home port, and England. Eventually, his experience abroad and his fluency in English led to recognization by Kamehameha II when Kānehoa returned to Hawaii. [2 ] Kānehoa was entrusted with the official letters of introduction and served as translator. Kamehameha II, his queen and three other chiefs contracted the measles and died abroad. He survived and interpreted for High Chief Boki, the new leader of the royal party, when he met King George IV. Kānehoa accompanied the bodies of his king and queen back to Honolulu on the HMS Blonde in 1825.

He served as a member of the House of Nobles during Kamehameha III's reign from 1845 to 1851. From 1846 he was a member of the first Board of Land Commissioners under Kamehameha III.[3] Other members were William Richards, John Ricord, John Papa Ii, and Zorobabel Kaauwai. Their duties were to settle or quiet land claims during the great Mahele.[4] He also was the governor of Maui 1842–1851[5] when he had to deal with a smallpox epidemic. He died October 1, 1851, not long after his stepmother Kaʻōanaʻeha and was buried in the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii later in the Wylie Tomb or the John Young's Tomb.[1] He was a patient at Rooke House, the place so connected with the Young family.

Marriage and Children

Kānehoa married three times. His first marriage was to Sarah Kaniaulono Davis.[6] the daughter of Isaac Davis, his father's comrade in arms. He and Sarah had no children of their own but they hanai (adopted) one from Kānehoa's sister Jane Lahilahi and her husband Joshua Kaeo. This boy was named Keliimaikai Kaeo and called Alebada, but he died one year later. One other marriage was to Haale[7] and they had a daughter named Jane Lahilahi Young (1812-1862). This Jane was born in 1812, prior to her aunt Jane Lahilahi Young, so her aunt could have been her namesake. Jane married a chief name Nuʻuanu and had a son named Samuel Nuʻuanu.[8]

Kānehoa's last marriage was to Hikoni Kahele.[9] During the last six years of his life, he got to know his young niece Emma Rooke. He made his wishes clear to his wife, Hikoni, that his home in Lawai, a large ahupuaʻa that he owned in the district of Koloa, Kauaʻi where he served as a judge for a time, should one day be given to her. The rest of his lands were inherited by his widow and after her death willed to Emma.[2 ]


  1. ^ a b "James Kanehoa Young". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  2. ^ a b Kanahele, George S.. Emma: Hawai'i's Remarkable Queen : a Biography . University of Hawaii Press, 1999. Page 45-46
  3. ^ "Kanehoa, James Young office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii.,%20James%20Young.jpg. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  4. ^ Kahana: How the Land Was Lost By Robert H. Stauffer. Page 11
  5. ^ "Governor of Maui, Molokai and Lanai". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  6. ^ "Sarah Kaniaulono Davis". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  7. ^ "Haale, (w)". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  8. ^ "Jane Lahilahi Young". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  9. ^ "Hikoni "Kahele",(w)". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
Preceded by
Kalākua Kaheiheimālie
Royal Governor of Maui
1842 – October 1, 1851
Succeeded by
Paul Nahaoleua?


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