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Home: Surnames: Harder Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Frank and John HARDER, Samoan Islands, c.1880s
Posted by: Ka'Ike (ID *****2890) Date: December 20, 2006 at 07:23:31
In Reply to: Re: Frank and John HARDER, Samoan Islands, c.1880s by Manaia of 591

Aloha nui loa Manaia!

No, this is the VERY first time I found ANYTHING related to the Samoan Harders on any website, other than what my nephew wrote several years ago. Other than a list of names found in Mormon records, I have absolutely NO documentation of the existence of Harders in Samoa. Just family lore.

I am VERY VERY grateful to learn my great-grandmother's name. Tomorrow, the solstice, is my birthday and it's like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. As the commercial says: PRICELESS! Brings tears to my eyes. Now if I can only find my great-grandfather's first name, I can maybe trace his emigration to the US.

I have no information or indication that he followed his two sons to the US. My guess is no, since he married twice after their mother. Whether or not he returned to Germany is also unknown to me. I never remember my family mentioning that.

Is Christine Liava'a a Harder relation or just researching the War Memorial? I ask because I met a Christine Harder in 1975 while visiting my aunties in Auckland NZ. She had recently married and changed her name. I remember we were about the same age and had the same Titian red hair! But Christine Liava'a may not be the former Christine Harder.

I'm having trouble following all the skeins of this web! But it's way better to have too much info than none!

It would make sense that Mary/Mele/Malia Suluo'o would have children with a different last name since she left and divorced "Given Name Unknown" Harder, my great-grandfather.

While I was in Samoa, I bought a book that was a collection of news about prominent foreigners in Samoa. Nothing about Harder, but now I can look for Kustell.

Because her Harder sons were estranged from her for leaving their father, I never heard of or knew of any other children born to Mary Suluo'o. My father only knew of his father's half-sisters born with the name Harder.

Wish I had found the Apia War Memorial when I was there in 2005. I did wander the foreigners' graveyard behind the police station looking for the Harder name with no luck. Lots of stones were vandalized or weatherworn.

Just now, before I finish this missive, I recall my dad saying their names were on a War Memorial in Samoa. Too bad I did not remember this when I was there!

Able Seaman F (Frank) Harder would have been my grandfather.
Warrant Officer J (John) Harder would have been his older brother.

By their ranks it appears John joined the Navy well in advance of Frank. Able Seaman was a low/entry level rank. The rank of Warrant Officer usually takes years to attain. I recall my dad saying his dad (Frank) served on wooden ships with sails when he first joined.

Not sure who P Harder is, maybe Peter? But my great-grandfather had two more wives, so he could be another half-sibling. I know of several daughters, mostly living in NZ. I think all of my great-grandfather's sons had passed by the mid-1970s.

There MAY have been a daughter who moved to Hawai'i, but haven't looked into it. Ironic, considering I lived there for 14 years and return often for extended visits. But it's intimidating calling and knocking on the doors of virtual strangers.

One daughter, half-sister to Frank and John, we knew as Aunt Helen. Could that be the Helene Harder you were asking about in your other message?

Aunt Helen settled in Boston Massashusetts and married a man named Giordano. I believe I may have found her in the SSDI. She had no children but fostered a young boy for many years. His birth mother, possibly French-Canadian heritage, would never sign over custody so when he came of age he took the name Giordano. I cannot recall his first name. Larry Giordano just popped into my head, but I could be wrong.

The last I remember is visiting him and his new wife in the late 1960s. They had moved into her family compound north of Boston starting with an L, Lowell, possibly. I THINK it was near a cloverleaf on/off ramp to an interstate freeway. Several of the children had homes along the road leading to the main house.

His wife's family name was Bonano? Not sure of the spelling but it was the same as the infamous NYC crime family. They had a small pig farm and slaughtered their own livestock.

I vividly remember the tour of the small slaughterhouse given by the Bonano family patriarch proud of the recent upgrade with all stainless steel fixtures! I was in my teens but remember the coupling of a crime family name with a slaughterhouse was a bit unnerving! But they seemed like nice folks and I remember a big family dinner under the grape arbor outside the parent's main home. That is my last memory of our Boston relations.

When I was stationed in Newport Rhode Island in 1985 & 1986, tried looking up Bonano, Giordano, and slaughterhouses, but never found anything. With divorce so prevalent, who knows if they are still together.

Are you in Independent Samoa and if so, how can I locate birth and death certificates? Immigration records? Several trips to the documents office in the old Courthouse Building were fruitless, as was a visit to the immigration office.

I was asked several times if I was there to declare something(?). Didn't catch/remember what it was but I got the feeling it had to do with citizenship or aiga membership. I assured them I was not there to claim anything, just to trace my family roots. It seemed to baffle folks. Probably because it's the hobby of indolent Euro-heritage folks with nothing better to do with their spare time! I am most content being American and thank my grandfather for claiming his US citizenship!

Rather than post personal info not related to ancestry, is there anyway to chat via e-mail? Except I hesitate to list my address in these posts. And as soon as I find my lists and makeshift family tree, I'd like to share them with other Samoan Harders.

Have to run. Places to go and friends to meet with before Christmas arrives!

Mahalo nui loa/Thank you very much


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