Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clara Rohrer Mossman

Clara Mo-ko-maun-e-quay (Little Knife) Rohrer was born near Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Her mother was a full blood Ojibway (Chippewa) Indian named Mary Otauntug (or O-don-duck) born about 1830 and was a member of the White Earth Mississippi Band of the Ojibway tribe. Her mother died when she was young in a wigwam fire, possibly during a raid by the Sioux. Clara's father was Daniel Rohrer who was in the army serving as a clerk. After her mother's death, Clara was boarded with Episcopal missionaries, the Reverend James Lloyd Breck and his wife Jane.
Photo in Valerie Elkins' possession. Obtained by the Minnesota Historical Society.
This is a picture of Clara sitting on the Rev. Breck's lap. The Reverend use to take Clara around the country to raise money for his mission. Clara was tutored by highly educated teachers along with the Reverend's children. Clara was said to be very bright, she played the organ in church, lead the childrens choir and taught children to read. When the Rev. Breck's wife died, Clara was taken in by his wife's sister, Mary and her husband George Whipple. After the Sioux uprising, life became difficult for Clara as the hatred against all Indians - Sioux or not became severe. Mary and George took Clara with them when she was about 13 to Maui as they were Episcopal missionaries. Despite family legend, Clara was not an Indian Princess - as her tribe had no such hierarchy, though as a young girl I loved the story (and frankly still do!). One source has her father as a Great Medicine Man and her uncle as a chief. Clara's father Daniel was young and adventurous when he met Clara's mother, he later remarried, settled down and became a lawyer like his father Judge David Rorer of Burlington, Iowa. Daniel was head of the Republican party in Minnesota and once corresponded with Abraham Lincoln. Daniel's father, Judge Rorer was the first man to build a brick house west of the Mississippi and gave Iowa the nickname "The Hawkeye State".

The Rohrer's may have had some French blood in them, but they hailed from Switzerland. They were Anabaptist (Mennonites) who settled in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania. David Rorer's father Abraham later immigrated to the Virginia area. David after becoming a lawyer, moved to Arkansas and helped found the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. Seeing that Civil War was avoidable, David moved his family to Burlington, Iowa where he became one of the town's founding fathers.
Clara was almost 17 when she became the second wife of William Frederick Mossman. They were married in the Church of the Good Shepherd in Maui, where William had donated the land for the church that the Whipples help found. Clara and William's son, William Lloyd Mossman is believed to have been named for both his father William and Rev. James Lloyd Breck. Clara and William's daughter Mary Georgina is believed to be named in honor of Mary and George Whipple. Clara and William F. Mossman had a total of 9 children born to them: Ethel Carno Mossman, William Lloyd Mossman, Mary Georgina Mossman, Elizabeth Emma Mossman, Henry Clarence Mossman, Clara Mokomanie Mossman, Mabel Alice Mossman and Ysabel Palmer Mossman and Katherine or Kate Otuntug.
Clara Mokomanie Mossman married Harald Christian Halvorsen, a Norwegian ship captain and had 8 children. Harald once served as a deputy sheriff on Kauai. Clara and Harald's second daughter, Helene Francis Halvorsen married Farmer Greenwade and had 7 children (she had 2 from a previous marriage to Carlton Cassidy). Helene and Farmer's daughters Faye (Fowler) and Sandra (Brown) were at the recent Mossman Ohana reunion along with Faye's husband Neil, their daughter Diana and their granddaughter Lauren. Sandra came with her daughter Valerie (Elkins), her son-in-law Morris and their daughters Brittany and Jacquelyn Elkins.
Clara Rohrer came a long ways from the White Earth Indian Reservation to Hawaii. She was probably the first Native American to settle in Hawaii. She was a missionary, a mother and friend to many. She made Hawaii her home. 
Would love to hear from other cousins about Clara and William's descendants. by Valerie Elkins

William Lloyd Mossman family

William Lloyd Mossman and Louisa Summer

William Lloyd is the son of William Frederick Mossman (son of Captain Thomas Mossman) and Clara Mokomanic Rohrer. He married Louisa Summer.

These are their children:
(left to right)
Henry Ashford, William Lloyd Jr.
Virgie, Doris, Blossom

Doris married Herbert Keppeler and they had two sons, Jack (John Paul) and Bruss, and a daughter, Leinani. These pictures are in the posession of Leinani Keppeler Bortles.

Leinani remembers her grandmother as Louisa Summer. Godfrey has her name as Louise Summer Miner. If anyone knows more - has any documentation - please help clarify. We would appreciate any input. Thank you, cousins.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mary Meheuole Mossman

This is Mary Meheuole Mossman, daughter of William Frederick Mossman and his first wife, Hookupa Kikiko.

Her daughter, Minnie Awaawa, married James Kaohiai Kaonohi and they had 11 children. #10 was Gideon Kaohiai Kaonohi who married Rita Henoheanapuaonalani Lum Ho. Their son is Godfrey.