Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Damon Family Plot in Honolulu

The Damon Family Plot can be found in the Oahu Cemetery on Nu'uanu Road in Honolulu, Hawaii.  It is a very historic old graveyard, full of some of the first westerners to settle on the island of Oahu.  Families of New England missionaries,  American and other foreign sea captains and merchants, as well as local Hawaiians, Chinese, Portuguese and people from and descendants of dozens of other countries. It was founded in 1844.
The Damon Family Plot
The first time I visited the Oahu Cemetery was to lay flowers and pay our respects at the Dominis family plot with a cousin from Honolulu.  It was on that visit that I noticed the Damon family plot was located right next to the Dominis plot.  On my second visit I was able to spend more time photographing the Damon stones and reading the Damon names.  I was very interested because the Reverend Samuel Chenery Damon not only was the pastor who married Governor John Owen Dominis and Lydia Paki (soon to become Princess Lili'uokalani), but Rev. Damon was from my hometown of Holden, Massachusetts.  He was sent to Hawaii in 1842 by the First Congregational Church of Holden, the same church I attended as I grew up.  I was confirmed there, married there, and my father had his funeral service a this same church.

In memory of
Rev. Samuel C. Damon, DD
Born in Holden, Mass
Feb. 15, 1815
Died in Honolulu
Feb. 7, 1885
Pastor of the Bethel Union
Church and for 43 years
Seamen's Chaplain 
at this Port.

In the cross of Christ's glory
Towering o'er the wrecks of time
All the light of the sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime

In memory of
Beloved wife
and worthy helpmate of
Rev. S. C. DAMON, DD
Born in Toningford, Conn.
Aug. 20, 1817
Died in Cheyenne City
Wyoming USA
June 19, 1890

Her children rise up and
call her blessed. 

I counted 30 gravestones on this family plot.  I'll list the names below.  I don't know if more Damons might be buried in the same plot.  There are five Damons listed at Find A Grave buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific "The Punchbowl".

Rev. Samuel C. Damon
Mrs. Julia Mills Damon
William F. Damon
Samuel Mills Damon
Gertrude Mary Esme Damon
Charles Gordon Damon
Samuel Edward Damon
Henry Fowler Damon
Gertrude MacKinnon Damon
Samuel Renny Damon
Heather Damon
Samuel Edward Damon "Ned"
Mary Mills Damon
Heather Jean Damon
Alexander Salusbury Haig and Gertrude Mary Joan Haig
Henry Edward Damon
Daphne Mills Damon
Ethel Moseley Damon
Wayne Lawrence Damon
Geraldine Putnam Clark
Douglas Damon
Richard C. Damon
Harriet Baldwin Damon
Samuel Mills Damon
Frank Lawrence Putnam and Violet Damon Putnam
Cornelia Beckwith Damon
Edward C. Damon
Bernard H. B. Damon
Cyril Francis Damon and Muriel Colgate Damon
Francis Williams Damon and Mary Happer Damon

The Reverend Samuel Damon was not only a minister, but a genealogist, local historian and he wrote a biography of his life. He wrote a book called The Damon Memorial: Notices of three Damon Families who came from Old England to New England in the XVIIth Century in 1882.  He wrote the History of Holden published in 1894 with David Foster Estes.  When I was growing up in Holden I had my first paying job as a page at the Gale Free public library, which is located at the Damon Memorial building.

Genealogy of the Damons:

Generation 1: John Damon, born about 1621 in Faversham, Kent, England; died 8 April 1708 in Reading, Massachusetts; married Abigail Sherman who died 25 December 1713 in Reading.

Generation 2: Joseph Damon, born 28 September 1661 in Reading; died 28 August 1726 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; married on 12 December 1686 in Dedham, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Kingsbury, daughter of John Kingsbury and Elizabeth Fuller.

Generation 3: Joseph Damon, born 6 July 1690 in Dedham, died 1763; married Mary Baker.

Generation 4: Joseph Damon, born 26 May 1723 in Dedham, died 31 January 1775 in Dedham; married on 7 June 1750 in Mendon, Massachusetts to Hopestill Thayer, born 31 March 1731 in Bellingham, Massachusetts.

Generation 5: Samuel Damon, born 13 August 1755 in Dedham, died 27 May 1813 in Holden, Massachusetts; married on 27 May 1779 in Medway, Massachusetts to Abigail Penniman, born 19 March 1754 in Medway.

Generation 6: Samuel Damon, born 11 June 1786 in Holden, died 23 July 1852 in Holden; married on 4 July 1810 in Holden to Alona Ann Chenery, daughter of Isaac Chenery and Susannah Pierce, born 27 January 1788 in Holden; died 22 December 1863 in Holden. 

Generation 7:  Samuel Chenery Damon, born 15 February 1815 in Holden, died 7 February 1885 in Honolulu, Hawaii; married on 6 October 1841 in Natick, Massachusetts to Julia Sherman Mills, born 20 August 1817 in Torrington, Connecticut and died 19 June 1890 in Cheyenne City, Wyoming.

The Oahu Cemetery  http://www.oahucemetery.org/

There is a wonderful hardcover book, with many photographs and stories, The Oahu Cemetery, by Nannette Napoleon Purnell,  which can be ordered for $30 at the above website.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. thanks very much for this. i am a direct descendant of this family plot. i visited Oahu back in 2010 and tried to get in contact with some of the remaining family members on the island, without any luck... well now i have an excuse to travel back!!

  2. thanks for sharing.