News Release

Church Gives Digitized Family History Records to American Samoan Government and People

Digital copies of damaged microfilm records from 1900-1974 now available to everyone

Representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dr. Kalilimoku Hunt, American Samoa’s Church Communication Director, presented digital copies of family history records to Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga on 5 April 2021.

The Governor received with gratitude the records on behalf of the people of American Samoa. He also thanked the Church for helping the territory in many ways ─ in emergency situations, service projects, and donations to institutions such as LBJ Medical Center, Fatu-o-aiga, ASDOE schools, and emergency preparedness.

Also at the meeting was Mr. James Himphill, an esteemed American Samoan archivist and territorial historian who described the significance of preserving these invaluable records.

“These records date from 1900 - 1974 and were copied to microfilm many years ago,” he said. “The films were damaged and could only be saved by digitization to a computer format. They could have been permanently lost were it not for this work by the Church.”

Michael Higgins, the Area Manager for the Church’s FamilySearch program in the Pacific, led the team that did the record digitization. “We see these digital images as being much more than data. We see them as a crucial part of American Samoa’s history and culture. For this reason we are especially grateful for the opportunity to be of service in this way," he said.

Watch a television news report of the meeting here. English language portion begins at 16:00.


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