Olohana: John Young

#136 in the Moʻolelo series, I wrote about Isaac Davis, so I thought I may as well write about John Young.

There is a street in Waikīkī called Olohana, the name Hawaiians called John Young. Young was a British subject and lived from 1744 to 1835. According to hawaiihistory.org, in 1790:

John Young, an English boatswain of the ship Eleanora, kidnapped by order of Kamehameha and detained. 

John Young

Young, as mentioned in the post on Isaac Davis, manned the cannon Lopaka at the battle of Kepaniwai. The stream of ʻIao ran red with blood as the waters were dammed with the dead. John Keola Lake says in the video ʻO Hawaiʻi, “John Young brought up the cannon Lopaka and there was a great slaughter.” Slaughter was nothing new to Young – he was most likely at the Olowalu massacre (and may have taken part in it).

Hawaiʻi Magazine notes:

His skill with muskets and cannons gave Kamehameha the firepower he needed to unify the Hawaiian Islands. Young was at Kamehameha’s side during pivotal battles—including the Battle of Nuuanu, in which the king won the island of Oahu. 


After his service to Kamehameha, he was rewarded with high-born wives, Namokuelua and Kaʻoanaʻeha, who was Kamehameha’s niece (daughter of Keliʻimaikaʻi, Kamehameha’s brother). According to the genealogy site geni.com they were the mothers of:

Robert YoungJames Kanehoa YoungFanny “Pane” “Kakela” Kakelaokalani Na’eaGrace Kama’ikui’i RookeJohn Kaleipaihala Young (a.k.a. Kaleipaihala II & Keoniana Opio)Jane Napua-i-Kaumakani Lahilahi Young, Lahilahi/Keoniana Kalaipaiahala and Namakalua Young.


Keoni Ana, John Young II, was Kuhina Nui, a member of the Privy Council under Kamehameha III, and was called by one foreigner “the handsomest man” they had seen.

Keoni Ana – John Young II

Grace was the mother of Queen Emma and Jane was the mother, with Kauikeaouli, of Albert Kūnuiakea. Young was also rewarded with what would be considered great wealth at the time. His compound at Kawaihae was surveyed archaeologically and a mixture of Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian precious items were found, such as fine China.

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