I am so excited to have found this board!
I recently caught the 'genealogy bug' and am currently working on my husband's family tree. I've gotten a lot of help from volunteers at the LDS family history center, but have ran into some challenges that seem to be unique or at least fairly common to Samoan families. I was hoping someone that has had experience researching family history with some of these situations could help me know where to begin. This is what I'm stuck on....
1. many family members have gone by a nickname, usually a name of a grandparent or other relative that is not actually their given name-- and others have gone by the name of their village, this has been going on for so many generations that living family members do not know the true names of ancestors
2. Similar to above, but with surnames, many people have taken on surnames from other family members for a variety of reasons-----most common is because they were raised by a grandparent or aunt/uncle and took their name, others took the name of a stepparent (not legally adopted though) and some took the name of a grandparent or aunt/uncle out of respect.
So, I guess my main questions are, how do you go about looking up family members when you don't know actual names? When someone was raised by a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative, how do you go about finding out who their biological parents are when they weren't legally adopted?
Also, here is the little bit we do know, if anyone has any other info that could help us, we'd be greatly appreciative.
Siafu Asa born to Vaitogi Auau and Tofu (not sure of maiden name, but later married a man with the last name Asa and took that name)
Vaitogi Auau is the son of Siafuafu Auau and Olepa Gaea
Omeka Leomiti Asa was born with the last name Masala (names of birth parents are unknown) and raised by her grandmother Leiu Leomiti.
Thanks in advance,