There are just about as many different spelling of his name as there are Journal entries pertaining to him.  The above spelling is just one of those used in Hudson's Bay Company records.  It's been chosen because it was the spelling on the list received from Bruce Watson.

     If you have info on Peeohpeeoh, drop us a line and tell us about it.

A footnote in the Fort Langley Journals refers to a book by Jason Allard entitled Reminisceneces, in which Jason says that Peopeoh was a relative of the Kings on the Sandwich Islands. Peopeoh acted as a guardian of the Hawaiians employed by Hudson Bay, and was a central figure in the Hawaiian settlement on Kanaka Creek in British Columbia, Canada.

From Joanne Peterson:

The Hawaiian leader in 1827 was Piopio

- his daughter Aglace Paiva was born in 1827
- also had a son Mayo
- later Sophie was baptized in 1841
- their mother was Kwoithe (a Kwantlan?)

     On 3 September 1841, Sophie, aged ... natural daughter of Peshopuho and of a Kwoithe woman was baptised by Modest Demers.  Godfather: Ovid Allard.

source: Catholic Church records of the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, Volumes I and II, and Stellamaris Mission.

     On September 11, 1853, at Fort Langley, Robert Verkerin, son of Maillot Pionpion and Catherine a Quyslen woman, was baptised.  His god father was Narcisse Falardeau.

     On that same day, so was Landry, son of Maillot Pionpion and Catherine the Quyslen woman.  His godfather was L. Jabot.

     And on that same 11th day of September in 1853, John Robert, the son of Robert Verkeria and a Quyslen woman was baptised.  His godfather was a man identified only as Paquet.

     The officiating priest for all of the above was either a Father Haerolen of Father Haerden.

     At Fort Langley, in July of 1856, Maillot dit Pionpion, son of Kanichoo and Klegina Wahan of the Sandwich Isles, and Catherine a Kwantlen woman, were married, after a posting of bans revealed no legal impediment to the marriage.  The witnesses were Augustin Willing and Narcisse Falardeau.  The priest was Father Lootens.

     There's an added note that this marriage legitimized their three children, Aglae, Maillot, and Sophie.

It should be noted that in the handwritten French original:

  • "Pionpion" in proper French is pronounced "Pee-oh Pee-oh"

  • there are some illegible letters in Kanichoo's name, as there are in Klegina's; both are the best guesses

  • "Kanichoo and Klegina né a Wahan Iles Sandwich" may be a reference to Peopeoh's noble birth -- but it's a guess

  • The ages for the children are listed but are illegible The only member of this wedding party who did NOT sign with an X was Augustin Willing.

source: old parish records at St Andrew's Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

From Mike Kenny

     If written in French, Pion Pion is pronounced "Peeoh Peeoh" in French.  If written in French, Peon Peon is pronounced "Payoh Payoh" in French.

     The most we know is that from the Beaver magazine of the Hudson's Bay Company.  It quotes Jason Allard as saying "Not permitted to settle near the fort (Langley ), a number of Kanakas took up land across the Fraser river.  The core lay with Peon Peon or Peopeo a Hudson's Bay employee from the 1820's, who married one of the sub-chiefs daughters.  Their older daughter believed by Allard to be about one of the first to be born at the first fort, married a Sandwich Islander named Nahu who worked as a river pilot.  Her sister Sophie wed a Kanaka named Ohule, and Peopeo's son, Joseph Mayo, worked along side his father and Ohule as a cooper at the fort.  A fellow Kanaka known only as Chier wed a local woman known as Katherine, by whom he had at least three sons, David, Joseph and Thomas."

     My wife's great great great grandfather is Dan Cheer, a brother to Thomas and Joseph.  We haven't any record for David.  There are not may Cheer's left but one Peter Cheer once told me their Hawaiian ancesters name was Kiaho which means something like cheer in Hawaiian.  Hence the change of name to Cheer.  Most of the Cheers lived in Whonnock and Ruskin across the Fraser River from Fort Langley.  They belonged to the Whonnock band of Kwantlen.  It is said the Whonnock indians (Ooanuck ) joined the Fort Langley Band of Kwantlen indians because their number dwindled badly from smallpox.

     My wife's grandfather was baptized in St. Andrews Cathedral, Victoria, B.C. in 1910.  He married Maryann Cheer from Fort Langley.  His parents were Jose Savino Diego aka Charles Savino, a Mexican indian from Acapulco and Mary Irvine an Saanich indian.  Charles was widowed and ended up marrying Maryann's mother Maggie Cheer.  Maryann Cheer's parents were Willie Cheer (aka Manny Cheer) and Maggie Gabriel (aka Maggie Pierre).

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moved 28 July 2002
updated 21 July 2013