"Tremendous gratitudes for your generous thoughts and comments!"
IF I seem curt/brief/rude--faatoese/sorry--I forget why I come to the South Seas region--Oceania--I'm usually in the Middle East region helping others and... I'll be good.
"All we have from anecdotal evidence was that she was (perhaps) part-German and that she came from Savaii." -1st post
"Emele accompanied her elder sister to Fiji at the turn of the century (circa 1900). Both sisters (as the story tells) ran away from Samoa as the elder sister was in an unhappy marriage with a German fellow." -2nd post
IF Emily has German heritage--please--what is her father's surname? Even if her parents were never married it was known that if a child carried "palagi" roots the surname alone was assurance that that child was better cared for than a native-born of Samoa. Do you even have her sister's name? Or her sister's married name?
Do you have her birth surname?
Now I have found many Ratu Joni and two listings under Lewenilovo.
RATU JONE VAKALOLO LEWENILOVO & EMALINI RARAWA - This couple started a family c.1958 - a coincidence?
"So my questions are (1) is the name Emily/Emele Tualua Togaloa, a Samoan name? (it sounds very Fijian hence the doubt) (2) if she was Samoan, is the Togaloa family surname confined to a specific village and if so, what is the name of that village? (3) any other leads would be appreciated."
1) IF you're asking a Samoan--first instincts--they don't question you about the names if they look/sound Samoan then they must be Samoan. TUALA and TUALUA I had no qualms about. The TOGALOA I had qualms about whereas I suggested TAGALOA as that is a very prominent surname in Samoa.
TAG/A/LO/A = TAHNG/ah/LOH/ah
TOG/A/LO/A = TOHNG/ah/loh/ah
How about Fijian enunciation?
2) I have no doubts that Emily was/is Samoan only because of your story. Now that is another "misunderstanding" of what "confined" means to someone living on an island.
3) What are Emily's sons names?
"I have seen some hyphenated Samoan names (surnames?)which adds to my confusion because we do not use hyphenated names in Fijian."
You and me both because I've never seen a Samoan hyphenated name. And if it occurred in the USA it was a fad at one short time. Hyphenated names for a Polynesian is useless I would think as their own birth names were long enough they didn't need hyphenated names to complicate their lives even more. Eh?/Sa'o?/Correct?
When you say Fijian does that include the East Indians?
Ratu Joni Lewenilovo, a senior chief from the village of Somosomo on the island of Taveuni (he was from the Tui Cakau clan). Ratu Joni went to serve in France with the Fiji Contingent that served in France and Italy during World War 1. He had two sons with Emele.
In Fiji, how many levels are there below a senior chief? What is the word Tui? Is Cakau a family name/surname?
"Several years ago we asked an old Fijian lady about Emele and all she could recall was her name (as given above) and that she was a "marama ni Samoa" (lady from Samoa). When asked which part of Samoa, she replied "...Savaii, Apia, American Samoa" (her geography was a bit out re Savaii being in American Samoa!)."
"marama ni Samoa" - looks foreign to me. Lets see what my grandmother says. (Be back.)
And her Samoa geography may NOT have been off. Remember before April 1900--before there was an American Samoa--Tutuila, Manua, and other smaller islands and atolls were all part of what was once known as [German]Samoa then later under New Zealand rule [Western]Samoa and eventually Samoa(1962) and American Samoa(1900).
So I'm pretty sure the old lady was "spot on" when she'd been relating her story to you from her own way of telling things.
Remember: the elders have their own way of remembering. We, the young & dumb, have to remember to ask.