News Story

New Temple and Family History Leader for Cook Islands

Mere Utanga is the new Cook Islands Temple and Family History Consultant Leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

She oversees the work of volunteers helping people discover and record their family connections.

Prior to 1838, there are no written genealogy records for the Cook Islands.  Family histories were passed down by word of mouth through the generations. 

Today, over 96,000 digitised Cook Islands birth, death and marriage records can be found online at 

“We are some of the luckiest people to have our records at our fingertips,” said Utanga. 

Regular visits with Church members and other interested people in their homes to help them with their research is part of Utanga’s responsibility.  She also provides support to members and friends of the Church at the Family History Centre in Avarua, Rarotonga.

Family History Centres are equipped with resources for research and study of genealogy.  Anyone who is keen to learn about their ancestors can come along and receive one-on-one support.

“We have wonderful family history consultants who are getting more confident using computers,” said Utanga. 

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