Lena’s acres at Talimatau comprised a part of a magnificent property overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the higher elevations over Apia in the (now) independent state of Samoa. Initially acquired by Alfred James Pritchard (see Family Tree), his court grant followed an uncertain path at the Samoa Registrar’s office, with sufficient lapses and errors to make it all a dense, thicketed bramble whose complexity was further compounded by the number of wives, and therefore heirs, Alfred James acknowledged. By way of aside, to his significant credit, he acknowledged and wanted to provide for all of them. Alfred James died intestate, but his predecessor, George Baker Pritchard’s title was also never firmly established. Thus, Lena’s inheritance at Talimatau was always uncertain and in need of settlement. The Apia firm of Trevor Stevenson was retained in 1978 by trustee James Kneubuhl to search and document the title to the uncertain number of acres at Talimatau Lena had inherited, and to advise regarding disposition. Once their land research was completed, the complete and detailed Trevor Stevenson file was handed to Hall, Mike, and Margaret, never to be seen again. James had one copy.
Alfred James Pritchard heirs’ with claims to Talimatau were born to two, perhaps three, mothers. These were Lemusu Fuiava (Lealeitafea Suivi), (Lena Kneubuhl’s mother) with whom he had 5 children, and Mele Tulifano (Mele Saliga Maloata), the mother of George John Lilomaiava. We leave it to others to perfect the order and formality of these unions. Alfred James had two daughters in 1890 with different mothers, both named Atalina. One Atalina was sent to his brother in adoption; the other is our grandmother. Various courts interpreted the Alfred James estate differently, and, (it being not our business), it is unknown what the other Atalina finally inherited.
While Lena Pritchard Kneubuhl never acknowledged or talked about her half sister, the other Atalina, her six children were unanimously clear that George John, at first believed to be born after Lemusu died, was an acknowledged heir to Alfred James’ estate, despite that the birth (and therefore marriage) order is not agreed to by everyone. (see BFK Board Minutes)
While titles at Talimatau reflected the complex family tree more than any other acreage, it was all given to Mike in 1982 (Frances retaining 1/6), who sold it all off to non-family in the 2000’s. It was claimed that everything was “settled.” There is both a deposition and trial testimony mostly concerning accounting issues and the propriety of legal fees.