Legend has it that a party of Tongans, whose names are not recorded are said to have been the first people to settle on Nukufetau. Shortly afterwards they sailed back to Tonga to obtain some coconuts to plant on the sand banks of the newly discovered land, and on returning to Nukufetau settled at Fale in the western part of the island. As times passed the population increased and there arose men of outstanding character who were recognized as aliki.
In order to more effectively protect the island from sea-raiders the early aliki divided the inhabitants into three main clans which lived in different areas. Fialua, one of the aliki, was placed in charge of Lafaga the biggest of the eastern islets. Tauasa was placed on the northern islet of Motulalo while Lagitupu and Laupapa remained at Fale. Lagitupu adopted a son called Laka and endowed him with the rights and powers equalled to those on any aliki on the island.
Following is part of Laka's genealogy along with the genealogy of Lagitupu:
Captain Davis visited Nukufetau on the 30th June 1892. He recorded the name of the King as Uta and the names of the traders as Alfred Restieaux an Englishman and Emile Fenisot a German. The native population was recorded as being 270.
Alfred Restieaux did keep a record of his life generally referred to as the Alfred Restieaux Manuscripts.