Family Records

Many Korean clans pass down genealogies and family histories that are kept by the eldest sons.  These family registries are called JokBo (族譜, 족보).  Many families have a formal family run organization that collects and publishes genealogy updates to the family.  These organizations identify and take care of family historical sites, including grave sites and ancestral homes.  Some families are starting to publish this information on the internet.  Donating records to public online archives to preserve Korean history is also a wonderful growing trend.  There have never been so many resources available to genealogists, and the future is even brighter.

There is also a new movement to preserve and publicly publish family histories as national treasures.  For example, the Inje University Genealogy Library collects and publishes Korean genealogical records at http://genealogy.inje.ac.kr.  The software used to view these records requires a Korean version of Microsoft Windows (not just an English version of Windows with Korean fonts installed), however, which can be a barrier for researchers outside of Korea.

Family Search also makes genealogical records available at http://familysearch.org.  Fortunately, these records are viewable by almost any computer with a web browser.  At the time this book was written, Korean records can be located on Family Search by navigating to “Records”, “Browse by Location,” “Asia and Middle East”, “Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2009,” “Browse through 171,982 images.”  The number of published records is continually growing.  No doubt, this will eventually include indexing, which enables text-based searches, rather than just images.  Although searchable indexed records would be very helpful, the currently available images of genealogical records are all that is needed to find ancestors using the methods presented in this book.  From there you can navigate to specific clan records by selecting the family name, country, province, and city/county, and town that identify the clan.  You will often find many volumes of records for clans in the collection.

Family genealogies often start with family histories.  Some records contain the valiant acts of the ancestors.  Some also contain maps and pictures of family graves and historical sites, photos or paintings of prominent ancestors, and photos and information about family historical treasures.

88 thoughts on “Family Records

  1. I am looking for my Mother’s biological family. Although the orphanage wasn’t sure of her actual birth date, A doctor assumed her birth date was May 02, 1961. She was said to be left in the ditch and found by people that turned her over to the Holt orphanage. She was born with a problem with her back/hip. That is all the information that we have to go on.

  2. I am looking for my father in gwangju Chollanamdo I’m from Philippines it’s almost 18 years from now when he left me so I am trying to find find him in any kinds of social media sites but its really tough to search on him then now I just want to make sure that he is fine but I need some help ,before I end this, his Name was Kim Seun Yul(I don’t know) but that’s not Exactly the correct spelling but if u have any information that is related don’t hesitate to contact me 09758111464 GOdbless and thank u

  3. Good Day,, if you please to look for my father his name is Sun Young Kim i am from Philippines all I remember is he is 60 yrs old by now.. i just want to know if he is sill alive.. please contact us 09057301305

  4. My Mother’s name is Choi Moon Ja, born in Japan on October 20th 1930.
    Lived in Pusan til 1954…then moved to the USA. She resides in
    Killeen, TX. I would like to know more about our family tree on the
    Korean side. Some are still living in Korea somewhere and others
    are in Japan. That’s all I know.

  5. Hello, I’m looking for any relatives from Inchon, Korea. I was adopted and went to North America. I was born on March 4, 1957. i would love to know who I am? Who were my parents? Sincerely, MiJa Song. It was at one time Cotter from Arlington, MA then I got married

  6. I am looking for my Korean birth mother. Kim Sook Hee/ Kim Hee Sook Father Unknown but I was named Kang Bok Soon. I have a Korean younger brother and Korean older sister who I am looking for to.
    I was privately adopted by loving and kind American couple, but I was a registered Korean citizen and I saw my birth certificate where my mom signed over her birth rights.
    I was 4yrs old when I left Seoul Korean with a Flight Attendant from American Airlines to be handed over to my new parents. I need answers and most of all understanding of why would a mother sign over her parental rights to a child she lovely cared for 3 yrs.
    The day I held my daughter after giving birth, I had tears and told the Nurses and Surgeons how could my birth mother give me up for adoption.
    Help me.

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