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.