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  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  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.

102 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.

  7. Hello – I’m not sure where to even begin. My real birth parent or parents left me at a bath house in Pyeongtaek sometime in 1978 where I was taken in by my mother. So I wasn’t adopted through a formal agency. We then moved to the US. I’ve very little information to go on because my mother rarely is open to talk about it. My Korean name is Pak Su Chi but that may be the name after my mother found me. I am seeking advice on how to try and find my birth family. I appreciate anyone’s help.

  8. Hello, I was adopted in December 1983 when I was about 4 months old. I would like to find out more about my birth mother and my half brothers or sisters….Where can I get more details?????

  9. I am searching for my father whose name is Han, Yung Soo or Yung Soo Han. His birthday is on September 6, 1939. I do not know much about him because he and my mom seperated when I was little. I do know he is from Seoul and he is the middle child out of 3 boys. He had a family in California before he came to Guam and met my mom. I was told I have an older half brother. My mother is Micronesian specifically Chuukese and her name is Cindy. I am now 27years old I was born on November 12,1989. He and my mom have 3 daughters. My name is Sandra(I’m the oldest) my sisters are Susan and Aliza. I was also told that one of his brothers’ also has two daughters named Sandra and Susan except in their case Susan is older than Sandra. Before leaving to the states aftet my parents split, my dad had a construction business in Guam and later became a taxi driver. It’s been over twenty years I haven’t seen or heard from him and I would like to find him and get in touch with him if he is still alive. I would love for my kids to be able to meet their grandfather too. I remember him being overprotective of me and always spoiling me since I was the oldest. He would always buy me dresses and shoes that were yellow because he inisisted that my color would was Yellow. My mom said when they seperated he would always go back just to take me. I only have bits and pieces of memories from my childhood with him but I would like to create new ones for the 20some years that were lost. Thank you and please help me find my father.

  10. Does anyone know if this site is still functional? I tried to register 3-4 weeks ago and it wouldn’t work. I sent an e-mail to Jason Howard over 2 weeks ago and got nothing back. Is anyone still out there?

    • You are registered, and the site is active. Welcome to our community of over 7000 registered members and over 200,000 visitors. We steadily maintain over 100 visitors per day. I get hundreds of emails and sometimes have trouble following up with all of them — sorry about that. However, there are some who have been able to find such a wealth of genealogical information on their ancestors and I am very thankful to have been part of that journey and offer any help I can. I have been focusing on a few site upgrades, writing the greatly expanded 2nd version of the book, and successfully securing the site from the efforts relentless hackers. Registering does not currently unlock additional functionality in the site, but it may in the future. There is not currently a “welcome” letter for those who register, but I can see why you would have expected one and may add that in the future. Thanks.

  11. Pingback: » Blog 1: starting out, Marmite, Ancestry events

  12. I am looking for my father, can you please look for him? His name is Gong Byung-Chul, and I don’t really know much about him. My dad and my mom were dating for a few months, when my mom was pregnant with me. Apparently, he was married to another woman, and has a son already. All I know is that I have an older half-brother in Korea, and I would really would love to meet them. My dad doesn’t keep in contact with his family, and it makes it harder. I have never known my father, and I would like to get to know him, and have a relationship with him. I am 13, and living in the United States with my mother and grandmother. Please help me. If you find him, please contact me at this number, (213) 392-0807.

  13. Hi, I am currently looking for my birth parents. I don’t know which city I was born in just that I’m from Gyeonggi-do and was adopted from the eastern child welfare society in Seoul. I am born on the 29th of June 1999. My mothers name is Seok JungOk and my fathers name is Oh SeungJoon. They should both be born around 1980. Where would I be able to get more information on their whereabouts?

  14. Hello im nadia park from ghana…my mum conceived me with a Korean man and that should be biological father so Kindly help me find him in korea..I hv little details of him..all I know is that he came to Ghana in year 1993 in April to work for a fishery company and he’s called Park jong quack..if u are in korea and seen this kindly keep in touch with me to help find my father +233502076981..thanks

  15. Yes I’m in search of my friend’s son born in korea male age right now 16 will be 17 on Jan 3, 2018 year born 2002.First name is Andrea can someone please help m on where to start to begin to look for him.

  16. I wonder if there is ever a chance of finding someone you never met. My mom had a relationship with someone Korean in 1995 (kind of a guess coz I was born in 1996). He’s a seaman/seafarer who landed in the Philippines. Actually, I don’t even know his name, according to mom his surname is Kang 강, and that’s pretty broad. According to my stepdad they promised to send me to Korea when I turn 18, unfortunately a fuss happened and she burned every little document I needed. I feel hopeless. But who knows, I might meet him one day no matter how impossible my case is.

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