Family Names

There are about 300 Korean family names. Many family names can be broken down into multiple clans (BoGuan). Normally the clans are not related, even if they have the same family name. Traditionally, people from the same clan cannot marry. Specifying clans is necessary when referring to family registries and genealogies, but generally clans aren’t added to names for other purposes. The word “Shi” (씨, meaning Mr., Mrs., or family) is often placed as after the family name or full name.

The following table lists Korean family names. Note that there are many additional possible English spellings for the names. A good source of alternate popular English spellings of Korean family names is: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Korean_surnames
Table 2.2  Korean Family Names (HanJa, HanGul, and English)

Ga

Gan

Gal

Gam

Gang

Gang

Gang

Gang

Gang

岡田

강전

GangJeon

綱切

강절

GangJeol

Gae

Gyeon

Gyeon

Gyeong

Gyeong

Gyeong

Gyae

Go

Gok

Gong

Gong

Gwak

Gyo

Gu

Gu

Gu

Guk

Guk

Guk

Gun

Gung

Gweok

Gweon

Geun

Geum

Gi

Gi

Gil

Kim

Na

Nan

Nam

南宮

남궁

NamGung

Nang

Nae

Nae

No

No

No

No

Nwe

Nwe

Nu

Dan

Dan

Dan

Dam

Dang

Dae

Do

Do

Do

獨孤

독고

DokGo

Don

Don

Dong

東方

동방

DongBang

Du

Du

Ra

Ryang

Ryang

Ryu

Lee

Rim

Ma

Ma

Man

網切

망절

MangJeol

Mae

Maeng

Myeong

Mo

Mo

Mok

Myo

Muk

Moon

Moon

Mi

Min

Pak

Ban

Ban

Bang

Bang

Bang

Bang

Bae

Baek

Beom

Beom

Byeon

Byeon

Bok

Bong

Bong

Bu

Bu

Pe

Pen

Pen

Peng

Peng

Sa

Sa

Sa

司空

사공

SaGong

Sam

Sam

Sang

Seo

西

Seo

西門

서문

SeoMun

Seok

Seok

Seon

鮮于

선우

SeonU

Seol

Seol

Seol

Seop

Seong

Seong

So

So

So

So

So

So

小峰

소봉

SoBong

Son

Song

Song

Su

Su

Sun

Sun

Sun

Sun

Seung

Seung

Shi

Shi

Shin

Shin

Shin

Shim

Ship

A

An

Ae

Ya

Yang

Yang

Yang

Yang

Eo

魚金

어금

EoGeum

Eum

Yeo

Yeo

Yeo

Yeon

Yeon

Yeon

Yeom

Yeop

Yeong

Yeong

Yeong

Yae

O

O

Ok

On

Ong

Ong

Wang

Yo

Yong

U

U

U

Un

Un

Won

Won

Won

We

We

Yu

Yu

Yu

Yu

Yuk

Yun

Eun

Eun

Eum

Lee

Lee

Lee

In

Im

Im

Ja

Jang

Jang

Jang

Jang

長谷

장곡

JangGok

Jeo

Jeon

Jeon

Jeon

Jeom

Jeong

Jeong

Jeong

Jae

Jae

諸葛

제갈

JaeGal

Jo

Jo

Jong

Jong

Jwa

Ju

Ju

Jun

Jeup

Jeung

Jeung

Ji

Ji

Jin

Jin

Jin

Jin

Cha

Chang

Chang

Chae

Chae

Chae

Cheon

Cheon

Cho

Cho

Cho

Choi

Chu

Chu

椿

Chun

Tak

Tak

Tae

Pan

Paeng

Pyeon

Pyeon

Pyeong

Po

Pyo

Pung

Pe

Pel

Ha

Ha

Hak

Han

Han

Ham

Hae

Heo

Hyeon

Heong

Ho

Ho

Ho

Hong

Hwa

Hwan

Hwang

皇甫

황보

HwangBo

Hu

Hu

Heung

30 thoughts on “Family Names

  1. Am interested in procedure for researching ancesters of an South Korea adopted child.
    Thank you. (Denver, CO., US)

  2. Hi,
    I’m an American born Korean. My name Kim Jae Kwon (David Young Kim) my fathers name is Kim Young Kyou. I’m headed to Korea on this journey to find my roots and I happed upon this website. First off, I’m extremely grateful for that work you did to make this incredible resource available. I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly go through the website as I leave tomorrow. But I was wondering if I wanted to find the geneaology of that side of my family while in Korea where would you suggest I go? And who should I talk to. Ideally I would like to come home with a jokbo. Kim being the most common last name how would I find my specific clan? I’m not really getting much help from my family, so I’m pretty much on my own in doing this.

    Thanks,
    Dave

    P.S. Here’s the project I’m working on while there: http://iamkoream.com/korean-american-artists-explore-their-native-culture-in-interlaced/

    • all depends on which one your family goes by.I recommend asking some of the older family members who might have an idea

  3. hey.tnx for ur gr8 information
    i’m not korean but i heart that korean names has been made from our birth date (is that right?)
    if it is i wanna know how can make my name
    could u plz give me more information about this?
    thanks a lot

    • Often one syllable of the given name is taken from a “HangRyeolPyo” table that assigns a different HanJa character to each generation… That creates an almost poetic harmony and balance in the family JokBo record with patterns in the names, and each generation shares a common syllable in their name. Not everyone follows this, but a lot of people do. The other syllable is often selected by a traditional Korean “shaman” who uses astrology to pick the other HanJa syllable of the given name. They pick a syllable best suited for that child to bring them blessings in their life, or something along those lines. Another method is to have the grandparents choose the other syllable.

      http://www.quora.com/How-do-Korean-parents-pick-baby-names-in-Korean

  4. Umm what does “Jang” and “Ban” mean.I’m not Korean but I was given this name, Ban being my first name and Jang my last name. Which is my Grandfather’s last name, and on my mom side. I know it’s weird that my name is both a Korean last name..but I wanna kno the meaning of them.thank you!

    -Ban

  5. Hi am trying to find out routes of my grandmother, whose father moved from Korea to Russia’s far east in early 1900s due to Japanase colonization.
    My grandmonther’s last name is Son, and Poy – Joseon/Yoson/Joson — would you be able to suggest where to start?
    Thank you so much!!!

  6. Hello! I am of mixed Korean and Japanese heritage, but I only have (or at least only know) my Korean name, Eun Ah. Is there a way to write it in hanja so that it would translate into a Japanese name as well?

  7. Seung Eun Soo

    what are you think about this name, are they a good name and if you know the meaning please reply and tell me and if the name is not suitable you also can share youre idea to me plezz tell me about it..

  8. Hi, my mother (Korean) passed a long time ago and my father never liked talking about her. He recently passed and I found her family registry. My mothers last name was Pak, and I have no idea of where to start. I cant find anything on my own..

  9. Hi I am not korean but I really like to learn about korean history.
    I just read an article written that now in Korea is possible to get married even to a person which has the same family name (e.g lee and lee)
    Is that true? what are the requirements regarding to that case? Do we have to do cross check with our ancestors?
    Do you have any solid information about this case?
    I really appreciate all your help.

    Thanks

    • You can have the same family name (like Lee) but come from very different clans where your closest relation (if any) within the Lee line is so ancient that its safe to say you are not close relatives. My understanding is that you can check back some number of generations (10, 16?) and then get cleared, but I don’t know for sure.

  10. I am from japan basically but have to learn korean language because of some korean clients. Please tell me any tutorial sites or any websites that provide complete knowledge about korean language. Any korean name or word website suggestions are also welcomed!! I can understand few word but not all. That’s why need help!!

  11. Hi I am Korean born adopted into an Australian family my birth name was Jong kyeong Ran my biological father was a soldier and my birth mother was divorced with 3 older children before she knew about me my father left her and she could not look after us all so I was the one to go. Can you please tell me what my name means? As it was my biological father’s last name. Thank you.

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