Requesting Family Records

Family members can request a copy of their family relationship records ( JaeJeokDeungBon, 제적등본 ) from government offices in Korea ( ShiCheong 시청 city hall, or DongSaMuSo 동사무소 area office ). These records are a great way to start Korean genealogy research. Often you can get about 100 years of family names, dates, addresses, and relationships for several generations. The names are normally in HanJa characters, which is the most useful form of a Korean name for genealogists. You can use that information to know what to search for in a JokBoto find even more ancestors. There is a small fee for a copy of the records. You can also request them online at . You may need some information like the name, national id number, and the BonJeok 본적 family origin place, and proof of the relation of the requestor to the family. Note that some records from the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea might have Japanese, but most of the records will be in Korean HanJa characters.

4 thoughts on “Requesting Family Records

  1. I tried opening the website, but it didn’t seem to like the Chrome browser. I got an error message, but I could see the webpage in the background and it looked like there was an English version of the webpage available. But when I tried opening it in Internet Explorer, it took me to a different-looking page. It’s all in Korean and is talking about some kind of download. Am I at the right site, or if I did get lost, could you please post a link to the English version of the webpage? (My Korean isn’t very good at all).

    • Okay, I found my way onto the English version of the Korean Supreme Court website, but now how do I go about requesting records? Considering I’m American born and raised, is it even possible for me to do such a thing as request something from the Korean court system? Do I need to file a case using the “E-court”? If it’s not too much trouble, will you please provide detailed instructions on how to do that? Thank you so much for your website. It’s helped me.

  2. Hi! Thank you so much for all your info on this website. It has helped me tremendously in doing my family history!
    I just wanted to ask you… how can I find out our family’s 본적?
    Thank you!

    • There are a few ways to try to find the 본적.

      You can request a government record if you know information like a parent or grandparent or sibling or aunt or uncles’ national ID # and address in Korea, etc. The document would list up to the grandparents with everyone’s names, 본적, addresses, relationships, birthdates, etc.

      If you have a family JokBo, it could either list the 본적 in the title of the book or in the title of each section of the book.

      If you only know the family name and some relative’s names, take the oldest relative you have found (the one most likely to be in older versions of family records) and you can find some online JokBo and search thru them maticulously until you find the name (if you’re lucky). Not all records are online, so this can be difficult… but sometimes it is very rewarding.

      Most families have a family/clan website and many of those have online JokBo that are searchable nowadays.

      Some branches of families have a pattern to naming, so if you can try to match up syllables in given names to that pattern. Not everyone follows the pattern, so it doesn’t always work — but when it does it could give you a clue about which 본적 the names belong to.

      The way I found out was asking relatives… that’s the easiest way. 🙂

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