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.

139 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.

    • I too was given away i. the same manner. left korea in 1986 w a flight attendant now I too am looking for my birth family.

    • I am looking for my 1/2 brother, his mom has the same name as your birth mom, he was born in 1967. My dad was stationed in Uijeongbu, Korea. Just north of Seoul.

      • im a adopted child from Korea, my mother found me , because in Korea was a new law , the open the adoption case. every family member have the right to find out where is this child gone. my mother had contact me over this organisation and we had a first contact.

  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.

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  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?

    • Hi! I was born in Gyeonggi-do in 1991 and my birth mother’s surname is Seok. I hear it is a fairly uncommon surname in Korea.

  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.

  17. I am looking for birth parents from Pyontchek Kyuggi-do
    My birth name is Chong Chol Ki mothers name Chin Sun Chong I was born January 15. 1976

  18. My name is HaeKyung Thompson, daughter of J Nielsen and Chong Won Nielsen (Sin). I have enough family information to get started and am looking to find my mother’s family in Korea as she has been dealing with a lot of medical issues. Her father’s name was Sin, Kyong Sop and her mother is/was Kim, Chong Kum. She has three sisters and one brother.
    Chong Suk, Chong Son, Yong Il, and Chong Cha. I received these names by looking through my mom’s file folders and I found the 1983 census from the Cheif of Yongpuk-myon office in Pochon-kun, Korea. How would I go about finding someone off of this information?

  19. Hello. I am looking for my father and my father’s family. He is Korean and his name is Lee Sungho. He lived in Chicago area in the 1960s as far as i know. He or some relatives resided in Oak Park, Illinois in the 1980s. According to my birth certificate my father passed away before I was born but I’m not really sure if that is true. I would really appreciate any information that you can give me. thank you.

  20. Hello,
    My Grandmother is from Korea, her birth name was Chong Cha Song, she had 2 names after that, one with that was Japanese(not sure why) as Nariko Hariko, and when she moved to the US she changed it to “Jewel McGinnes” She was born on April 1st 1928, and died 1993. Her Fathers last name was “Song”, and her Mothers last name was “Yi”. When She came to the united states, she was with my step Grandfather. My whole family is broken up and divided. I took a DNA test and everything to try and connect with my family over there, but nothing still. I hope someone finds this and can help guide me further down the path to my family.

    • if she was in korea during the japanese occupation of korea she
      may have been forced to take a japanese name and some of her records may have been based on the japanese calendar and written in japanese during those years.

      • Thank you I greatly appreciate your feedback. I was told my step Grandfather flew over there during the war and brought her back with him.

  21. Annyeong! I am looking for my father named Jo Heung Park (조 흥 박) and i am half korean half filipino. all i know is his name and his facebook and i also have some pictures (as proof) its not easy with facebook because he has been inactive for months and there is no profile picture but it is stated that he is from incheon korea and is now living in kaohsiung Taiwan. if theres is anyway you can help me admin or you reading this please let me know through email or facebook. ill be waiting for a response. thank you 🙂


  23. Hello my name is sara.
    My twin sister and i were adopted from Seoul, South Korea in october, 1986.
    We are a stranger from our adoptive parents, by their choice, and kept our paper work from us for years. We recently received them from our younger sister who still lives with them.
    So we would like to start the search for our birth mother and father. We do not have anything on our mother, but have a few things on our father. His name jae mo YOUN. It says he was 26 and in the Korean Army when we were born. Him being in the military an this parents being to old to care for one let alone two infants, made the difficult decision to give us to social welfare service. From there we went to a few other facilities until we finally were blessed with an adoption.

    My sister and I have done searches on FB and ancestry and have turned out nothing. I came across this site and thought is I give it a try.

    If anyone knows anyone who can help or u have some helpful advice. .. Even encouragement ❤
    If you’d be so kind as to message me on FB that would be awesome.

    Thank u.. .And good luck to everyone who has shared their stories in hopes to find loved ones like my sister and I.

    Sara True
    From Washington state

  24. Hello, I was Jee Hoon Park (my legal name has changed). I was adopted in Seoul, South Korea, and I am trying to look for my birth parents. I would love if anyone can help.

  25. My grandmother, Yi Kye Sun, is looking for her family and wants to know if her brother, Yi Tae Young is still alive.

  26. My name is Christina Marshall, and I am searching for my brother. His mother’s name is Kim, Kum Yee. My father was American Army, near Seoul in 1965-66?

  27. I am looking for relatives of Myong Cha Chong born 9/7/51 in Pusan Korea she married and came to US in August 1971 with a daughter born 6/8/71, she was married to a US soldier. She had a sister in New Jersey that was also married to a US soldier

  28. Hi all.

    1. Please look over your adoption files. If there is some kind of identifying information on the parent (s) you can initiate a birth search through the adoption agencies.
    1.5 Women who had babies with American GIs during the Korean War sometimes ended up in the United States. so Check Ancestry for naturalization records.
    2. Korean birth families are slowly starting to dna test through ftdna with their results being transferred to Gedmatch.
    3. If you live near or can get to the Korean consulate in Los Angeles, they are partnering with Korea to send dna samples back to Korea into the police database. This can be done in Addition to testing w 23andme, ftdna or ancestry.
    4. If you were adopted from Daegu only, you can send DNA directly to the police station in Korea.
    5. There are some Facebook groups online that specialize in assisting Korean Adoptees with birth searches and with children of Vietnam and Korean War vets find half sibs and siblings of the vets their nieces and nephews.

  29. I am looking for my brother Bobby who was born in I believe Seoul Korea back between 1975-79. His father was a black U.S soldier and brought him back to the states. My moms name is Yi Oksun and she was born 11/5/57 or 11/5/58 not really sure what year since she left when I was 3. I would really like to find him to let him know that he has a brother and a sister here in the States.

  30. I am look for Han Chong Cha last time I seen her was in Inchan Korea just before I was sent back to the US I was station in Osan in 1968 to 1969 her Americans name I called her Connie an my name is William Wade from Louisiana

  31. My mom is Korean and has been in the States (Georgia) for over 40 years. She is searching for her 2 brothers. Her name is Chun Hui Yi. She was born March 3 1952. She was in Pyongtaek. I will be trying to get more info on her brothers and moms name.

  32. Looking for my older 1/2 brother Johnny Ham who was about 14 and had to stay in South Korea because of lack of documents when our mother and my father got PCS orders to leave.
    Lost his address in South Korea and have been looking for him since 1989. Our mother (Kyong Suk Mace) has passed away.
    Please email me at with any information

  33. I’m helping my boyfriend find his mother, he and his siblings were adopted into the states from an orphanage in 1979-his father had passed away, mother left and he only remembers his mother’s name is Sung.
    All were born in Seoul, South Korea
    -He remembers his birth name as:
    Ke Sung EE /Birth -June 3, 1972
    -sisters: ski Boon Ee-May 13, 1974
    – brother: Me Boon EE-Aug 12, 1975

  34. Hi I am looking for a sister my dad was in the Korean War and had somebody pregnant my father’s name was James Finnegan all I know is I have a sister and Korea she should be about the age of 68

  35. I’ll give this a try. Hi there. I hope you could help me with this. I lost contact with my korean father since I was 4 years old, that would be in the 1997. He met my mother here in the Philippines and she’s filipina. Im 27 this December 2020 and I am just wondering if he’s still alive or if he even tried to look for me. His name is Lee Min Soo and he was 29 when I was born and I know that he was a mechanical engineer according to my birth certificate. He has an epilepsy, and we used to live in Laguna back then and that’s all I knew about him. I’m Lee Chang Do M. by the way. Thanks!

  36. Hello, I am looking for my grandmother. Her name was Yunae Cho and she was born in South Korea around 1943-1944. Her parents were killed in an attack when she was about 5. According to my dad, they were part of the Korean Court. (I have no idea what though) They wanted to kill her parents, because they were almost like royality. (Her grandfather apparently was also part of the court and had a high “royality” like ranking.) I don’t have anymore info, except that she married my American grandfather, (Last name Gray) who was in the Korean War. She moved to California with him and had my dad. According to some records, she had remarried in Los Angles, Cal. 1983 to a Namwom Kim. If anybody could tell me who was in the court around the time, that would be wonderful!

  37. Hello, I am looking for my mother’s birth family. Here are the infos we have about her adoption :
    Korean original name : Yang Mi Ran
    born on 08 25 1972 in Seoul, Korea. Case number 12048. Birth mother is said to have been a 40 years old widow at the time.
    Brought to CAPOK orphanage in Seoul on 08 28 1972, orphanage case number 1295.
    Entrusted to Holt on 09 14 1972. N°12048.
    Adopted to France on 03 20 1973.
    If anyone thinks they might know about her family, or has any tips on how to continue this search, please let me know. I have been searching for years, and I got DNA tested at MyHeritage as well as at GedMatch, but go no significant match.
    Contacted Holy International Children’s Services who answered they were not the one facilitating the adoption.
    Thank you for the time you spent reading my message, and I wish you luck in your search

  38. I am looking for my mother’s family in South Korea, her name before she came to the US in 1967 was Im Myoing Sun and she has a sister and maybe a brother. She last had contact with her sister in 1971 through international mail. She changed her name to Bobbie Sue when she married my father, a US Army soldier. Her birthday is Oct 12, 1943

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  41. Hello my birth name is Yi Jinju born in Busan South Korea on September 7th 2006. Looking for any information on birth mother and older half brother and sister who were born in 2000. If you have any info message (319-800-5965)

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