Here is a great list of websites for families in Korea. Many have searchable online JokBo and KyaeBo records!
This organization can help Korean adoptees who are searching for their birth parents or seeking to reinstate their Korean citizenship.
The Inje University Genealogy Library is by far the best source of Korean genealogical records available.
The Inje University Genealogy Library’s online library of JokBo is incredible. They have recently changed their policy and no longer require registration to access the books online! They did this to make JokBo research resources more broadly available to everyone. This is wonderful.
There is still one hurdle for English speakers who want to use this library. Viewing the books requires installing a browser add-on / application that only works with Windows Explorer (no problem) and the Korean version of Windows. Please note that the Korean version of Windows is not referring to an English version of Windows with a Korean font installed.
There are two approaches to overcome the “Korean Windows” hurdle. 1) Install Korean Windows on a computer. I got a little $250 laptop (smaller than a laptop, actually) that has a Korean version of Windows XP CE on it and that worked well. I also emulated a Korean version of Windows 2000 using VirtualBox (free software at https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads) on a more powerful PC running an English version of Windows 10 and that worked well, too.
Abby Clout OCR is an online OCR service at http://cloud.ocrsdk.com/Demo/ . They offer 50 free sample runs and charge for anything beyond that. You can upload an image (a scanned page from a Korean JokBo genealogy, for example) and it will automatically convert it into text that you can copy and paste into an online dictionary. I selected Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese when I ran this test. It isn’t perfect, but it is excellent and can save you a lot of time when translating JokBo records.
In the test run below, the left is the scanned source image and the right is the text result. The results are great. There aren’t many OCR packages that output text in the same format as the source — this is a great product for Korean genealogy work.
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 efamily.scourt.go.kr . 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.
We also have a facebook page where we can share ideas and help each other learn about Korean Genealogy and look for ancestors…
Three copies of the printed version of the Korean Genealogy Guide book were donated to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It is now listed in the Family History Library catalog at https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2064272. The books appear to be loaned out frequently, which is a great sign of the growing interest in Korean genealogy. The book is also available for free in electronic form (pdf or html) on this site. The printed version is available at amazon.com and other bookstores.
Progress is being made on the automatic JokBo (족보) indexing project… See the automatic detection of HanJa characters from a JokBo (족보) below? Project for Auto-Indexing Korean Genealogy Records