Family Lineage Records as a Resource for Korean History

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This book presents, amplifies, and breathes life into a sample of a Korean lineage records, and as such, seeks to fill the gap in scholarship that lies between simple recognition of the existence of these chokpo and a deeper comprehension of their contents. It erases the mystique surrounding Korean lineage records and makes these records accessible to any English speaking reader. By examining one family line in great detail, readers will be introduced to this unique Korean asset, and the wealth of material hidden in these volumes. This book contains 12 Color Photos and 15 Black and White Photos


“Korean genealogies, or chokpo, originated from two basic convictions of traditional Korean life: the belief that one’s identity and social status was earned by the virtue and achievements of one’s ancestors, and the need to have accurate descent records in order to maintain the integrity and efficacy of the ancestral rituals ... Many people, including professional Korean specialists themselves, will see what a wealth of historical detail can be found in or through such genealogies, how much insight can be gained into both the ancient and recent past, how in many cases they can be used to advance more general research, and simply how much sheer drama and excitement they can hold in their pages.” - Dr. Gari Ledyard, King Sejong Professor Emeritus of Korean Studies, Columbia University in the City of New York

“Clearly a labor of love, this book deploys a Korean family’s genealogy as a lens into Korean culture and history, from the ancient times shrouded in legend to the modern times saturated in turmoil ... As such, this book provides something for both specialists and general readers, particularly those interested in genealogy and family histories, and will prove useful in the classroom.” - Dr. Kyung Moon Hwang, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Southern California

“Here is a truly creative and fascinating book ... This book will be useful in all levels of Korean studies history, culture, or language and also by those wishing to understand more fully the make-up and purpose of the Korean lineage records.” - Dr. Mark Peterson, Head, Korean Section, Asian and Near Eastern Languages, Brigham Young University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gari Ledyard
Note to the Reader
Part I. Tradition: Lineage Record with Research
1 Chokpo Prologue Excerpts
2 The Founding Ancestor: Generation 1 (ca. 720 A.D.)
3 The Link to Wang K?n, Founder of Kory?: Generations 2-6 (ca. 750-870)
4 Early Years of the Kory? Dynasty: Generations 7-13 (910-1150)
5 First Solidly Historical Ancestor: Generation 14 (ca. 1190)
6 Mongol (Yuan China) Invasions: Generations 15-19 (ca. 1210-1290)
7 The Black Sheep: Generation 20 (ca. 1310)
8 Creating a New Dynasty: Generation 21 (1356-1396)
9 A Skeleton in the Closet: Generation 21 (ca. 1350)
10 Becoming Confucian: Generations 22-27 (ca. 1380-1575)
11 A Bona Fide Hero: Generation 28 (1603)
12 Emerging Thoughts, Changing Directions: Generations 29-34 (1633-1817)
Part II. Tradition Breakers: Oral Histories
13 Prelude to Oral Histories
14 The First Christian: Generation 35 (1850-1915)
15 First Doctor of Western Medicine: Generation 36 (1887-1967)
16 Growing up Korean in the Japanese Colony: Generation 37 (1910-1986)
17 Korean Bank Manager in the Japanese Colony: Generation 37 (cont.)
18 Irrepressible Childhood: Generation 38 (1935 - )
19 Childhood Abandoned, 1945-1947: Generation 38 (cont.)
20 Turbulent Years, 1947-1953: Generation 38 (concluded)
21 Unraveling the Braid

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