South Korea Probate Records

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
South Korea Wiki Topics
Flag of South Korea.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
South Korea Background
Local Research Resources
South Korea
Probate Records

Inheritance Documents and Wills (Tongsaeng Hwahoemun'gi or Yusan)

Research Use: Inheritance documents and wills are of particular value for identification of slaves, their birth dates, and family relationships.

Record Type: Korean inheritance documents used to allocate property (including slaves) among siblings.

Background: In addition to instructions regarding the distribution of property, wills generally included moral instruction and advice for offspring.

Time Period: 1500 to present.

Contents: Names of the deceased, family members and slaves, birth dates, relationships. Also arrangements for property distribution, notes of meritorious service, and more detailed biographical information. Location: Scattered in public and private collections; the largest assemblage is in Kyujanggak collection, Seoul National University Library. Percentage in Family History Library: 5%.

Duplication: Within record - estimated at less than 10%; with other records - probably as high as 50% for Korean nobility, but inheritance documents are one of only a few sources for slave names.

Population Coverage: Probably less than 5%. Only a few inheritance documents survive and the coverage is small. Wills are also rare. Reliability: Good.

Accessibility: Available in public libraries and private family papers, but not easily accessible to the general population.

Preservation of Record/Vulnerability: Most pre-1800 documents have been lost; many later records are also lost. Many of the remaining records are preserved in libraries and archives but are, nevertheless, subject to loss by fire or natural disasters; records in private family possession are even more susceptible to loss.[1]


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Korea,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1986-2001.