South Korea Slavery
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Slave Records (Noye Kirok)
Research Use: Slave records are a primary source of vital data and family relationships of members of slave families.
Record Type: Registers of slaves and slave families.
Background: At the bottom of the Korean social hierarchy were the lowly people [chunmin] who made up about 30% of the population. Most people of this class were hereditary slaves [nobi]. These were persons who had for various reasons become chattel property: they could be bought, sold, and inherited. Slaves were emancipated in Korea in 1894.
Time Period: 1800 to 1910.
Contents: Names, ages, family relationships, residence; arranged by locality.
Location: These records are known to exist only as part of the Kyujanggak collection, Seoul National University Library.
Percentage in Family History Library: None.
Population Coverage: Historically, slaves accounted for as much as 30% of the population, but these records likely cover less than 5% of the population, mostly because of record losses.
Accessibility: Unknown. These records appear not to be easily accessible to the general population.
Preservation of Record/Vulnerability: Most of the original records have been lost or destroyed. The remaining records are maintained under good conditions in the Seoul National University Library but are still subject to loss by fire or natural disasters.
- 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.