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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.

Reliability: Excellent.[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.