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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

(Family and kin) The family register (chokpo)

Won't go into more detail in the recent controversy concerning the family origin of OOP MP Kim Hee-sun (Kim Hûi-sôn), whether the independence fighter, general Kim Hak-kyu is actually her grand uncle (chagûn harabôji) or not, but just noting how the presence or absence of a person in the family register (or a lineage register), chokpo (族譜) is being used here to prove or disapprove the family line (from Chosun Ilbo).

Andong Kim, one of the most prestigious and illustrious lineages, or actually both the new Andong Kim line (sin Andong Kim-ssi), the old Andong Kim line (ku Andong Kim-ssi) and Euiseong Kim (Ûisông Kim-ssi) are telling that General Kim may belong to the Euiseong Kim lineage instead of Andong Kim. General Kim's name is not listed in the 12-volume lineage register (Taedongbo 大同譜) of the new Andong Kim line published in 1984.
The Kyu (圭) in his name is not the same (奎) that the 25th generation of the new Andong Kim line uses as its generational character. Likewise, the man with whom his mother is said to have remarried does not have in his name the generatinal character of the 24th generation, pyông(炳). The representatives of both old and new lines of Andong Kim tell that a famous person such would surely hve been recorded in the lineage register, and that the Andong Kim have been able to preserve the use of the generational character throughout the crises and transformations in the recent Korean history.

The representative of the Euiseong Kim lineage tells that it took some time to check among the 250 000 people registered in the lineage record (taedongbo) published in 1992, but rep. Kim's grandfather was confirmed to belong Euiseong Kim.

So does this prove that rep. Kim was correct in claiming to have the independence fighter general Kim Hak-kyu as his grand uncle? Seems it proves nothing else that the probability that they are of the same lineage (munjung 門中) is high.

I just love these intricacies. Got to take this up later in my class...
Now if only someone appeared and claimed ancestry from a slave or a paekchông and drove a policy for a greater social equality. Guess that happens as soon as the sun rises from the west.

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