Troy's Genealogue


New Domain:
New Journal

Family Histories:

Family History of the
YI Clan of Gyeongju (慶州李氏族譜)

February 2012

From a brief and far from complete view of the Yi family registry in February, 2007, I am thus relating my layman's translation of the Yi family genealogy and will hopefully produce a more complete translation in both English and Korean in the future. The copy of the registry currently is in the possession of my brother-in-law as the eldest male descendant of my wife's branch of the Yi clan. As derived from Chinese tradition, the clan registry is written entirely in Chinese characters with a few side notes in the Korean han-gul alphabet. I will endeavor to provide both.


Research ChallengesTop

As already noted, the family registry is written entirely in Chinese characters with only a few margin notes in the Korean alphabet. A proficient reader of Chinese, this challenge is actually the least challenging. The greater challenges are presented by Korean history itself.

First, the family registry that my brother-in-law has inherited appears to be a hand copy of a master clan registry that records the descendants of Yi Al-pyeong. As such, I have no way of discerning the completeness of the copy nor determining which margin notes are original and which were added later by my in-laws' more recent ancestors.

Second, Korean history -- I am by no means a scholar of Korean history, but from what I have read I find the sources themselves present numerous challenges as they are derived from Korean records, Chinese records, and Japanese records, each with their own conflicting perspectives and biases not to mention conflicting legends and myths about Korea's origins!

This again presents language as a problem in that, if memory serves, Korea adopted Chinese characters perhaps as early as the 3rd century of the Common Era and yet a few centuries after we pick up our story with the Silla Dynasty(新羅/신라) at the beginning of the first millennium. As such, the earliest Chinese character source records on the founding of Korea are themselves written hundreds of years after the events. Additionally, Chinese characters dont lend themselves well to rendering pure Korean names, for example: the early Korean dynasty of Koguryeo (고구려) was recorded by the Chinese as 高句麗, pronounced in modern Mandarin as Gaogouli, not to mention a few other variations. Furthermore, I am still uncertain as to when the Korean court truly adopted Chinese style family names and given names. I suspect many of the early Sinocized names (like Yi Al-pyong in the First Century of the Common Era) were created hundreds of years later and applied retroactively.

Third, upon reaching adulthood, some take on a new name that the individual feels is more reflective of his or her personality, identity, or aspirations.

Now add inconsistencies in Korean Romanization where "고구려" can be written as "Koguryeo," "Koguryo," and "Goguryeo."

And lastly, as noted before--time. While the Yi family genealogy records all direct male descendants down to my brother-in-law, given the short time with which to skim the book I can only here relate 16 generations down from Yi Al-pyong and three generations up from my father-in-law.

More to follow.

Al-pyeong1 (謁平/알평) (~First Century, CE)Top

1. Al-pyeong1 (謁平/알평). The Yi clan of Gyeongju descends from Al-pyeong, of Gyeongju (慶州/경주), North Gyeongsang Province (慶尚北道/경상북도), in southeastern Korea. He is a mythical character who, during the Jinhan (辰韓/진한) confederacy was chieftain of Yangsan village, Alcheon (閼川楊山村/알천양산천), which became one of the six departments of the confederacy. The village is mythical with no known historical location in Gyeongju.

The mythical King Hyeok-geo-sei (赫居世/혁거세; reigned 57 BCE-4 CE) was said to had a divine birth at Yangsan and united the six departments of Jinhan to found the Silla Dynasty (新羅/신라; 57 BCE 935 CE). Under Hyeok-geo-sei, Al-pyeong was entitled the Duke of [Acan] (阿[餐]公), chieftain of the Keup-ryang department (及梁部大人/급량).

YI Geum-hyon2 (李金現/이금현)Top

2. Yi Geum-hyeon (李金現/이금현) served as a military commander-in-chief (兵部令).

YI Geum-seo3 (李金書/이금서) (~Tenth Century, CE)Top

3. Yi Geum-seo (李金書/이금서), supposedly a third generation descendant of Yi Al-pyong, Yi Keum-seo is recorded as having married a woman from the Kim clan of Yichan (伊湌金氏/이찬김씨) and the third daughter of the Goryeo king Gyong-sun (敬順王/姓金名傅; reigned 927-935).

If Yi Al-pyeong were an early Silla Dynasty figure then how in three generations did Yi Geum-seo serve the Koryo court 900 years or more later?

YI Yeun-heung4 (李潤弘/이윤흥)Top

4. Yi Yeun-heung4 (李潤弘/이윤흥) was also noted as a military commander-in-chief (兵部令).

4A. Yi Sung-hun (李承訓/이숭훈)5      
4B. Yi Sung-mu (李承[譕]/이숭[무]) [or]
Yi Sung-cho (李承[譙]/이숭[초])

YI Sung-hun5 (李承訓/이숭훈)Top

5. Yi Sung-hun5 (李承訓/이숭훈).

5A. Yi Ju-hu (李周後/이주후)6      
5B. Yi Jeijeong (李齊廷/이제정)      

YI Ju-hu6 (李周後/이주후)Top

6. Yi Ju-hu (李周後/이주후)6 is recorded as having been a military commander (大司、左右司). He had at least one brother.

YI Ching7 (李偁/이칭)Top

7. Yi Ching7 (李偁/이칭).

YI Chi-ryeon8 (李侈連/이치련)Top

8. Yi Chi-ryeon8 (李侈連/이치련).

8A. Yi Chong-[tap] (李寵[遢]/이총[탑])9 [or]
Yi Chong-xxx (李寵[日進]/이총--)
8B. Yi Chun-rim (李春林/이춘림)      

YI Chong-[tap]9 (李寵[遢]/이총[탑])Top

9. Yi Chong-[tap]9 (李寵[遢]/이총[탑]). He had at least one brother.

The second character of his given name appears to be a ‘進’ with a ‘日’above it.

YI Chun-jeong10 (李春貞/이춘정)Top

10. Yi Chun-jeong10 (李春貞/이춘정) married into the court of Sunheung (順興/순흥).

Sunheung (順興/순흥)
Sunheung is believed to be in northern North Gyeongsang Province near Yeongju (榮州/영주). At one point I had found reference to Sunheung being near modern-day Gimhae (金海/김해) in South Gyeongsang Province near modern-day Busan. This would be more in line with the Yi family's more recent origins.

YI Hyeon-bok11 (李玄楅/이현복)Top

11. Yi Hyeon-bok11 (李玄楅/이현복).

YI Seon-yong12 (李宣用/이선용)Top

12. Yi Seon-yong12 (李宣用/이선용) served the Goryeo court (高麗/고려; 918-1392) as a 9th ranked (九品) and 8th ranked (八品) official.

YI Cheok-[go]13 (李[斥]高/이척[고])Top

13. Yi Cheok-[go]13 (李[斥]高/이척[고]) (second character unconfirmed).

YI Deuk-gyeon14 (李得堅/이득견)Top

14. Yi Deuk-gyeon14 (李得堅/이득견).

YI Haek15 (李翮/이핵)Top

15. Yi Haek15 (李翮/이핵) and two brothers:

14A. Yi Haek (李翮/이핵)15      
14B. Yi Pyeon (李翩/이펵)      
14C. Yi Suk (李[肅羽]/이숙) [or]
Yi Ryeom (李[廉羽]/이[렴])

YI In-jeong16 (李仁挺/이인정)Top

16. Yi In-jeong16 (李仁挺/이인정) and three brothers:

15A. Yi In-jeong (李仁挺/이인정)16      
15B. Yi Jin (李瑱/이진)      
15C. Yi Sei-gi (李世基/이세기)      
15D. Yi Shin-yu (李臣裕/이신유)