Family tree in Korea




David and I spent five days in Seoul, Korea in 2002.  That’s us in the first photo.  It was a very pleasant trip, during which we attended a ceremony honoring my maternal grandparents as Patriots of Korea.  They had worked tirelessly to liberate Korea from Japan’s colonization and control.

I wish I could research my family tree in Korea, but am hampered by my poor knowledge of the Korean language (spoken and written), though I did study the language for two years at the University of Hawaii and at Columbia University.

My maternal grandfather was born in Pyongyang, North Korea.  The other three grandparents were born in South Korea.  These four represent the first generation, who immigrated to Hawaii during the early 1900s.  I belong to the third generation.  Obviously, there is no way I can penetrate North Korea to find out more about my maternal grandfather’s relatives there.

Anyway, David and I had a wonderful time in Seoul.  We especially enjoyed cruising up and down the Han River in a large river boat.  However, it took more than an hour to get back to our hotel in a taxicab, because of the horrendous traffic.  There is an efficient subway system, but we never took advantage of it.

We would love to return to South Korea some day, depending on our health and finances.

15 Responses to “Family tree in Korea”

  1. Cathy Says:

    Didn’t you just mention wanting to do some more schooling the other day Gigi – there’s your answer. Korean lessons! You could maybe visit Korean elders who still speak the language to practise what you learn. Well it’s just a thought 🙂

  2. Christine Says:

    Lovely photos, would love to visit one day although the traffic sounds awful

  3. Jan Says:

    Those are really good photos. Hard to believe that 2002 was 13 years ago! It seems like yesterday to me. 🙂

  4. Olga Says:

    You were very fortunate to have that opportunity, but I can understand the pull to visit again. Wouldn’t it be great to learn more of your history and preserve it to pass on to grandchildren!

  5. Grannymar Says:

    I have a young froend who spent a couple of years teaching English in South Korea. She loved the country. I like your colourful costume in the first photo, though David does not loook so happy in his outfit.

  6. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    My EX spent 4 years in Korea before we married. He loved it. You and David look wonderful. I know this was a special occasion.

    You might be surprised what you could find in your ancestors records. has access to translated records. I cant read Dutch or German but have found translated records in those languages for my ancestors. I signed up for the ‘World-Wide’ version.

  7. Kay G. Says:

    I love that photo of the two of you. I would have that framed on my wall for everyone to see if I were you!

  8. Tom Sightings Says:

    Love the outfits. They can’t be everyday Korean clothes; there must be something special about them.

  9. Musings Says:

    South Korea is still on our list of places to travel. We were hoping to do it with our son-in-law. We’ll have to see…

  10. Linda Reeder Says:

    I am interested in what brought people to be where they are. What brought your grandparents to Hawaii.

  11. Linda Starr Says:

    Oh what a trip that must have been, I wish I knew more about my relatives, sadly neither of my parents shared much at all

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