Family register

A family register (also known as any of several variations, such as household register, family album, familienbuch, koseki "etc.") is a registry used in many countries to track information of a genealogical or legal interest.

Often, official recognition of certain events or status may only be granted when such event or status is registered in the family registry— for example, in Japan, a marriage is legally effective when and only when such filing is recorded into the household register (known as a "koseki"). In other cases, the family register serves as a centralized repository for family legal events, such as births, deaths, marriages, and expatriations, as with the "familienbuch" in use in Germany and the "livret de famille" in France, although it is not the sole source of official recognition for such events.

Use of government-sanctioned or administered family registers, while common in many European nations and in countries which use continental-style civil law (where the family or household is legally viewed as the fundamental unit of a nation), is nonetheless rare in English-speaking countries (for example, no such system is in use in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or the United States).Fact|date=June 2008

Although the United States (for example) assigns most citizens and residents a social security number intended to be unique to the recipient and information regarding birth, death and work history (in the form of contributions to the social security system) is collected, the U.S. social security system has long been intentionally restricted in the scope of information collected and maintained regarding individuals where not directly related to social security benefits—as such, no information is centrally collected regarding marriage, citizenship status, parentage, or the like, in contrast to the German and Japanese family register systems.

Establishment of a more comprehensive personal information repository (along the lines of the German or Japanese systems) has been criticized by civil libertarians as subject to governmental or criminal abuse, while proponents cite the benefits of simplified access to vital information.

In Korea, use of the "hojeok" (similar to the Japanese household registry, written using identical Chinese characters) was repealed in 2005, in favor of a personal registry system.

In Japan and China, household registers have been used since at least the seventh century.


The Hoju scheme is a family register system in North Korea. Hoju (Hangul: 호주, Hanja: 戶主) means the 'head of the family', Hojuje (호주제, 戶主制) is the 'head of the family' system, and Hojeok (alternate romanization: Hojok; 호적, 戶籍) is the 'family register'.

It is similar to the Japanese Koseki and the Chinese Hukou system.

It has been controversial as being innately patriarchal and hence representing a 'violation of the right to gender equality'. In South Korea the system was abolished on 1 January 2008. [ [ Welcome to KWDI ] ]


ee also

*Hukou system (China)
*Koseki (Japan)
*Hoju (Korea)
*Propiska (Russia)

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