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Village Records

Contents

What they are

Japanese villages were responsible for several types of records that can be of significant genealogical value, especially when the religious inquisition census records (shumoncho) are unavailable. They cover the time period from 1600 to 1868.

Use these records to

These records are used to identify individuals. You can obtain generational linkage, as well as names, places, and dates for village inhabitants. Some list only males, but others list both males and females, and some include children. Personal seals affixed to documents can be very helpful for differentiating between men who had identical given names. You may also find collateral lines that you cannot find in the koseki.

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Content

These include:

  • Land and property records
  • Tax records (who paid taxes, etc.)
  • Population and status records (a type of census)
  • Lists of people who were drafted into the military
  • Financial records
  • Conservation project records
  • Medical records
  • Personnel records
  • Lists of donors to shrines, and so forth

How to obtain them

The Family History Library has some of these records. You can also obtain them from:

  • Public, university, and private libraries
  • Prefectural and municipal archives
  • Village offices
  • Homes of descendants of village headmen throughout Japan

 

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  • This page was last modified on 15 June 2011, at 17:30.
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