Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match: migration of population via marriages in the past

30 May 2013
SangHoon Lee
The study of human mobility patterns can provide important information for city planning or predicting epidemic spreading, has recently been achieved with various methods available nowadays such as tracking banknotes, airline transportation, official migration data from governments, etc. However, the dearth of data makes it much more difficult to study human mobility patterns from the past. In the present study, we show that Korean family books (called "jokbo") can be used to estimate migration patterns for the past 500 years. We apply two generative models of human mobility, which are conventional gravity-like models and radiation models, to quantify how relevant the geographical information is to human marriage records in the data. Based on the different migration distances of family names, we show the almost dichotomous distinction between "ergodic" (spread in the almost entire country) and (localized) "non-ergodic" family names, which is a characteristic of Korean family names in contrast to Czech family names. Moreover, the majority of family names are ergodic throughout the long history of Korea, suggesting that they are stable not only in terms of relative fractions but also geographically.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar