The Domain of Chosun Royal Family had been expanded, including all of princes’ descendants, more wider than the form of the preceeding Koryo Dynasty. The Royal Family Bureau(宗親府) was composed of appointed royal members and administrative officials. The Constitutional System of Chosun Dynasty, ‘Kyongkuk Taejon(經國大典)’, assigned no posts for members who ran the institution but the three persons who were the representatives serving as equivalent as upward-3rd-rank officials.
In early days in which there were a number of princes, according to the Representative Lists of Serving-Official-as-Upward-3rd-Rank, Jongchinpu Yusa Tangsang Sunsaeng Ahn(宗親府 有司 堂上 先生案), it seemed that only princes were possibly nominated as representatives. The other members except princes, however, could take the positions in later days, especially after the 16th king, Injo (A.D. 1623～1649), simply because there were no princes with longevity but the Crown Prince. The main lineage of royal members, in the later period, was the descendants of the 14th King, Sunjo(A.D. 1567～1608), and the 16th King, Injo. In the era of the 23rd King, Sunjo(A.D. 1800～1846), the three positions were not filled solely due to lack of proper members.
Since the administrative officials attached to the Bureau were all concurrent posts with other public jobs, the 7th King, Sejo (A.D. 1455～1468) regulated them to keep only two posts, one for Junchum(典籤) and the other for Junpu (典簿), so as not to be duplicated with the Prosecutory Office on Royal Family, Jongpusi(宗簿寺).
The members were so allowed to take part in National Rites with high officials that they were given a role in such occasions as ancestral worships, public meetings in king’s office, royal marriages, royal funerals, envoy receptions, inspection of troops, and others. Among them, they took a major role especially in burial ceremonies. In later days, they began to assume a rather active part; for instance, they were included in an envoy group to Ching China as clearly manifested by Prince Inpyong Taegun(麟坪大君, 1622～1658) as 11 times of envoy dispatch during 15 years. They could also participate in an edition of Royal Family Genealogy, and in a publication of Collection of Several Kings’ Calligraphies. As many types of genealogical records prevailed to be printed, some members who had good knowledge on the field could assume editorship too.
The number, however, became radically reduced around 19th century, merely to three or four. This reduction accordingly changed their functions of the two institutions, the Royal Family Bureau and its Prosecutory Office, solely to publish the royal genealogies. Heungsungun(興宣君), who appointed the representative in the reign of the 24th king, Honjong (A.D.1834～1849), repaired the building of the Royal Family Bureau. He also concerned about improvement of wished temples supported by royal families and royal mausolea managements. He paid attention to reformulate royal family members so as to include over-bounded (親盡) royal offsprings. His job next, then, was to get at the truth of royal genealogical descendants. When he declared, in 1856, to redefine bipartite roles of the Bureau to solve improper burdens of labor on royal offsprings and to manage to publish royal lineage records, the officials from Prosecutory Office opposed against him. But he was so persistent that he was successful to set up a special body, after four years in 1860, for publishing expanded genealogical branches of royal blood which was no direct connection to the Bureau because of the strict definition of royal family solely within eight nodes. He was supposedly given a controlling power over the large branches of royal blood to build up a close tie with them.
After his son, the 26th King of Kojong (A.D. 1897～1907), was enthroned, the reconstructed network was a source to accumulate the so-called ‘Voluntary Donation Money’ (願納錢) so as to rebuild the palace, Kyongpokkung, partly from royal offsprings who were then given rewards; they were awarded an official post after National Examinations and allowed to take part in several Royal Ceremonies. They were evaluated as one of the strongly supporting parties for Heungsun Daewongun (興宣大院君).
The two institutions for royal family were finally merged, due to lack of proper royal membership, and some posts were added both in higher and lower positions. The transformation was documented on Ordinance of Royal Family, Jongpu Jorye (宗府條例), in which the domain extensively included offsprings of Daewongun and high officials with the royal family name. The latter membership, moreover, could assume the representatives. The Ordinance was revised, in 1869, to allow them to be nominated any government post except princes and royal grandsons. The lower positions in the Bureau were left to their hands so as to be widely open to an offspring with the royal family name through a sort of official-hereditary system (蔭職).