26 February 2014: Genealogists at WikiTree, the free global family tree website, have teamed-up with best-selling author A.J. Jacobs to find cousin connections for the Global Family Reunion to be held Saturday, June 6, 2015, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. Our shared goal is to show how much of the world can be connected through family relationships.
The Global Family Reunion
Photo credit: Julie Jacobs
The idea of a global family reunion, conceived by A.J. Jacobs, will be the subject of his next book and a feature-length documentary in collaboration with director Morgan “Super Size Me” Spurlock. Jacobs jumpstarted the publicity for the reunion with a February 1, 2014, op-ed in The New York Times entitled “Are You My Cousin?”
During February 2014, Jacobs has been interviewed twice on National Public Radio, including a February 13 appearance discussing “Crowdsourcing and the New Genealogy Boom” alongside Judy Russell (the “Legal Genealogist”) and Dr. Spencer Wells of National Geographic’s Genographic Project.
A Family Reunion Based on Genealogy or Mythology?
The idea of a global family reunion based on a crowd-sourced world family tree does have its skeptics. Many experienced genealogists shy away from collaborative family trees since they can be filled with inaccuracies and lack sources.
To make sure the Global Family Reunion has a solid genealogical foundation, WikiTree is seeking the help of more volunteers familiar with sound genealogical research methods.
How You Can Help
Are you willing to help research A.J. Jacobs’ ancestors and their descendants? If you are not already a WikiTree member, register here. WikiTree is entirely free but members need to express their desire to help with the mission and their willingness to abide by the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code.
“I am honored to have genealogists at WikiTree helping grow my tree for the Global Family Reunion. Abby and the project members are talented and smart. Which makes sense because they are all cousins with Albert Einstein. Though in some cases we’re still figuring out how.” -A.J. Jacobs
Growing since 2008, WikiTree.com is a 100% free shared family tree website that balances privacy and collaboration. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See http://www.WikiTree.com.