What are you doing on June 6, 2015? Don’t know yet? I know where we’ll be – at the world’s largest family reunion, which being held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. The story behind this event is so cool…
Officially known as the Global Family Reunion, it’s a project spearheaded by best-selling author A.J. Jacobs. His goal is to build a massive family tree of the entire world, with the help of geneaology sites like Geni and WikiTree. Currently, it’s at 77 million people, and being recognized as part of a “revolution” in genealogy, enabled by the internet and its ability to connect us to our communal ancestry.
Ultimately, his point is to show that we’re all related to each other, and once we realize that, maybe we’ll treat each other with more kindness. All humans are invited to attend the reunion. If you also want to see where you fit on the Global Family Tree, you can start on this website by providing your ancestors’ names. Jacobs has linked himself to several notable people, including Albert Einstein, George H.W. Bush, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Daniel Radcliffe.
I started my family tree at Geni.com. I could easily launch my own brand of pasta sauce with any of the family names I entered: LaRosa, Alborelli, Imperio, Magro, Ramognono. The system automatically makes matches with others, but in my case, I didn’t have enough information to establish any connections to the Global Family Tree. I’m going to try WikiTree next and see what happens.
If you’re a geneaology nut, or just like the idea of connectedness like I do, check out this site, and consider participating. The family reunion, which will be a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s, is also an attempt to break the world record for the biggest family gathering, which currently stands at 4,514 people. “Branch” parties will be simultaneously held all over the world, at locations including the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Clayton Library Center in Houston, Texas, Allen County Public Library in Wayne, Indiana and the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.
I hope we’ll see each other at the family reunion. I’ll bring the potato salad.