A.J. Jacobs, author of a number of excellent books about self-experimentation, is planning on hosting the world's largest family reunion. (The current record is held by by the Porteau-Boileve family in France: 4,514 relatives.) He's inviting as many relatives as he can, including former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who is A.J.'s wife’s great-uncle’s wife’s first cousin once removed’s husband’s uncle’s wife’s son’s wife’s first cousin once removed’s husband’s brother’s wife’s nephew.
He announced his plans on an episode of the Gweek podcast a few weeks ago, and he just shared the news with the readers of the New York Times, too:
My journey started a few months ago. I got an email from a stranger named Jules Feldman who lives on a kibbutz in Israel. He had read one of my books. He wrote: “We have in our database about 80,000 relatives of yours. You are an eighth cousin of my wife who, in my opinion, is a fine lady.” I’m also, he said, related to Karl Marx and several European aristocrats.
The email had a bit of a creepy National Security Agency privacy-invasion vibe. But it was also, in a strange way, profoundly comforting. There I was, alone in my office, connected to 80,000 other humans. In a world where extended families lose touch as they spread across time zones, this seemed remarkable.
But why stop at 80,000? I discovered websites like WikiTree, WeRelate and Geni (which was recently acquired by MyHeritage) that allow you to expand your tree into million-tentacled monsters.
A.J.'s going to host the reunion in 2015 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY. I plan to be there to meet my nth cousins nth removed!
Are You My Cousin?
AJ Jacobs is getting ready to host the world’s largest family reunion. He has invited Barack Obama, who is his aunt’s fifth great aunt’s husband’s father’s wife’s 7th great nephew. And since you are AJ and Barack’s cousin, you are invited, too!
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Your browser does not support the audio tag. This episode of Gweek is brought to you by MailRoute. Visit mailroute.net/gweek to start your free 15-day trial — No credit card required. In this episode, I talked to A.J. Jacobs, the author of some of my favorite books. In his 2005 book, The Know-It-All: One Man’s […]
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