The particular world’s biggest family tree: And family reunion!


Whee! We are related!

I first heard about this on a podcast (Freakonomics, I think this was). AJ Jacobs talking about constructing the world’ s biggest loved ones tree that will map all seven billion of us. He’ s really entertaining as well as a font of information. In the article, this is my favourite quote, and after that I’ ll tell you about his pros and cons list of undertaking such an undertaking.


It’s an incredibly impressive project, requiring countless hours online, billions of obscure records, and unprecedented amounts of DNA tests. And frankly, we have got a long way to go. But at least we’ve made a dent: Presently, the world family tree includes some 77 million people in all 7 continents (including Antarctica). That’s seventy seven million people on a single tree, all of the connected by blood or relationship or (sometimes) both. Which makes for the longest branches in human history. Paltrow is 17 steps from me. Einstein is 21. President Obama is my aunt’s fifth great-aunt’s husband’s father’s wife’s seventh great-nephew. Practically my older brother!

This is what’ s taking place: There are many people collaborating to build this tree. As Jacobs notes above, there are already 77 million individuals on it. Think of it as knitting together the tapestry. My Florence Henderson may be your Florence Henderson and that’ s where we’ ll link up. All of a sudden the tree is continuing to grow.

Some of the issues are usually:

  • Accuracy
  • Privacy

And some of the benefits can be:

  • Information about health, such as
  • Increase in tolerance even as we learn, we really are all related
  • Great way for kids to get involved and learn history

Amusingly, Jacobs is planning The particular World’ s Largest Family Reunion and you’ re invited! Here’ s what he has to say about this:


I’m organizing the Global Family Reunion, which will be, I really hope, the biggest and most remarkable family re-union in history. I’ve already chosen the date and venue: June six, 2015, on the grounds of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. You are invited. In fact , every member of the human loved ones is invited. Those with a proven connection to me will get a special bracelet and be part of the recordbreaking family photo.

For a much more in-depth discussion, see the links below.

Full story here: Mental Floss and Global Family Reunion.

More stories about Personal History.

Picture credit: Canva. com