The Family Circus
Tomorrow, June 6, is the very first Global Family Reunion, hosted by the author A.J. Jacobs, in New York. The event should be over-the-top fun, exciting, and entertaining, but on a whole other level, it is really groundbreaking. AJ’s quest has been followed and supported in many ways by the genealogy community over the past year, and it has elicited many opinions both positive and negative on his methods and goals.
One of the goals of the Global Family Reunion is to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research, to help end the disease that ends family memories. Another, in the most general terms, is to connect everyone in the world into a single family tree. It’s a lofty goal, and the methods employed boil down to by hook or by crook – by blood, marriage, or any type of personal linkage possible.
This doesn’t sit well with genealogy purists, unfortunately. But I get that it’s an amazing way to get people to start thinking about their relationships to others. It has to start somewhere. We are not lone rafts in the sea of life – we are instead individual water molecules that make up the ocean of humanity itself. A water molecule from the Mississippi River is just as much a water molecule as one from the North Sea. And thus it is with people. We’re all made up of the same ‘stuff’. We’re all sharing space on this planet.
AJ Jacobs and the Global Family Reunion folks suggest that by connecting to a global core of family, the world just may end up being a nicer, kinder place. I’m quite happy with that outcome, even if it doesn’t include EE approved source citations.
So all that being said, if you can’t make it to the live event in New York tomorrow, you might be able to find a Branch Party near you, to connect with other new “cousins”. And if you can’t do that, please join us online in SecondLife, in an area called “Just Genealogy”, where a whole ‘nother group of “cousins” will be getting together at a Carnival themed, all-day party. The live event will be streaming, well, “live”; presentations and discussions on various genealogy topics from some well-known ‘real life’ genealogists will take place in the Fire Pit area; DJ’s will be providing music for virtual dancing (it’s really fun, btw); the “midway” has some very fun rides; a picnic area has fun games including horseshoes and tug of war, and there are several display areas with all sorts of genealogy information on how to get started, what to do next, etc. Top that all off with available one-on-one consultations, and great prizes (Ancestry.com subscription, genealogy database programs, and more!) it’s guaranteed to be a very fun and informative day. And you don’t have to get out of your pajamas.
Show up at 11 am SL time (Pacific Time) for the group photo, and be part of the “family”.
Our virtual branch party is in SecondLife (www.secondlife.com), and search “Just Genealogy”.