“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” —Jane Howard, Families
We are all invited to the Global Family Reunion slated to be held in New York on June 6, 2015. Because not everyone can get to the main event in New York, branch parties are being formed around the world. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is also gearing-up to host a branch party. The Family History Department would like to invite family history centers to open their doors and plan to take part in the Global Family Reunion. If you are a member of the human family, you are invited!
What is it all about? Bestselling author A. J. Jacobs was inspired by a letter from a distant cousin in Israel who told Jacobs that they are 12th cousins. Jacobs began thinking about this idea that we are all cousins and connected by something much bigger than our individual selves. As he worked on his own family tree, he connected with the mega trees on FamilySearch and One World Family Tree. Speaking in his keynote address at RootsTech held in February 2015, he said, “I realized this is the ultimate social network. Instead of one person working on a single tree, you have hundreds creating an interconnected family tree—it’s an Amazonian forest!”
At RootsTech attendees shouted “I am a cousin” to the rest of the world. Jacobs has hopes that as people realize they are related by blood or marriage to millions of cousins around the world, they will have kinder, more caring feelings toward each other.
The Global Family Reunion would be a wonderful time to invite families to your local family history center. Perhaps you would like to partner with a local public library or society. You can keep the event low tech, with typical family reunion games, food, and fun. You may wish to add some technology and open up your computers to visitors to see their own place in the FamilySearch Family Tree. You can offer photo and document scanning to participants. If you sign up to host a branch party, your activity will be advertised on the Global Family Reunion web page. Any branch party is invited to participate in the world’s largest family photo in history! You will also have access to live streaming of the events in New York.
For more information see the Global Family Reunion page Hosting a Branch Party sign up and FAQ. People attending in New York will pay a gate fee, and all those proceeds will be donated to fighting Alzheimers. Some branch parties are charging admission fees, but no charge should be expected for an event at a family history center. No donations or any kind of gate fee should be solicited at a family history center.
Go ahead! Make it a date, and invite church and community members to the biggest family reunion in history!