12:55 PM

World’s Largest Family History Conference Meets the World’s Largest Family Reunion

A.J. Jacobs wants to meet thousands of his cousins at RootsTech

A.J. Jacobs Joins RootsTech 2015SALT LAKE CITY, 29 October 2014—The host of the world’s largest family reunion is coming to the world’s largest family history conference. RootsTech 2015 is excited to welcome A.J. Jacobs, who is out to show how we are all related to each other as
part of one large family.Jacobs is an author and lecturer who frequently stages experiments—with himself as the guinea pig. He has been featured in the New York Times, Oprah.com, and Esquire magazine. His latest challenge is to show how we are all part of one big family and then to get as much of that
family as possible to come to the world’s largest family reunion.


“I’m a relative newcomer to genealogy, but I am thoroughly addicted to it. It’s my favorite way to learn about history—and it’s the ultimate social
network,” says Jacobs. “I’m thrilled to be speaking at RootsTech, which is an extraordinary event and community. I can’t wait to meet more
potential cousins.”

Thanks to online family trees and genealogy websites, Jacobs discovered that he is a cousin to the likes of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush, actress
Gwyneth Paltrow, and comedian Ricky Gervais. He’s even connected to actor Kevin Bacon, although it takes considerably more “degrees” of separation than
just six. His latest fascination started when he got an email from a stranger pointing out that he and Jacobs were distantly related, along with 80,000
other relatives the stranger had tracked down. That email was Jacobs’s motivation to discover that genealogy is going through a revolution.

“We’re not alone,” Jacobs has learned. “We’re connected to people all over the world.” He has since discovered that 80,000 is a drop in the bucket,
and his cousins are many times that number. “Some of them are going to be great,” he notes, “and some of them are going to be irritating. But they are all
related to me.”

A.J. Jacobs will be one of the keynote speakers during the Friday morning session of RootsTech 2015. You can get RootsTech tickets and more information at RootsTech.org.