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The crowd-sourced family trees bring up thorny issues about accuracy, privacy and ownership of data.Critics point out, convincingly, that the shared trees are often poorly sourced and packed with errors that will take years to untangle.
So what are the chances that I’m actually a direct descendant of the Goliath slayer? But it’s still fun to dive into the research and try to verify it. It’s my admittedly quixotic dream that when we realize that we’re all related, we’ll treat one another with more civility. Another said the notion of 5,000 new cousins sounded nightmarish: “I have enough family drama already.” But many were more enthusiastic. The reunion will be in 2015 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, on the grounds of the 19 World’s Fairs. It could prove that familiarity breeds contempt and end with a huge brawl on the museum’s lawn. I want the event to be as ethnically diverse as you can imagine, like the cover of a catalog for a liberal arts college. A couple of weeks ago, I found a cousin who is a direct descendant of William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States. I plan to invite some direct descendants of my second great-uncle’s third cousin’s wife’s first cousin — a physicist named Albert Einstein.
In addition to using crowd-sourced trees, I’m trying to build my family list with genetic testing. Over the last few weeks, I’ve started to tell cousins I know, and cousins I don’t, about my global family reunion. According to at least one amateur genealogist, all the presidents — with the exception of Martin Van Buren — are distantly related. But imagine if I can get Bushes mingling with Kennedys. Should we honor our parents even if our parents are unpleasant people?
You create a small tree by entering in your family members’ names and birth dates. Through Linda Eastman, who was the wife of the Beatle.
Then algorithms detect when, say, the Henry Sussman in your tree might be the same Henry Sussman in another tree. My list of famous or infamous relatives has grown to more than 100.
My newfound kin include the actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, a mere 17 steps away, and the jazz great Quincy Jones, a mere 22. Bloomberg, who is apparently my 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. In a few years, we may have a single tree containing nearly all seven billion humans on earth.
The Family of Man will no longer be an abstract cliché.
We’re all related — we just have to figure out how.
Many traditional genealogists have serious reservations about this trend.
In fact, there’s a good chance you’re on some far-flung branch of my tree, and if you aren’t, you probably will be soon. A handful of websites have turbocharged family trees with a collaborative, Wikipedia-like approach.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating