A. J. Jacobs to Speak at 2015 RootsTech Conference
- Jacobs frequently stages social experiments with himself as the guinea pig.
- His work has been featured in the New York Times, Oprah.com, and Esquire magazine.
- He will speak during the Friday morning session of RootsTech 2015.
“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.” —A. J. Jacobs, author and lecturer
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.