Celebrities Welcome Attendees to the First Global Family Reunion

In 2015, A.J. Jacobs, New York Times best-selling author, along with special guests including Ted Allen (Food Network), Dr. Mehmet Oz, comedian Nick Kroll, magician David Blaine, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, singer Lisa Loeb, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and musical group Sister Sledge (We Are Family), came together to celebrate the connectedness of the human family in an epic reunion unlike any other.


Almost 4,000 “cousins” gathered together at the main event in Queens, New York, while another 6,500 participated in simultaneous events around the world.


It all started with an email AJ at first assumed was an email scam when the sender told him he was one of 80,000 people in the sender’s family tree. Upon discovering this to be legitimate, one thing led to another until AJ decided to throw the biggest, most inclusive party the world had ever seen for his newly found cousins.



Ultimately, the idea of the Global Family Reunion is to embrace the whole of humanity as family. Studies show that people are kinder, happier, and more tolerant when they feel connected to a broad community. This is magnified when family connections are identified, even with distant relatives and ancestors.


Global Family Reunion participants will discover their roots, their relationship to other attendees, and will make connections with people and cultures around the world. Like strands braided into a rope, this adventure of self-discovery can strengthen self-confidence as it instills a greater sense of unity with others.



A fair, carnival and cultural event all rolled into one, the Global Family Reunion promises plenty of fun for all. Discover your roots in the Family Discovery Center. Learn how you are related to other attendees in the FamilyBurst Cousins' Lounge. Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Corners located throughout the Expo Hall and help bring smiles to the faces of many unsuspecting cousins. Immerse yourself in ethnic foods, cultures and entertainment from around the world in AncestryTraveler's Global Villages.

  • Guinness World Record Attempt

  • International Festival of Colors

  • Hot Air Balloons Amusement Rides

  • Exotic Animal Park & Petting Zoo

  • Scottish Highland Games

  • Arts & Crafts Center

  • Relative Races, Games & Contests

  • 3 Stages of Concerts & Entertainment

  • Fireworks



The Global Family Reunion is a fun-filled, family-friendly event focused on making connections to cousins (hint: we're all cousins) and ancestors, increasing respect for people of diverse cultures and beliefs, and encouraging acts of kindness. In an increasingly divisive and intolerant world, our desire is to inspire hope and love one ripple at a time.


Everyone is invited to the world record-setting family reunion! We promise you will leave with a big smile and a desire to be a little bit kinder to each member of our huge family.