GFR Volunteers

Started by A.J. Jacobs on Sunday, July 13, 2014


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Showing 1-30 of 47 posts
7/13/2014 at 9:06 PM


We're at the point where we're going through emails to help connect AJ to the masses :) Is anyone from this project interested in helping with some of the research? It would be very much appreciated!

Post here if you are willing to help. Thanks!

Eowyn - GFR Cousin Coordinator

7/13/2014 at 9:33 PM

I will help.

Private User
7/14/2014 at 1:44 AM

I'd be happy to help- great thing to work on when I have insomnia at 4:40 in the a.m. Good morning New York!

Private User
7/14/2014 at 6:12 AM

Count me in...

Private User
7/14/2014 at 7:48 AM

Yes. I'll help, too!

7/15/2014 at 4:19 PM

I can help.

7/15/2014 at 4:51 PM

Heck yeah! Finally, a way I can give back to A.J. for being such a great person to me. :-)

7/15/2014 at 5:28 PM

just gives us some names and we'll get to work

7/15/2014 at 8:31 PM

Me too :-)

7/15/2014 at 9:21 PM

I'd love to help, too! :)

7/16/2014 at 8:28 AM


7/16/2014 at 10:59 AM

Awesome! Thank you all my cousins -- Dan, Linda, Nathan, Jason, Lisa, Peter, Loretta, Jeff, Elise and Erica.
You guys are the best. And always feel free to email me directly with full-fledged ideas, half-baked notions, concerns, strong opinions, weak opinions, compliments or suggestions. I'm at
Thank you again!

Private User
7/16/2014 at 11:12 AM

Unknown Profile & Unknown Profile - just wondering if more research has been done or can be added to A.J.'s tree. Since he is the destination, improving his connectivity can improve the chances of connecting everyone else.
Here is a 10 Generation graph of A.J.'s ancestry and how much work could still be done:

And one for Julie Jacobs:

Private User
7/16/2014 at 12:06 PM

I will be glad to help out in any way I can!

Wonderful - thanks everyone. I will be in touch individually by the end of the week. There's plenty of research to go around!

Jeff - that's a great suggestion. Are there any members of this project who would want to work on that? I can also check with any GFR volunteers I come across who have Geni accounts.

AJ - do you think that is something that David Z.would want to help with?

7/17/2014 at 5:39 AM

FYI: For anyone looking to help expand AJ's "bloodlines", the (free!) tool Jeff used to get an updated version at any time. Here is the link to the "Ancestor Graph" with AJ's profile already set as the 'focus person': ... and this one for Julie:

Private User
7/17/2014 at 7:15 AM

Thanks Dan - though non-curators should know that they'll need to focus the tool on A.J. or Jullie's parents, which are claimed and have public parents (except in the case of Julie's mother, which is unclaimed & private). I don't expect the normal user will get through the privacy barrier of AJ or Jullie's living parents unless they have a family group relationship. So the graph will abruptly end. Here are the links for the parents:

Jullie's grandparents on her mother's side:

Private User
7/17/2014 at 9:45 AM

I'll start off with #1 - people who included large amounts of information. I'll work with more than one person at a time. If I'm good at that - I'll let you know and go on to the tougher projects!

Re. Jeff's notice - I'm not a curator - I don't fully understand "focus the tool on A.J. or Julie's parents". If this is something I will need to know, please explain..

Private User
7/17/2014 at 10:05 AM

Unknown Profile, the tool mentioned is a Geni graphing tool and it may be useful as it can guide research - in this case, A.J. or Julie's tree. However, the links that Dan provided assumed permission to view A.J. private profiles - something Curators can do but normal users, like yourself, can not. So if you wanted to see A.J. or Julie's ancestry graphed (in order to help research it), then you would need to use one of the links I offered, which focuses the search on profiles you have permissions to enumerate.

7/17/2014 at 11:10 AM

Elise: For a bit more about the tool, see this Discussion:

Private User
7/17/2014 at 12:23 PM

Thank you Jeff and Dan. Even after a year of using Geni - I'm still learning. By the way - A.J. is my second great uncle's 6th cousin 10 times removed!

7/17/2014 at 1:49 PM

Unknown Profile - it would be great if we could take AJ's Jewish ancestors back further. I don't know if that is possible, but it might be of interest to you.

7/17/2014 at 4:16 PM

I'm ready to help if I can.....

Private User
7/17/2014 at 5:44 PM

Hatte - A.J. is my great aunts husbands mother...... related by marriage. By searching a few of the names, I was able to go back to his fourth cousin twelve times removed - a blood relative of A.J.'s. There is no birth date, but detective work shows he was born in the mid 1800's. It shows 21 ancestors of his.

I'll do some more research, and figure out how to make some kind of list or spreadsheet with the information.

I love this!

Private User
7/18/2014 at 3:31 AM

No path found to A.J. Jacobs! :)

7/20/2014 at 9:40 AM

Unknown Profile - Geni may not find the path, but you actually do have at least one path ... through my father! (he is the 'common link' between your path to me and my path to AJ). (If interested, send a PM; we can discuss this further somewhere other than this 'thread'.)

7/20/2014 at 5:49 PM

Ahmad - same here. I'm connected to AJ & you are connected to me. Possibly Dan's connection is more solid but you can be assured that this is just a matter of getting the algorithm to find the path.

Private User
7/21/2014 at 9:58 AM

The group at WikiTree posted a hand written tree that AJ's aunt passed along, given to her by her children's paternal grandfather. I haven't confirmed, but I believe it to be the ancestry of A.J.'s uncle Unknown Profile. I've uploaded the tree here along with profile tagging.

Please expand on these lines to provide additional paths to A.J.

Thanks Jeff! That was on the list to share here. There's a list of Gateway Ancestors (famous folk) who need connections to, that will be coming some time this week.

(P.S. How do you add a document?)

7/21/2014 at 12:35 PM

Eowyn -

You can also add documents and images to projects and then tag them to profiles as it comes up. I find that "very" useful - sometimes dorky - but helps me keep track of "completed" profiles (adding a Mayflower Descendant logo, for instance).

Jeff - that is just fabulous work. I saw all kinds of Kentucky? My own paths to AJ should be expanded / expandable. I'm going exploring now ....

Showing 1-30 of 47 posts

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