A Family Tree of Humankind ?

This grand ambition is the objective of a new initiative from the people who brought us Wikipedia - the open source encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to.

Their goal is to establish a family tree that anyone can contribute to, and thus eventually create a family of the whole world ! It is called WikiTree and can be found at www.wikitree.org.

According to Wikipedia's entry on Genealogy, academics have established that the first common ancestor of all those alive today lived as recently as 2,000 years ago. So for the majority of us, researching purely through written records is not going to achieve this goal. It is going to need a breakthrough in DNA-based genealogical research to enable the project any chance of meeting its goals.

The project was established in April 2005, and is picking up momentum - however, it does not currently benefit from the same funding and general support that Wikipedia does, and so currently has a few drawbacks.

by Stephen Foote | last updated 09.01.2006, 2:35