This introduction charts the rise of family history across the globe and its international impact upon culture, biomedicine, and technology. It introduces the contributions to this special issue from interdisciplinary scholars based in the US, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Australia and India that have collaborated internationally over the past three years. It argues that public historians need to take the practice of family history seriously and that all scholars can learn from its collaborative, integrated, international practice. We are presented with overwhelming evidence of the need to decentralize and trouble the Eurocentrism of existing historical scholarship. This special issue provides a platform for the conversations we have been having about family history over the past three years and encourages others to join in.