Secrets in the Tree: Going Beyond Genealogy to Write Your Family Story | Newberry

Secrets in the Tree: Going Beyond Genealogy to Write Your Family Story

Led by Matthew Nickerson
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Four sessions, Wednesdays, July 28 - August 18

2 - 4 pm (Central Time)


Full. Email to be added to the wait list.

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to

Seminar Description

Family stories are the building blocks of history - so let's start building! Participants in this workshop will learn how to use interviews, archives, newspapers, history books, and images to discover their ancestors' secrets. By the end of this workshop, participants will have written an essay memorializing a piece of their family's past. While there are no prerequisites for this seminar, participants are encouraged to have some familiarity with their family history.

Four sessions. Registration – $195

Matthew Nickerson owns Private Historian, a Chicago firm that writes family histories on commission. He holds a BA in American history and an MA in European history. Previously, he was a reporter and editor for the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this workshop.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, bring a family story to tell and/or an object to show (e.g. a photo, medal, recipe, etc.).

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, May 19th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning May 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.