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

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

Led by Matthew Nickerson. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Saturdays, March 7 - March 28

1 - 3 pm


Out of an abundance of caution in response to the spread of COVID-19, we have canceled all remaining seminars in the Winter/Spring 2020 term. Please visit for further updates.

Please email with any questions.

Seminar Description

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

Four sessions. E – $195, R – $214.50

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. He was a reporter and editor for the Chicago Sun–Times and Chicago Tribune.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this class.

First Reading:

  • Participants should arrive ready to tell a family story and bring an historical object to show (for example, a photo, letter, recipe, or medal) relating to their family. Please also bring a laptop or tablet computer (although there will be alternatives to any internet-based research method).

Registration Information

  • Online registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Tuesday, January 7.
  • Phone registration opens at 12 pm (CST) on Wednesday, January 8.

Early registration (E) prices are in effect from January 7 at 9 am through January 24 at 4 pm. Regular registration (R) prices are in effect January 24 at 4 pm through the end of the term.

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

Need Help? Please email

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