State Library program: Write your family history



The Thanksgiving holidays are a time when many people focus on spending time with family.

Beyond bonding around the dinner table, there’s another way to strengthen those ties – by writing a family history book.

At the next in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ series of free workshops, historian Deborah Wilbrink will give participants a primer on how to get started with that. She’ll describe how to assemble family tree information, family tales and photographs into bound volumes that can be shared for generations.
Wilbrink is encouraging each attendee to bring a photograph or family heirloom as a starting point.
The workshop, titled “Time to Tell: Write Your Family History,” will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Nov. 26 in the Library and Archives auditorium. After the workshop, staff will be on hand to help participants trace their families through research. The Library and Archives building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, just west of the Tennessee State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available around the building.
“There are so many Tennesseans who devote their time and energy to genealogical research,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Producing a book is a great way to share the findings of that research with family members and non-family members alike. I encourage people to put those Thanksgiving leftovers back in the fridge long enough to visit us for this informative workshop.”
Although the workshop is free and open to the public, reservations are required because of the auditorium’s limited seating capacity. To make a reservation, please go to:
Wilbrink is a professional personal historian who has published more than 20 books for families and individuals through her company, Perfect Memoirs. Her career highlights include working with CNN, ghostwriting for a U.S. senator, commercial video scripting and managing four historic cemeteries. Teaching and writing have kept Wilbrink busy since moving to Nashville in 2003. She is a member of the National Association of Personal Historians, the Tennessee and Middle Tennessee genealogical societies, and the Sarah Polk chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Now she focuses on helping others across the country save their life stories for families and publication and teaches memoir-writing classes.