Uncover your ancestry using these local resources in Nashville, TN

You don’t need to test your DNA to learn about your genealogy.

A view of looking east down Broadway in 1917 with the entrance of Union Station to the right.

Let’s get back to our roots — do they trace as far back to Nashville in 1917?

Photo via TSLA

Table of Contents

Whether you spend the holidays with immediate or extended relations, or even close friends, the season might spark some curiosity about your own family treeit definitely has for Editor Skylar. If you’re looking for an icebreaker to liven up the dinner table talk or just find yourself with some extra time on your hands, there are plenty of resources in your own backyard to start exploring those roots.

Start with your library card

The Nashville Public Library has an entire “Genealogy” tab on its website with direct links to local records and family + heritage search databases. Pro tip: If you’re a Davidson County transplant, the two worldwide databases linked above will still help you begin narrowing your genealogy search. Among these other library resources, you’ll find:

💻 City of Nashville birth index (1881-1913)
💻 Davidson County death index (1900-1913)
💻 Marriage records (1788-1916)

Additional records outside of these dates may be obtained by contacting Metro Archives.

Attend Family History Day

As luck would have it, The Tennessee State Library & Archives is hosting its “Family History Day” this Sat., Oct. 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. — 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N. Though the event is free, reservations are required due to limited seating during this year’s feature presentation, “Welcome Home: Unlocking History Through the Places We Live.”

Librarian Trent Hanner will lead the presentation, showing attendees tools they can use to research the history of their home utilizing the Library & Archives’ collections. Immediately following, staff will help visitors trace their family history in the Reading Room.

Pro tip: Parking is available in the Library & Archives garage located on Jackson Street and Junior Gilliam Way.

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