Library program traces family roots through recipes

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A presentation at the Williamsburg Regional Library will demonstrate how cookbooks can be an invaluable source of information for those exploring genealogy or regional history. (File photo)

When trying to trace one’s family tree, many people turn to birth certificates, census data, marriage licenses, and property deeds.

However, a presentation at the Williamsburg Regional Library this weekend may show how cookbooks can be an invaluable source of information for those exploring genealogy or regional history, according to a press release from WRL.

Tom Ray, a former Library of Virginia collection management coordinator, will explain the significance of cookbooks April 2 at the James City County Library. 

Ray will be sharing the Library of Virginia’s cookbook collection — which includes cookbooks from across the commonwealth — with attendees.

“The collection can be a tool to research recipes,” Tom said. “However, more recently it has been developed in order to preserve local history at a real grass roots level. The collection documents schools, churches, unique clubs and organizations, and in some examples family histories.”

The Library of Virginia’s cookbook collection- and cookbooks in kitchens across the commonwealth- can provide insights into regional and family history.

“I think this is going to be an entertaining look at the genre and a unique aspect of book collecting,” Ray said.

If you want to go:

The presentation will take place at 2 p.m. on April 2 at the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Rd.