Family recipes can preserve memories of ancestors

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to inherit family recipes from, say, our grandmothers, treasure those as a memory of them and the special foods we associate with them.

My Grandmother Brooks wrote down the sources of recipes she had gotten from friends, giving me something I could share back with those families as well. Knowing what to do with recipes, both the physical copies as well as the family memories, is one of the themes of Valerie J. Frey’s new book “Preserving Family Recipes, How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions,” published by the University of Georgia Press.

Frey, an archivist, formerly worked at the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Historical Society, and comes at this as both a food historian within her own family, and as an archivist wanting to help people preserve the actual recipes. She advises on how to re-create a recipe for which no written record exists, and how to update a historic recipe with modern substitutions, for either healthier eating or a change of availability of an ingredient.

There is certainly more in this book than can be described here, so if you are a cookbook collector, family food historian, someone who likes old recipes, or you enjoy the history of cooking, especially Southern cooking, this book is for you. It would be a great last-minute gift as well.

This softcover, 320-page book is available at area bookstores or via the UGA Press for $27 plus shipping at To see Frey's blog, go to

Coweta County Genealogical Society has moved

The Coweta County Genealogical Society moved its headquarters and library this year from Grantville into downtown Newnan at 8 Carmichael St., behind the old Newnan Hospital. The brick house now houses the library, with a lot more room and much easier access for visitors. The library of 10,000 or so books is open for research, but call 470-215-1966 for available hours or go to

Southern Historical Press website

The Southern Historical Press of Greenville, S.C., one of the great sources for published genealogy books from the southeastern states, has created a new, expanded website, making purchasing easier. You will find books from 12 states as well as family histories at or call 1-800-233-0152.