Creating an Heirloom
Preserving family history... one recipe at a time.™

Creating an Heirloom: Writing Your Family’s Cookbook is based on a webpage I created after writing my own family’s cookbook.

When I was unable to find good sources to help me with that project, I forged ahead making mistakes and discovering shortcuts along the way. I put a webpage about it on my family’s genealogy-based website, drawing thousands of people to visit. The page outgrew itself and became a book!

The updated edition of Creating an Heirloom: Writing Your Family’s Cookbook is available at Amazon, in print or Kindle editions!

May 15th is recognized by the United Nations as International Day of Families. What better day to sit down with your family members, gathering recipes and stories, to preserve them for all the generations to come?

I blog (very irregularly!) about cooking and family cookbooks, too.
You can read what's on my mind, or what I've been up to, there.

Find Creating an Heirloom on Facebook.


Many people use recipes out of books and off packages for their own cookbooks. This is okay providing you rewrite the instructions in your own words. You see, ingredients are a method, and that is not something that can be copyrighted. The instructions are copyrightable. By copying word-for-word from a cookbook, you are infringing on the author’s copyright, commiting plagiarism, and stealing. Are the police going to come knocking on your door? No, most likely not, at least not for grand theft recipe. But please don’t do it anyway. Writers work very hard for their bread and butter, and that work is made much harder when their works are stolen.

If you wish to have an official (US) copyright registration filed for your cookbook, visit the website for the United States Copyright Office. There you will find the necessary form you need for obtaining a registered copyright for your book. The cost is $30 for filing fees, and you must send a manuscript. You will need either the standard or short form TX (read the guidelines for figuring out which one you need). Copies submitted to the Copyright Office will eventually find their way into the Library of Congress.

Please note that this site is copyrighted. Unauthorized use of the material at creatinganheirloom.com for inclusion in other media is strictly forbidden.
If you reference these pages for an article, please contact the author for
permission and give credit where credit is due. Thank you!

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the express permission of the site owner. Text is ©2002-2019 Wendy A. B. Whipple.
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