Author Event at Caribbean Genealogy Library Set for Sept. 14

Janet Burton, author of “Before Our Time, An Oral History of St. John”

Author Janet Burton will be at the Caribbean Genealogy Library at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, to talk about her book “Before Our Time, An Oral History of St. John.”

The book contains profiles of St. Johnians like Guy Benjamin, Naomi Jacobs, Julius E. Sprauve and Austin Walters, among others. Through interviews with the individuals or with their children, their stories are shared with the reader.

Learn about what the island looked like and how people rode horses to get from one end to the other. Read about farming, markets and food traditions. Read about going to Tortola from Coral Bay because it was easier than going to St. Thomas. In the book, interviewees describe their lives, education and the jobs they had. They talk about their parents and other people in the community that they remember. Through this collection of individual stories, the day to day story of St. John comes together in wonderful, intimate detail.

Burton will discuss the inspiration for her book, the years of interviews and collecting information and the final product. She will read from the book and offer opportunities for questions and answers. Several people have contacted her since the publication of the book to share individual recollections of living in Cruz Bay many years ago. She will share these stories too.

Books will be available for purchase, and people will be able to have theirs signed. The book is $25; cash or check will be accepted.

This author event is free. The Caribbean Genealogy Library is located in Al Cohens Plaza, at the top of Raphune Hill, St. Thomas. For more information about the Caribbean Genealogy Library visit