Looking for indoor entertainment during the winter season? Look no further than your local library.
As part of the annual Winter Community Programs, the Walton County Coast Library has the next few months packed with events to stimulate your mind.
"We've been hosting this series for six years," said Linda Thompson, library manager. "Our focus is awareness for our local talent. It's a great way to support the library and meet talented people."
Experts in topics from classical music to wildlife conservation will be visiting the library every Wednesday to entertain and educate the public on various subjects. This week, Jan. 15, Wayne Sconiers, vice president of Walton County Heritage Museum and president of the Walton County Genealogy Society, will discuss ways to get to the roots of your family tree.
Sconiers started researching his own family history when he retired from the Navy in July 2000. As a DeFuniak Springs native, he started by tracing back his own immediate family, as well as his wife's (who is also from DeFuniak Springs). Today, the database has expanded to more than 52,000 people and is commonly referred to as the Walton County Genealogical Family Tree.
As a museum volunteer, Sconiers often greets visitors asking whether they're from the area.
"You'll be surprised how many people walk out with a genealogical list of family members," he said.
This Wednesday, Sconiers will share his advice to anyone searching their family, giving them tips and clues on where to look and what software to use.
"I hope they come away from the event with an understanding of how easy it and how important it is to do genealogy research," he said. "It draws the family together and also provides medical data."
With websites such as Ancestry.com, peering into your family's past is a growing trend.
Even after 20 years of research, Sconiers still gets excited about Walton County history. He quickly notes facts such as DeFuniak Springs' early settlers — almost all were farmers — and its namesake — Frederick DeFuniak, an Italian railroad executive.
"Walton County has so much history here it's unbelievable," he said. ""It's just a matter of time before you plug in.”
DISCOVER YOUR ROOTS! Wayne Sconiers will be presenting a discussion on genealogy at the Coastal Library, located at 437 Greenway Trail, 10 to 11 a.m., Jan. 15. Admission is free. For more information, call 267-2809.
WINTER COMMUNITY PROGRAMS AT COASTAL LIBRARY:
Jan 22, 10 a.m. — Demetrius Fuller, Music Director & Conductor, Sinfonia Gulf Coast
Jan 29, 10 a.m. — Tony Mennillo, along with Hank Klein, “The Walton Guards and Captain William McPherson”
Feb 4, 10:00 a.m. — Stan Kirkland, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Northwest Region, “Learning to Live with Black Bears.”
Feb 11, 10:00 a.m. — Jim Dietrich, local beekeeper & owner of Dietrich’s Honey Farm.
Feb 18, 10:00 a.m. — Rickie Wood Bovee, author, “Writing & Self-Publishing”
Feb 25, 10:00 a.m. — Escape to Create will present Lisa McCormick, singer-songwriter.
March 4, 10:00 a.m. — David Bludworth, “History of Walton County”