Genealogical Society of
Okaloosa County (GSOC)
P.O. Box 1175
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32549-1175
was incorporated as a Florida non-profit, tax-exempt organization in 1976
to bring together persons interested in genealogy and family history.
The library is located at 185 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL. There is no admission charge for the GSOC meetings and all are welcome.
The meetings are usually followed by an optional Dutch treat lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Some meetings may be held at an alternate location, please see the information below concerning future meetings and the notices in the local newspapers for the location of specific meetings.
Click here to see the map showing the location of the Fort Walton Beach Library in a slightly larger scale. (Click the "Back" button on that page to get back to here.)
The main parking lot and the library entrance are entered from First Street SE.
Annual membership dues are $24 for an individual and $35 for an individual and spouse at the same address.
If you would like to become a member, want to renew your membership, or want to update your membership record, please click on: Membership Form. When the form is displayed on your screen, you can print it or save it to your computer.
Checks should be made out to GSOC and mailed along with the form to the GSOC post office address shown above or brought to a meeting.
The success of our Society depends on the support of our members, and there are many opportunities to help, some of which are as simple as writing an article for the GSOC Newsletter or for the annual Journal. There are a number of volunteer opportunities on the membership form mentioned above and on the separate volunteer form which can be obtained by clicking on Volunteer Form. You can print the form or save it to your computer. Please volunteer for something and either bring the form to the next meeting or send it to the email address shown on the form.
Fort Walton Beach Library
185 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL.
Researching Family History at the State Library and Archives of Florida.
Presenters: Miriam Spalding and Kathryn Palmer
Our April program will be presented by Archivists from the State Library and Archives of Florida located in Tallahassee. They will discuss basic methods and best practices for researching and preserving your family history. They will highlight the genealogical resources available at the State Library and Archives and provide tips for preserving your family papers at home.
Kathryn Palmer is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, but has lived in Tallahassee for 8 years. She earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Florida State University. Miss Palmer now works as the Archives Historian for the State Archives of Florida. She is responsible for organizing community outreach programs, selecting archival material for digitization, and creating content for the Florida Memory website. Additionally, she teaches courses on American history at Tallahassee Community College.
Newsletters (since 2009)
GSOC Books (read on line and/or download)
Surnames Being Researched by GSOC Members as of July 2016
Current GSOC Bylaws (Revised 10 Sept 2016)
and Local Histories
The Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County publishes our Journal once yearly. Volunteers conduct research in Northwest Florida for information to be published in the Journal with emphasis on material of limited availability. Members provide articles and other material from sources in areas in which they are searching.
The 2016 Journal was published and distributed in October 2016. The theme of the 2016 issue is the Vietnam War. The 2015 issue was dedicated to the centennial of Okaloosa County. Previous recent Journals have had articles dealing with World War I through the Great Depression, through World War II, into the Korean Conflict and the beginning of the Cold War.
Six previous Journals are available in the members-only section of this website, however, the Table of Contents for those issues can be viewed from the links below.
Table of Contents of the 2015 Journal
Table of Contents of the 2014 Journal
Table of Contents of the 2013 Journal
Table of Contents of the 2012 Journal
Table of Contents of the 2011 Journal
President, Jon Sheperd
1st Vice President (Programs), Margaret Harris
2nd Vice President (Membership), Jerry Rush
Treasurer, Phil Hoge
Immediate Past President, Sue Basch
Recording Secretary, Kathie Sheperd
Corresponding Secretary, Val Moreland
Publicity, Val Moreland
Genealogist, Margaret Harris
Webmaster & Newsletter Editor, Jim Young
Associate Newsletter Editor, Edward Crosby
Journal Coordinator & Editor, Cindy Barber
This section currently contains Nicole Grinnan's presentation entitled Tombstone Tales, Guide to Funerary Art, and Basic Guidelines for Cleaning Historic Stone; Amy Raley's presentation entitled Federal Road Migration; Sarah Roach's handout that accompanied her presentation Walking Back Into Colonial America; and the GSOC Journals for 2010 through 2016.