of the

Approved in January 2014



We, members of the Society, declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our Society and to govern the body in an orderly manner.  This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other Societies to negotiate and conduct Society business for the benefit of genealogy, history and education.


The name of the Society shall be the "Fresno County Genealogical Society."


The official Insignia of the Fresno County Genealogical Society shall be the original ash tree as created by Charter Member, Bev Daly, and first depicted in the 1968 issue of the "Ash Tree Echo."  An "Old English" font, similar to the following, shall be used for the words "Fresno County Genealogical Society," and designed to arch around the tree from the bottom on the left, over the top, and down the right side; and, under the tree, in a "Script" font, similar to the following, shall be the quote by Benet, "Human beings . . not merely ancestors."  Tree, Society name, and quote shall be in Kelly green, on a white background.


Section 1.  The Society is a non-profit organization, and no part of the assets or net earnings shall benefit any private individual; nor shall there be any salaried individual members.

Section 2.  The Society is organized exclusively for educational and genealogical purposes and shall be operated as a tax exempt unincorporated non-profit association within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 3.  Liability Insurance shall be kept current.


The objectives of the Society shall be:

Section 1.  To create and foster an interest in genealogy.

Section 2.  To collect and preserve genealogical and historical data.

Section 3.  To aid Society members and the general public in compiling genealogies and genealogical research.

Section 4.  To establish and maintain a genealogical library which shall be the private property of this Society.

Section 5.  To publish "The Jotted Line" newsletter, and the "Ash Tree Echo" periodical, and other helpful information for family research.


Section 1.  Membership in the Society shall be open to all persons interested in genealogical, biographical, or historical research.

Section 2.  The Society will offer Institutional (Libraries, Societies, etc.), Individual, Family, Individual Life, Family Life, Honorary Life, and Honorary Annual memberships.

Section 3.  Honorary Life membership may be awarded to one or two members each year at the discretion of the Executive Board, for outstanding service of extended duration.

Section 4.  The Society shall operate on a calendar year, January 1 and ending Dec 31.


Section 1.  The officers of this Society may be: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, Associate Librarian, "Ash Tree Echo" Editor, "The Jotted Line" Editor, Registrar, and Web Administrator.

Section 2.  The term of office will begin after installation, and end when the officer hands in her/his resignation, being replaced or resigns.

Section 3.  Any officers shall within two weeks of resignation, being replaced or resigning, be responsible for turning in all Society materials, keys, credit cards and other items that belong solely to the Society.

Section 4.  Any individual donating time or talent to the Society during her/his tenure shall be made aware said donation becomes the property of the Society.

Section 5.  No officer shall retain the e-mail or web address of the Society.  Nor shall any officer or individual member set up a web address or e-mail account of the Society unless approved by the Executive Board.

Section 6.  The President shall have served a one-year term as an officer previously.


Section 1.  The President presides at all General and Executive Board meetings of the Society and with the approval of the Executive Board, shall appoint all committees, including new ones, and may serve as an ex officio member on all committees except the Nominating Committee.  The President may appoint one member of the Executive Board to serve on the Nominating Committee.  The President can suggest and advise but not cast a vote unless there is a tie.  The President may sign checks if required, and shall be responsible for distributing all incoming mail to the addressee.  The President submits a column for publication in the Jotted Line each month.

Section 2.  The Vice President will assist the President and will assume the duties of that office in the absence of the President.  In the event of the President's incapacity or resignation, the Vice President shall become President with Executive Board approval in the event that the Vice President has less than one year term prior Board service.  The Vice President will plan and arrange a variety of programs to include meetings and special functions for the year and present them to the Executive Board for approval.  The Officer will assume the responsibilities for meeting places, will print the speaker's handouts, and arrange for the required equipment and all the social amenities.  The program information will be submitted for publication to the Jotted Line Editor and the web administrator each month.  The Vice President will oversee the copying of the monthly program flyer, and any other special flyers as required, and give them to the publicity committee for distribution.  The Vice President is also responsible for copying and distributing missed copies of "The Jotted Line" and "Ash Tree Echo."  The Officer may assist the Editors of "The Jotted Line" and "Ash Tree Echo" when necessary.  The Vice President will prepare and distribute the Visitors' Packets/Welcome Packets at general meetings and public service functions.  The New Member Packets should be left in the Library for pick up, and out of county members will receive them by mail.

Section 3.  The Recording Secretary will keep the minutes of all Executive Board meetings of the Society and will have a copy of the Society's Constitution and Bylaws available at all meetings.  The Recording Secretary will keep the Secretarial records updated with current information, collate it, and store minutes from previous years in the Secretary's binder.  Executive Board minutes shall be mailed or emailed to Board members within a reasonable time before the next Board meeting for review and corrections.

Section 4.  The Corresponding Secretary will conduct the correspondence and research of the Society as needed.  She/he will keep a record of the correspondence during the year and may accept donations for research for the Society.

Section 5.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for promptly depositing all monies received by the Society in an insured financial institution and shall provide a financial report at each meeting.  The Treasurer shall sign checks, pay obligations of the Society, maintain adequate financial records at all times and manage the Budget for the Society and the Society Library.  The Treasurer shall report on the status of Investment accounts, and shall be responsible for the bank accounts and matters concerning the State Board of Equalization and Internal Revenue Service, keeping the names on the accounts updated whenever the relevant officers change.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the Annual Liability Insurance Premium and oversee the bank signature card.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the Annual Bulk Mailing Fee.  The Treasurer will make available a copy of the Annual Financial Report.

Section 6.  The Librarian will serve as general administrator of the Society's library.  The Librarian will collect genealogical material for the Society Library and evaluate gifts for their genealogical value which will be donated or sold.  The Librarian will submit a list of new and donated books, periodicals and sale books monthly for publication in the Jotted Line.  The Librarian shall classify and catalog new books and other materials; maintain a current inventory of all equipment, books, periodicals, compact disks and film media. The Librarian will post a list of library rules for the volunteers.  The Librarian may be issued a key and access to the storage room in the basement of the library at the discretion of the librarian.

Section 7.  The Associate Librarian will assist the Librarian and will assume the duties of that office in the absence of the Librarian.  In the event of the Librarian's incapacity or resignation, the Associate Librarian may become Librarian.  The Associate Librarian will maintain the accession book, and the compact disk inventory and will be a member of the Book Buying Committee.

Section 8.  The "Ash Tree Echo" Editor will be responsible for the layout and design, and will provide one copy of the Society periodical, the "Ash Tree Echo"; and at least one month prior to publication the finished copy shall be proofread by a minimum of one person.  The ATE Editor will solicit appropriate articles for the ATE emphasizing Fresno County history and genealogy as much as possible.  The Editor will edit the articles and assist with citations as needed.  The Editor will write additional regular features as needed.  The ATE Editor shall be responsible for assuring that the publication meets all copyright laws and that all published sources, which have been consulted by the authors of  individual articles, are cited in bibliographies.  The numbering system for the ATE shall be in Arabic numbers and the volume number and color of the covers shall change at the beginning of each year.  The number of issues per year is  determined by the Board.  Each volume shall display the Society Insignia on the front cover and contain a Table of Contents and an Index of the Surnames which appear in the publication.  The ATE is currently formatted in MS Word, and is printed, compiled and mailed by a professional print-and-sort company.  The ATE Editor shall oversee the printing and mailing of the ATE, and shall keep a copy of each volume for five years for the Editor's use. After this they will be placed in storage for safekeeping. Publication of the ATE will be a minimum of three times a year on or before the first day of the months of March, July, and November.  The ATE Editor will attend Board meetings and General Meetings.  The ATE Editor will send a copy of the index page in pdf format to the webmaster for publishing on the web.

Section 9.  "The Jotted Line" Editor will be responsible for the layout and design and for printing one copy of the monthly newsletter, "The Jotted Line", prior to publication.  The finished copy shall be proofread by a minimum of one person.  The front page of the newsletter shall include the Society Insignia, and the program information.  "The Jotted Line" Editor shall include an insert in the September Newsletter in preparation for the annual election, which lists each office and duties, with space where members can write in their nominations, to be mailed back to the Society by  mid-September.  The Editor shall include a Membership Renewal form, as provided by the Registrar, before the end of the year and again in January.  "The Jotted Line" Editor shall oversee the printing and mailing of the newsletter which shall be on or before the first of the month.  The editor of "The Jotted Line" shall publish prominent notices in the Oct thru Dec newsletters regarding membership dues.

Section 10.  The Registrar will be responsible for maintaining a master number list, the current membership data file and the annual Roster which will be available to members at general meetings.  The Registrar will receive and maintain membership renewals and incoming dues throughout the year to include a membership distribution roster and shall provide "The Jotted Line" Editor new members names for print and a membership renewal form to be inserted in the newsletter from September to December.  The Registrar shall oversee the distribution of New Member packets with a letter from the President and membership cards, either in person or by SASE and shall prepare mailing labels, maintain the periodical exchange list, and submit new members' surnames to the "Jotted Line" Editor monthly for publication.  The Registrar shall have a table at general meetings and at other functions, as appropriate; pre-registers all incoming  attendees and seminar guests, taking monies and creating a name tag and check in list for the day of event; upkeeps the mailing lists for the Society publications and submits to printer monthly/or as needed; Life Members receive one  membership card mailed to them by the Registrar.

Section 11.  The Web Administrator will research, improve, monitor, and update the performance of the existing FCGS web page(s) on the Ancestry web host for the purpose of informing and educating the public about what FCGS has to offer for the purpose of inviting the public into the library to do research on their family history.  The Web Administrator will use personal tools such as Microsoft software, HTML, and other software packages to provide the look of the information page, as desired by the Society.  The Web Administrator will check the links on the site regularly to be sure they work properly and will maintain the entire site in good working order to ensure it can be accessed quickly by as many people as possible.


Section 1.  Special Committees, such as the Nominating, shall be appointed each year by the Board.  Other special committees, such as Bylaws and review of the books, may be appointed when required.

Section 2.  The President will have an opportunity to attend meetings if she/he so desires.


Section 1.  The Nominating Committee will be comprised of a minimum of three or more members, one member being from the Executive Board who has been appointed by the President and approved by the Board.  The remaining members shall be nominated from the floor.  A list of all Offices will be published in "The Jotted Line" in September each year with a request for nominations  All nominations received by mail within the appropriate time period will be verified with the nominees and added to the slate.  The Nominating Committee will present the slate of proposed candidates at the November meeting and the slate shall be published in "The Jotted Line" thirty days prior to the election in January.

Section 2.  The review of the books will be held when the Executive Board determines the need and will be completed by one individual.

Section 3.  The Bylaws Committee may be appointed by the President as required and elected by the Executive Board and will be responsible for any required amendments of the Constitution and Bylaws and Standing Rules.  When the Bylaws Committee has completed and approved the amendments or revision, the document will be made available to the Executive Board for review.  Comments will be reviewed by the Bylaws Committee, and any necessary changes will be made.  The document will then be presented to a Parliamentarian for review.  When the document is complete it will be made available to the general membership of the Fresno County Genealogy Society for review on the Society website and with a thirty days notice published in "The Jotted Line" prior to it being voted on at the next General meeting.  At that General meeting a two-thirds vote of members present will be required for the adoption of the revised Constitution and Bylaws.


Section 1.  General meetings of the Society may be held the second Tuesday evening of each month except August and December.  The Seminar is held in October instead of the General meeting.  The Treasurer's report will be due in January at the Annual Meeting.

Section 2.  The locations of the General meetings to be held may be decided at the discretion of the Executive Board, with the knowledge that a relatively consistent location is important for a good turnout.


Section 1.  The election of officers is held at the Annual Meeting in January at which time the Nominating Committee Chairperson will present the names of the candidates for each office.

Section 2.  The President will then ask for further nominations from the floor which should be made with the nominee's prior consent; and when nominations are complete, the President will declare nominations closed, and proceed with the election.

Section 3.  Installation of Officers and appointment of Committee Chairpersons shall follow the election.


Section 1.  The Executive Board members must be members in good standing.

Section 2.  The elected officers shall constitute The Executive Board which will conduct the business of the Society.

Section 3.  Executive Board meetings will be held during the fourth week of each month with few exceptions and the committee chairpersons are invited to attend.

Section 4.  One-half of the elected officers shall be considered a quorum for Executive Board meetings.

Section 5.  An emergency Board meeting may be called by any person on the Executive Board.

Section 6.  When a vacancy occurs on the Board, the Executive Board will declare the Office open, and shall seek a replacement.

Section 7.  The Board will oversee any Investment Accounts, and keep the names on the accounts updated whenever the relevant officers change.


Upon the dissolution of the Society, any assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of the Society shall be distributed to a nonprofit fund, foundation, or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 214 of the Revenue and Tax Code.


The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt.


  1. Nominations for Honorary Life and Honorary Annual memberships will be given to the President prior to the November Board meeting, and they will be voted on at a Board meeting prior to the Annual meeting.
  2. Honorary Life and Honorary Annual memberships will be awarded at the January Annual meeting.
  3. Dues shall be:
    • Institutional (Library, Society) membership ...... $20.00
    • Individual Annual membership .......................... $20.00
    • Family Annual membership ................................ $25.00
    • Individual Life membership .............................. $225.00
    • Family Life membership .................................... $250.00
    • (*One copy per mailing address*)
    • Institutions subscribing only to the periodical, the "Ash Tree Echo," shall be required to pay an annual subscription of $20.  Individual copies of the "Ash Tree Echo" shall cost $8.00, and individual copies of "The Jotted Line" shall cost $2.00.
  4. All dues are due and payable by January 1st and entitle members to receive the "The Jotted Line" newsletter and the "Ash Tree Echo" periodical.  The annual Roster is also included with membership.
  5. Any member whose dues are in arrears on January 31 shall be dropped from the membership at the end of February, and those who are dropped will not receive the "Jotted Line" for February.
  6. Each Officer and each Standing Committee Chairperson should receive a Society binder containing duties, procedures, responsibilities, and any relevant drafts of letters, forms, etc. pertinent to their position.  These binders will be kept updated and then passed on to their successors at the January Annual meeting.
  7. All Officers should maintain records pertaining to their office.
  8. When submitting receipts to the Treasurer, the individual must give information on the need of the purchase and how it will be used for the Society.
  9. The signatures of two Officers are on the bank card: President, and Treasurer.
  10. The signatures of two Officers are on the Investment Account: President, and Treasurer.
  11. The Society has three Office Depot credit cards, and the cards can be requested from the Treasurer by the Officers on an as needed basis.
  12. Society material will be housed in the library and basement as space permits.  All material must be properly boxed, labeled, and dated with the officer's name.
  13. Material for "The Jotted Line" must reach the Editor by the 20th of the month.
  14. Duplicate books for sale will be identified by the Librarian.  A list of these books will be made available to the Board.  The duplicate books will be made available first at a general meeting so that members of the Society can ascertain whether or not they wish to purchase one or more of the books.  Following the general meeting, a list of unsold books and the cost will be made available to the editor of the "Jotted Line".  Any remaining duplicate books will be made available for sale on the internet.


Approved at Annual Meeting held in January 2014

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