of the

Approved October 8, 2019


The Society was formed in 1965 as the “Fresno Genealogical Society” by 30 Charter members receiving support from the local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In January 1998 the name was changed to the “Fresno County Genealogical Society.”

In April 1993 the society library collection, which had been located in the basement of the Fresno County Main Library, was moved upstairs to The Heritage Center.  The Society collection was combined with the Fresno County Library collection, with the Society maintaining ownership of its part of the collection.


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.” 


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 employees of the Society.

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.

Section 4.  None of the activities of the Society shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and/or action.  The Society shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign, including the publishing or distribution of statements on the behalf of any candidate for political office.


The objectives of the Society shall be:

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

Section 2.  To collect and preserve genealogical and historical data especially as related to Fresno County.

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

Section 4.  To establish and maintain a genealogical library to encourage the accumulation and preservation of genealogical and historical records and materials for genealogical and family history research.

Section 5.  To publish “The Jotted Line” newsletter and the “Ash Tree Echo” periodical.


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

Section 2.  The categories of membership shall be as follows:

  • Individual Member: Any person who meets the requirements for membership and agrees to uphold the constitution and Bylaws of the Society.
  • Family Member: Additional individuals living at the same address as a member and who meets the requirements for membership. A family member has the same rights and responsibilities as an individual member.
  • Institutional (Library, Society) membership.

Section 3.  The Society shall operate on a calendar year, beginning January 1 and ending Dec 31.

Section 4.  The amount of dues shall be established by the Executive Board.


Section 1.  The officers of this Society shall be: President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, and Registrar.

Section 2.  The term of office shall begin after installation, and end when the officer hands in her/his resignation, the term expires, or she/he is replaced.

Section 3.  All officers may receive training on Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 4.  Any officer within two weeks of resignation or being replaced, shall be responsible for turning in all items that belong solely to the Society.

Section 5.  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 6.  No out-going officer shall retain or use for personal benefit the e-mail or web address of the Society.  Nor shall any current officer or individual member set up a web address, social media account, or e-mail account in the name of the Society unless approved by the Executive Board.


Section 1.  The President shall:

  • Be the principal executive officer of/and the official spokesperson for the Society.
  • Preside at all General and Executive Board meetings of the Society.
  • Be responsible for the Executive Board agenda and the place of the meeting.
  • Appoint all Committee Chairpersons except the Nominating Committee Chairperson with the approval of the Board.
  • Serve as ex officio member on all committees except Nominating Committee.
  • Have a copy of the Society’s current Constitution and Bylaws, and a current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order at all meetings.
  • Have a copy of the current Standing Rules at all meetings.
  • May sign checks as required.

Section 2.  The 1st Vice President shall:

  • Assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
  • In the event of the president’s incapacity or resignation, the 1st Vice President shall become President.
  • Plan and arrange a variety of programs along with speakers for the year.
  • Plan meetings and special functions, if any, and present them to the Board for approval.
  • Be responsible for providing information to the Publicity Chairperson for the Society flyers.

Section 3.  2nd Vice President shall:

  • Be responsible for coordination of committees and activities.
  • To serve as liaison to one or more committees as assigned by the President.
  • Will determine when there are enough submissions to compile an edition of Ash Tree Echo and assign an editor or committee to compile and publish the Ash Tree Echo.
  • Solicit appropriate articles for the Jotted Line.
  • Be responsible for the layout and design of the newsletter.

Section 4.  The Recording Secretary shall:

  • Record and be the custodian of the minutes of all Board and Annual meetings of the Society.
  • Email the minutes to the Board members within a reasonable time before the next Board meeting for review and corrections.
  • After Board approval, send the minutes to the webmaster to be posted on the Society Webpage.
  • Keep a binder of all Society minutes.
  • Store minutes in chronological order from previous years in the Secretary’s binder.

Section 5.  The Corresponding Secretary shall:

  • Conduct correspondence and research for the Society when needed.
  • Keep a record of the correspondence and may accept and acknowledge donations on behalf of the Society for research rendered.

Section 6.  The Treasurer shall:

  • Record and be the custodian of the financial records of the Society.
  • Be responsible for the prompt deposit of all monies in an insured financial institution.
  • Update bank signature cards within 30 days when officers change.
  • Sign checks, pay obligations of the Society, maintain adequate financial records.
  • Present a financial report at each board meeting.
  • Provide a quarterly budget report and investment account results to the Executive Board.
  • Provide a year-end financial report at the Annual Meeting.
  • Be responsible for all governmental reports that are required.

Section 7.  The Librarian shall:

  • Accept genealogical material for the Society Library.
  • Evaluate donations for their genealogical value.
  • Classify and catalog books.
  • Maintain a current inventory of all equipment, books, periodicals, accession books, electronic storage, film media and any other Society holdings.
  • Be responsible for the Society’s accession books.

Section 8.  The Registrar shall:

  • Maintain membership records and collect dues.
  • Report number of attendees, guests, membership renewals and others at meeting.
  • Present the membership renewal form to the Board for approval.
  • Work with Board to develop plans for membership growth.
  • Oversee the content and distribution of New Member packets.


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. Committee Chairpersons may be invited to attend.

Section 4.  A minimum of one-half plus one of the elected officers shall be considered a quorum for 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 all Investment Accounts and keep the names on the accounts updated whenever the relevant officers change.

Section 8.  In matters that require urgency and when a meeting is not critical to a decision, a vote may be conducted by electronic mail (email) which must be ratified at the next meeting.


Section 1.  A Nominating Committee Chairperson shall be elected each year by the Board.

Section 2.  An Audit Committee shall be appointed by the President with approval of the Board.

Section 3.  Other Committees may be appointed when required.


Section 1.  The Nominating Committee shall:

  • Be chaired by an Executive Board member who has been elected and approved by the Board.
  • Publish a list of all Offices in "The Jotted Line” in September of each year with a request for nominations.
  • All nominations that are received will be added to the slate.
  • Present the slate of proposed candidates at the November meeting and will be published in the “The Jotted Line” thirty days prior to the election in January.

Section 2.  The Audit Committee shall:

  • Consist of (2) two or more Society members in good standing.
  • Be responsible to audit the society’s books annually or as needed.
  • Provide a written report to the Executive board and be made available to members upon Board approval.


Section 1.  General meetings of the Society may be held the second Tuesday evening of each month except December.  The Seminar is held annually.

Section 2.  The locations of the General meetings to be held may be decided at the discretion of the Board.

Section 3.  Twenty (20) members shall constitute a quorum for a regular or special meeting.

Section 4.  Unless specifically designated otherwise, all communications required in these Bylaws, including meeting notices, may be sent electronically.


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.  Nominating Chairperson 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 Nominating Chairperson will declare nominations closed, and proceed with the election.

Section 3.  Installation of Officers shall immediately follow the election.


Section 1.  The Executive Board shall act on behalf of the society to resolve any disputes related to the misconduct or nonperformance of duties of any member, Officer, Committee Chairperson, or Committee member.  The Executive Board shall follow the process in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, Disciplinary Procedures and Parliamentary Procedure.


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.


Section 1.  The Rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised and Parliamentary Procedure 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.

Section 2.  The President can appoint a parliamentarian to review the proposed revision of the Bylaws.  The parliamentarian can give advice to the Bylaws chair during the Executive Board review of the Bylaws.


The Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at any General Meeting of the Society by a two-thirds vote of members present and voting, and in good standing, provided a thirty (30) day notice regarding the amendment or amendments has been published.  Voting may be done by a raise of hands or by paper ballot.

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