Defiance County



PREAMBLE: In order to establish methods of procedure for guidance in our work as a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, we adopt the following rules and regulations, and hereby rescind all previous action contrary hereto. Officially adopted March 25, 1991 and amended September 1992, March 2000, March 2002, March 2004, May 2004, reviewed June 2008.

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of The Defiance County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society shall be to create an interest in genealogy and to preserve local records. (Effective 7 March 2003)


The name of this organization shall be The Defiance County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. (In order to be a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, it is recommended that 15 chapter members belong to the OGS.) The Defiance County Chapter was founded March 1977.


SECTION 1. To support the objectives of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

SECTION 2. To create and build interest in preserving and collecting historical records of this and related areas of Ohio and to support all public libraries in the county.

SECTION 3. To encourage active membership in this Chapter and in the Ohio Genealogical Society.

SECTION 4. To take an active part in collecting records and in making them available for use in genealogical research.

SECTION 5. To publish, if advisable, genealogical materials compiled by the Chapter members and to copyright this material if necessary.

SECTION 6. Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

SECTION 7. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall be used for the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the
purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) for any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. The organization shall not carry on any activities not permitted (A) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c)
(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (B) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.


Section 1. Tenure and Duties

The Officers and Trustees who make up the Governing Board of this Chapter must be members in good standing. Tenure of these positions shall be for one year, with annual election or re-election. Members of the Governing Board shall perform the duties as prescribed by these By-laws and Standing Rules and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Chapter. The Governing Board shall adopt and maintain a Policy and Procedure Manual for the benefit of the society. This manual shall include details of the duties, functions, and responsibilities of all officers, trustees, and committees. A copy of this manual shall be distributed to each Governing Board member and to each committee chair.

Section 2. - Required Attendance

Members of the Governing Board are expected to attend all general meetings and all board meetings and may not miss more than three successive general meetings or board meetings nor be absent for a total of six meetings per year.

Section 3 - Resignation and Removal

Any member of the Governing Board, including the President is subject to removal from the board or from an office. Persons may be removed for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to pay annual dues.
  2. Failure to perform the functions of and uphold the trust of their position.
  3. Failure to follow attendance requirements. The Board has the right to make exceptions due to illness, job change, or other unavoidable matters that may arise. A written explanation of said persons must be submitted before the consideration of the Governing Board.

A majority vote of chapter members present at a special meeting called for the removal is needed to remove persons from their position.

Section 4 - Elections

The Officers and Trustees shall be elected annually in October and take office in January.

Section 5 - Officers

  1. Officers of the Chapter shall be as follows:
    1. President
    2. Vice-President
    3. Recording Secretary
    4. Corresponding Secretary
    5. Treasurer
  2. The President and one other officer must be a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Section 6 - Trustees

1. The Board of Trustees of this Chapter shall consist of no fewer than four elected members.
2. All Trustees shall serve on at least one of the Chapter’s committees.


Membership is open to all persons with genealogical interest by completing an application form and paying dues. All members in good standing have the right to vote, are eligible to be elected to the board, receive notice of all meetings and activities, be eligible to chair and/or serve on all committees, and receive the chapter newsletter which includes free queries. No chapter member may act in the name of the chapter without approval/knowledge of the Governing Board. Members of the chapter may not do paid research in the name of the chapter. Membership lists shall not be sold/given to other organizations or individuals.


Annual dues to the Chapter shall be determined by the Governing Board with the approval of the Chapter and shall be reviewed every two years. The dues shall be payable by January 31 of each year and shall be for a calendar year. If dues are not received by the end of the second fiscal month, the membership chairman shall notify these members, and those whose dues are not received by the end of the third fiscal month shall be automatically dropped from membership in the Chapter and will no longer receive their newsletters. Dues should be sent to the post office box of the Chapter.


A minimum of five members will constitute a quorum at all general and board meetings with each member present entitled to one vote.


Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Defiance County Court of Common Pleas to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine.


These By-laws may be revised or amended at any business meetings of the Chapter, provided thirty days’ notice of such a proposed revision or amendment shall be given. A two-thirds vote of those members present is necessary to carry the revision or amendment. All members must be given thirty (30) days notice of proposed revisions or amendments through the newsletter giving the place and time of the vote along with the proposed changes.

ARTICLE IX - Donation / Gifts

Donations, gifts, legacies and bequests accepted. Donations to the society of an unrestricted nature will be accepted and placed in the general fund.


The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the meetings of this chapter in all cases to which they are applicable.


ARTICLE I – Ownership of Chapter Materials

All materials, records and files which are issued to officers, committee membersor others for project research and other purposes by the Chapter are the exclusive property of the DCGS and shall be returned/surrendered to the Chapter when such officer's term ends or upon the death, resignation or removal of such member. After elections have taken place, appropriate chapter materials should be passed along to the newly elected officers and trustees within 10 days.

ARTICLE II – Committee Reports

When a committee is active, a written and/or oral report should be presented by the committee chair or by a designated member at the next general meeting.


The President shall

  1. call meetings of the Chapter and of the Governing Board, preside at meetings and perform duties generally required of this office.
  2. open all meetings on time or as soon as possible.
  3. call meetings of the board on a monthly basis or as needed, so that the regular meetings need not have long discussions.
  4. request a roll call of the Governing Board and of members.
  5. make sure all records and committees are kept up to date.
  6. call on all chairpersons to give a written report at the meeting of the membership and also to find out where the committee stands on their project.
  7. enforce all rules and regulations pertaining to the society.
  8. be a member of the Ohio Genealogy Society.
  9. be a member ex officio of all committees except the nominating committee.
  10. send the Ohio Genealogical Society copies of all important documents and update changes to them.

The Vice-President shall

  1. perform the duties of the President in his/her absence or incapacity or when the President would like to take part in the discussion.
  2. be a member of the Program Committee.
  3. oversee all committees and make sure that the chairperson and/or committee members are carrying out their duties and act as a liaison between the President
    and the committees.

The Recording Secretary shall

  1. record proceedings of all meetings (minutes), take notes and explain what business is pending. The Recording Secretary is responsible for maintaining the minutes in good order and keeping them available for inspection by the membership. The minutes should not contain the personal opinions of the secretary. The minutes should contain the following:
    1. when and where the meeting was called to order and by whom
    2. roll call of officers
    3. the approval or correction of minutes of the previous meeting
    4. a summary of the business of the meeting
    5. all motions, by whom they were made and seconded, and whether they were approved or vetoed
    6. written and/or oral reports of the committees
    7. total amount of money in the treasury
    8. the time the meetings was adjourned
    9. the secretary’s signature
  2. in the absence of the President and Vice-President call the meeting to order and preside until the immediate election of a chairman pro tem.
  3. prepare a copy of the minutes and send to the Governing Board and the newsletter editor.
  4. make copies of the minutes available to committee chairs.
  5. keep a list of all attendees at each meeting.
  6. keep a list of all committee chairs and members.
  7. affix a sheet to the By-laws of suggested changes to the By-laws for consideration by the future By-laws Committee.

The Corresponding Secretary shall

  1. receive and sort correspondence pertaining to the Chapter.
    1. send renewals, banquet fees, applications and fees, membership dues and other pertinent mail containing fees or payments to the Treasurer.
    2. send book orders to the Publications Chairperson.
    3. relay other mail to officers and newsletter editor as appropriate.
  2. send the current list of officers, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses with the program for the year to the Ohio Genealogical President, OGS newsletter editor, and Defiance District OGS Trustee at Large.
  3. write and mail all of the letters that the president and board need to send.
  4. answer the mail that is received by the Chapter.
    1. answer research requests with a form letter and an enclosure with a list of local researchers who will fulfill the request for pay.
    2. answer requests for brochures, publication lists, and other literature/information.
  5. mail cards to members as needed-- sympathy, anniversary, get well, etc.
  6. write thank-you cards when appropriate.
  7. keep supplies on hand.
    1. envelopes and stamps
    2. sleeves and paper
    3. cards-- appropriate for different occasions
    4. return address labels
    5. copies of brochures, publication lists, form letters, etc.
  8. serve on or stay in contact with committees which need the input of the corresponding secretary and serve on the Governing Board of the Chapter

The Treasurer shall

  1. receive dues and other fees and pay bills approved by the Chapter.
  2. follow a system of financial management that adheres to general principles of accounting. Internal and external reports should be given on a regular basis.
    1. complete internal records shall be provided on a regular basis to the Governing Board of the Chapter to develop and implement the annual budget, programs, and policies.
    2. complete external records shall be sent to the Internal Revenue Service annually to keep a nonprofit exempt status. The report should include the nature, source and amount of available funds, the uses made of those funds, and the net change in fund balances during the accounting period.
  3. give the Governing Board a financial statement at or before board meetings. Receipts and disbursements must be itemized.
  4. provide the financial records for audit five days prior to audit.
  5. serve as financial advisor to all committees.
  6. collect the free-will donation, “Memorials and Acquisition Fund,” the purpose of which is to fund the purchase of genealogical materials this Chapter loans to the Ohioana Room at the Defiance Public Library.
  7. reimburse members for chapter expenses upon presentation of a voucher with related receipts.

The Board of Trustees shall

  1. assist the officers in the work of the Chapter.
  2. be allotted one vote per member on the Governing Board.
  3. serve on at least one of the Chapter’s committees.

The Governing Board shall

  1. hold a minimum of 10 meetings per year which are open to all members. However, only members of the Governing Board shall have the right to vote. Chapter members may address the Board provided they give notice to the President and are given permission to be put on the agenda by the President.
  2. establish a calendar of board meetings and call other meetings as needed to enact the business of the Governing Board.


The Chapter shall meet regularly on the fourth Monday of each month unless otherwise specified.


In case of a vacancy of office of any of the said officers or trustees, an election shall be held to fill the vacancy at the next general meeting after such a vacancy has occurred. The nominating committee shall submit nominations. In case of an emergency, the President shall appoint members pro tem to serve in the vacancies until the next regular meeting.


The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the meetings of this chapter in all cases to which they are applicable, and are not inconsistent with the Constitution and By-laws of this Chapter.


Section 1 – Committee chairmen responsibilities

A chairman shall

  1. call committee meetings and notify each member of the meetings.
  2. distribute minutes of previous meetings to each committee member.
  3. ensure that minutes of each meeting are recorded.
  4. provide reports from each meeting to the vice-president prior to or at the next general meeting

Section 2 – Current Standing Committees

Nominating Committee

There shall be a nominating committee composed of three members elected by the membership before or during the September meeting. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to bring to the October meeting a list of nominations for those offices which are to be filled with at least one nominee for each position. Nominations may also be made from the floor. No person’s name shall be presented to the Chapter as a nominee for office who has not previously been asked to assume the duties of office if elected.

This committee is also responsible to offer nominations for vacancies in office that may occur between annual elections.

Budget/Finance Committee

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following

Prepare budget for the coming year. The budget shall be presented to the Governing Board at the January meeting for discussion and approval.

Auditing Committee

There shall be an auditing committee composed of three members elected annually by the Chapter. It shall be the duty of this committee to audit the books of the treasurer. The treasurer may be present at the time of audit, and the books are to be closed for audit December 31. The audit shall take place before the first meeting of the membership of the following year.

Public Relations Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Be responsible to the program chairperson.
  2. Discuss all of the news releases with the president and program chair before the releases go to the press. This assures that only accurate and appropriate news of general interest is reported to the public.
  3. Release meeting announcements to the newspaper, radio, and TV stations.
  4. Publicize meetings at all Defiance County libraries, at the Defiance County Record Center, and other surrounding libraries. These announcements should contain date, time, place, topic, and speaker.

First Families of Defiance County Committee

There shall be a First Families of Defiance County Committee composed of three members appointed by the president. All correspondence and fees should be sent to the chapter’s post office box. Checks are to be made out to the Defiance County Genealogical Society or DCGS.

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Send application forms to prospective members, review the applications to determine the authenticity of facts, and provide certificates of membership.
  2. Serve on the Banquet Committee

Memorials and Acquisition Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Gather information on materials that are available for genealogical research, i.e. VCR tapes, books, microfilm, equipment, and to make recommendations to the Governing Board. Such materials may be loaned to the Ohioana Room at Defiance Public Library in memory or in honor of a person or for the purpose of furthering genealogical research.
  2. Keep a record of all items purchased or donated in the chapter name and where the items have been placed.
  3. Give an annual report at the November general meeting of items purchased or donated in the chapter name and where they have been placed.

Publishing Committee

The Publishing Committee will be comprised of members of the Governing Board.

Duties and responsibilities of the committee chair shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Collect all materials for possible book publication.
  2. Take materials to the printer for an estimate of publishing costs, and present the estimated costs to the Governing Board.
  3. If approved, take materials to the printers and pick up the books when completed to begin selling.
  4. Update the order form and make it available the appropriate persons.
  5. Be responsible for publication sales.

Newsletter Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Collect, prepare, print the newsletter, and to mail the newsletters to the membership quarterly.
  2. Keep the correct addresses of members and exchange chapters and send copies of newsletters to them.
  3. Index yearly surnames taken from the newsletters for inclusion in the 4th edition of the newsletter.

Program Committee

May spend up to the amount authorized in the annual budget of the society, as approved by the governing board, for the purpose of implementing the programs for the society. Committee members may be reimbursed with proof of receipt for the expenses of postage, supplies and phone calls necessary in setting up the programs.

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following

  1. Set up the programs one year in advance with approval of the Governing Board.
  2. Give program listings to the newsletter and public relations committees in the fall of current year.
  3. Send Speaker’s Request forms to guest speakers.
  4. Send reminder notices to speakers.
  5. Send thank-you cards to speakers.

Membership Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Keep up-to-date records of all members of the Chapter and provide current membership lists to members of the Governing Body and the newsletter editor.
  2. Send new member packets and send yearly renewal reminders and membership cards upon the members’ payment of dues.
  3. Compile a list of members with the surnames they are researching and send to the newsletter editor for inclusion in the 4th edition of the newsletter.
  4. Give copies of the updated membership list to all board members and the newsletter editor.


Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

Keep all articles (photocopies) printed in the newspapers concerning the Society or its members, other memorabilia, pictures, programs, etc. and to make copies, if needed, of such to keep the book up-to-date.

Project Coordinator.

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Coordinate all projects from beginning to end, keeping track of volunteers’ hours.
  2. Make sure that all members know all the facts about their projects so that projects can be completed as planned.
  3. Present a report at the November general meeting of projects completed.

Volunteer Coordinator

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. With the help of the Board develop a code for volunteers.
  2. Assist the Chapter by assigning volunteers to committees or projects as needed.

Banquet Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Reserve a suitable site for the banquet and provide for decorations.
  2. Secure catering and set a meal.
  3. Obtain door prizes
  4. Set a price for the banquet.
  5. Prepare the program booklet.
  6. Provide public relations chair and newsletter chair with necessary information.

Hospitality Coordinator

Duties and Responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Recruit volunteers to act as hosts for meetings.
  2. Inform hosts as to their duties.
  3. Hand out information at meetings such as name tags, program booklet, tickets etc.
  4. Make sure attendees sign in

Web Site Coordinator

Note: The web site is the property of the Chapter and not of the Web Master.

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Create and/or maintain an attractive web site representing the DCGS.
  2. Post material or remove it as requested by the Officers of the Chapter.
  3. Update information as needed.

Centennial Families

A member of the Defiance County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society may register a person or family with the society who has lived in Defiance for over 100 years.
This registration is in no way associated with the First Families of Defiance County Program. It is just a registration of a name, an opportunity for a member to register the person or family they have researched and to honor them in a small way by proving this family was here in Defiance County one hundred years or more from the present date. This registration will help others who are researching the same family find you to make a connection.

Some of the information registered will be made available to others through the society newsletter, web site and in a file at the Defiance Public Library. With permission, name of the submitter, address, email address, the surname name registered and the names on the Five Generation Chart and Family Group sheets may be published. The Family Group Sheet is for the use of the committee as a way of authenticating the information.

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

  1. Make applications available at all DCGS events and at the libraries, fair etc.
  2. Receive all applications sent in by members
  3. Send letters to let applicants know the application has been received and either approved or denied.
  4. If denied tell the applicant why and give them an opportunity to reapply
  5. Copy all member’s applications and keep duplicate copies of member’s applications in library archives storage
  6. Provide a certificate of membership to the Defiance County Centennial

Calling Committee

Duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to the following

Call or email members reminding them of up-coming meetings, programs, and other pertinent chapter information.

Cecilia Brown, Mary Williams, Julie Miller

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