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MGC has been recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts of support are fully tax-deductible and donors will receive a written acknowledgement for tax purposes.

About MGC

By-Laws last amended 15 Jun 2007

Download PDF version HERE



The name of this organization shall be the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, also known as MGC or the Council.


The purposes shall be to develop and promote the growth, education and exchange of ideas among persons and organizations interested in the pursuit of genealogy and family history research; to act as advocates in monitoring legislative and administrative activities of governmental agencies which affect genealogists and family history researchers; to sponsor and present legislation and programs designed to expand the resources and accessibility of research services; and to provide or promote any other activity to advance genealogy and family history research.


Section A: Membership

Membership is open to all persons and organizations interested in furthering the objectives of

this society, upon payment of dues.

1. Individual Membership: A single person who is entitled to one (1) vote at the MGC Annual Meeting, and one (1) MGC newsletter subscription.

2. Family Membership: Two or more persons residing in the same household. This membership is entitled to two (2) votes only at the MGC Annual Meeting and one (1) MGC newsletter subscription.

3. Organizational Membership: Defined as Societies, Institutions, or Corporations. Each membership is entitled to one (1) vote at the MGC Annual Meeting and one (1) MGC newsletter subscription. This membership shall be represented by one (1) voting delegate at MGC board meetings.

4. Revocation of Membership: The Executive Board of MGC may, by two-thirds vote, revoke membership from its Board or Council any time for just cause or conduct not in the best interests of the Council. Such charges shall be presented to the Board in writing, and should action be deemed advisable, the Secretary shall notify, in writing,

the member against whom the charges have been made. The member shall be given

opportunity to come before the Executive Board of MGC to refute said charges

within 45 days.

Section B: Dues

1. Dues shall be determined each year by the Executive Board after review of Council operating costs and approved by two-thirds vote of Council members at the Annual Meeting.

2. Dues shall be paid annually to the MGC Treasurer on or before the first day of the fiscal year. The fiscal year shall be January 1 through December 31.


Section A:

Officers of the Council shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Section B:

There shall be a director for each of the standing committees: Program, Publicity, Civil Records, Newsletter, Archives, and Ways and Means. Each director shall, when needed, appoint his/her own committee. One of the members of the Civil Records committee shall be the member of the Special Vital Records and Statistics Committee established by chapter 46 of the Massachusett General Laws (when so established).

Section C: Term of Office

1. Each officer shall be elected to serve a two-year term.

2. Officers may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

3. Directors may serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

4. A person may not be elected as an officer and director during the same term of office.

5. Officers to take office June 1st following an election which takes place prior to May 30th of an election year, otherwise on the first of the month following an election which occurs after May 30th of an election year.

Section D: Vacancies

1. Any vacancy occurring among the officers and directors of the Executive Board, with the exception of the president, may be filled until the next annual meeting by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board.

2. Any officer or director absent, unexcused, for three consecutive meetings of the Executive Board, shall be dropped from the Board and a new officer or director appointed.


Section A: Officers

1. President shall:

a. Preside at all Executive Board and Council meetings

b. Appoint chairpersons of special committees.

c. Sign all contracts and documents authorized by the Executive Board.

d. Be a member ex-officio of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

e. File a written report at the annual meeting reflecting the activities and progress of the Council.

f. Work to promote the interests and welfare of the Council.

2. Vice President shall:

a. In the absence or inability of the President, assume the responsibility of the office.

b. Seek out new members.

c. Invite organizations to join the Council in conjunction with the Director of Publicity.

d. Assist in any other duties.

3. Secretary shall:

a. Keep accurate minutes of all Executive Board and Council meetings.

b. Provide the Executive Board with a copy of said minutes, with a call to the meeting, no later than two weeks before the following Executive Board or Council meeting.

c. Shall notify, by either electronic or regular first class potage mail, all members concerning the Council’s Annual Meeting, and any proposed nominations or proposed amendments to the By-laws, at least thirty 30 days prior to the meeting.

d. Keep and have available for reference at all meetings, one (1) book in which there are copies of the Council’s By-laws, standing rules and legal documents.

e. Conduct and maintain a file of the correspondence of the Council and assist in any meetings as requested by officers and directors.

f. Be responsible for the collection of and proper distribution of the Council’s mail.

g. Notify the Executive Board and/or Council members of any special meeting by first class or electronic mail at least two weeks before such special meeting.

h. In the absence of the President and Vice-President, call the meeting to order and preside until a President Pro-Tem has been elected.

i. Sign, with the President, all contracts and documents authorized by the Executive Board.

4. Treasurer shall:

a. Keep accurate accounts of all monies due, received, and expended.

b. Send notification of and collect all dues.

c. Keep an up-to-date membership list and distribute it to the Executive Board.

d. Have accounts available for inspection at all times.

e. Receive prior approval from the Executive Board meeting.

f. Submit a financial report at the Executive Board meeting.

g. Submit a budget for the ensuing year, prior to the close of the fiscal year, to the

Executive Board.

h. File a written financial statement at the Annual Meeting.

i. Make financial records available for annual audit by March 1st.

Section B: Directors

1. Program Director shall:

a. Be responsible for arrangements and confirmation, of all educational programs.

b. Coordinate a speakers’ bureau.

2. Publicity Director shall:

a. Notify medial and use other means of publicity to promote and stimulate interest relative to the council.

3. Civil Records Director as directed by the Council shall:

a. Act as representative to present legislation and recommend adoption of policies in the interest of genealogists at legislative and administrative hearings, special meetings, seminars and such other assemblies.

b. One of the members of the Civil Records Committee shall be a member of the Special Vital Records and Statistics Committee established by Chapter 46 of the Mass. General Laws (M.G.L.).

c. Act on behalf of the Council when immediate decision and alternate action must be taken at said hearings and assemblies.

d. Keep abreast of national, state and local proceedings governing the concerns of genealogists.

e. Obtain and file all legislation and policies recommended.

f. File a written report of the action taken and the results of such action.

4. Newsletter Director shall:

a. Collect and receive materials to be considered for publications.

b. Produce and distribute a periodic newsletter, reflecting legislative activities pending and resolved, programs, news and activities of other genealogists and organizations, and any other item of genealogical and educational interest.

c. Publish any items specifically requested by the Executive Board.

5. Archives Director shall:

a. Be responsible for custody and preservation of the Council’s records, except such records as specifically assigned elsewhere.

b. Maintain a current inventory of all legal documents, records, and property belonging to the Council.

6. Ways and Means Director shall:

a. Devise and implement ways and means to raise funds to support the Council and its programs.

b. Produce educational materials.


Section A: The officers, directors, and organizational delegates shall constitute the Executive

Board whose duty shall be to formulate the general policy of the Council; make

recommendations and perform such other duties to serve and promote interest in genealogy and

the growth of the Council.

Section B: This Board shall be subject to the order of the Council and none of its acts shall

conflict with any action taken by the Council.


Section A: Nominations:

The Nominating Committee shall:

1. Consist of three members in good standing. In the even numbered years, a Nominating Committee Chair and two members shall be appointed by the President.

2. Nominate candidates for all offices and directorships to be elected at the Annual meeting. Candidates for offices must have been members in this society for at least one full year.

3. Report the list of candidates to the Executive Board before the Annual Meeting, accompanied by the consent of each nominee. A slate of nominees shall be included in the Annual Meeting notice.

Section B: Elections:

1. Elections shall be held at the Annual Meeting on odd numbered years.

2. The Nominating Committee shall present a list of at least one nominee for each office and directorship to the Executive Board and to the general membership.

3. Nominations may be made by the general membership from the floor at the Annual Meeting, provided each nominee has given consent to serve if elected.

Section C: Voting:

1. Eligibility. All members in good standing (those members whose dues are currently paid in full) may vote in society elections.

2. Voting may be by voice, provided there is only one candidate for office. If more than one candidate is running for any office, the vote shall be by written ballot. Majority vote elects.


Each year two (2) members, not including the Treasurer, shall be appointed by the Executive Board to examine the Treasurer’s accounts at the end of the fiscal year.

1. The audit is to be conducted by April or before the Annual Meeting.

2. A written report shall be filed at the next Annual Meeting.


Section A: Executive Board Meetings:

There shall be no fewer than four (4) Executive Board meetings per year, time and place fixed by the President. A special Board meeting may be called at the written request of three (3) members of the Board.

Section B: Council Meetings:

1. There shall be at least one Council meeting per year to be held in the spring, time and place fixed by the Executive Board.

2. This meeting shall be the Annual Meeting, and shall include reports of officers and directors, and nay other business pertinent to the Council.

3. There shall be an educational meeting to promote genealogy.

4. A special Council meeting may be called at the written request of ten (10) members of the Council, and shall meet within three (3) weeks of receipt of request, the purpose of the meeting to be stated in the call.

Section C: Quorum

Five (5) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for an Executive Board meeting; fifteen (15) members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for a Council meeting.


Section A: These bylaws may be amended at any Council meeting by a two-thirds vote of members present.

1. Proposed amendments may be submitted in writing by any member to the general membership.

2. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing before that meeting or incorporated in the notice of the Council meeting.

3. Amendments to the proposed amendments may be made from the floor.


Section A: The Council may be dissolved by a special meeting called with a written notice mailed to each member stating the reason(s). The time and place will be set by the Executive Board.

Section B: The Executive Board shall pay or make provisions for payment of all liabilities of the Council; any remaining assets shall be distributed to organization(s) with similar objectives recommended by the Executive Board and approved by two-thirds vote of the members present at the meeting.


No officer, director, delegate, or member shall be held personally liable for any debt, liability or obligation of the Council. All persons, organizations and other entities having any claim whatever against the Council may look only to the funds, money due, and assets of the Council for payment of any such claims due them.


Section A: the rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Council in all cases in which they are applicable, and which are not inconsistent with these By- Laws and Standing Rules.

These By-laws were amended by the general membership of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council on 4 March 1995, 10 April 1999, and 15 June 2007.