The Geauga County Genealogical Society of Ohio, Inc.
A Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society
~ Since 1973 ~

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HISTORY OF THE GEAUGA COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
by Jan Began (October 2012)

This is a brief history based on the information that remains in our archives and with a telephone conversation I had with Emilie Esmonde in 2008.

Emilie Esmonde and Alice Ferris were members of the Lake County Genealogical Society.  Since both women lived in Geauga County, it was suggested by some of their friends at the Lake County Chapter that they should think about starting a group in Geauga County.  And they did.

“Seek to Organize Genealogical Unit” was the heading of a newspaper article published 25 February 1970 (unknown newspaper).  “A meeting of interested persons is set for Feb. 27 in the library of Geauga County Academic Center of Kent State University.  Purpose is to promote organization of genealogical society in Geauga County.  Mrs. Alice Ferris of Burton invites anyone interested to attend.  The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.”

 “June 3, a group of women in Burton and surrounding areas got together for a meeting which was to form the first seminar of the Geauga County Genealogical [sic] Society.  Mrs. Duane Ferris of Burton was instrumental in bringing the Genealogical [sic] Society from Lake County to talk to interested persons who wanted to research their family trees. ….Mrs. Ferris said the turn out for the meeting [39 persons] far surpassed her expectations.  ‘I’m thrilled to know there are so many interested people in Geauga County,’ she said.  ….The Geauga Genealogical [sic] Society will begin meeting regularly at the Burton Library sometime in September, and if there is a demand, evening classes will be conducted in January.”  (The Times Leader, Chardon, Ohio, Sat., July 24, 1971, page 5)

“Geauga genealogical society formed”

“Burton – Fifteen persons interested in organizing a Geauga County Genealogical Society met on Sept. 23 in the community room at the Burton Public Library. ….election of officers for the new Society which resulted as follows: president, Mrs. Duane Ferris of Burton; vice-president Mrs. Emilie M. Esmonde of Chardon; and secretary treasurer, Mrs. Kenneth Reddell [sic] of Burton.  The purpose of the society is to inspire people to do their own digging into family genealogy and to inform members about sources of information which are available.”  (The Times Leader, Chardon, Ohio, Sept. 30, 1971)

Having attained the requirements for becoming a Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Geauga County Genealogical Society (GCGS) received its Charter on 5 May 1973 (per Thomas Neel, OGS Library Director, 19 March 2008, telephone conversation with Jan Began).

With reference to an OGS article with a picture of four members accepting the Charter in 1973, Charter Members named were:

Catherine Bushnell
Beatrice DeMars
Mrs. Kenneth Duering
Emilie Esmonde, Vice President
Alice Ferris,
President

Jeanette Grossman
Jeannette Grosvenor
Ella Hadden
Margaret ‘Peg’ Hetrick
Mrs. William Slack
Mrs. Roy Mace

Dora Riddell,
Treasurer

Franklin Smith
Mrs. Franklin Smith
Park W. Stafford

Thelma Stafford,
Secretary

Mildred Steed
Gertrude Thayer
Violet Warren

By 1973 the GCGS had in its possession a number of books, census records, microfilms, and other documents that were being held in the homes of various members.  The Society appealed to Burton Library for space.  “Permission for the Geauga County Genealogical Society to use aforementioned basement room granted at the regular December meeting of the Burton Public Library Board of Trustees on December 13, 1973 with the following requirements:  Contract to be renewed each December; Rent of $20.00 a year; and Genealogical Society to carry insurance on its materials.”   Signed by Frank E Samuel, President, Burton Public Library Board of Trustees and Patsy P. Brigham, Clerk.

As the holdings increased in size, there was discussion of finding more space and Chardon Public Library was chosen.  This caused unhappy feelings with some of the members.  But with the move to Chardon and the efforts of the late Anderson Allyn, many more Geauga County documents were obtained in the early 1980s.  By 1988 GCGS had its own room, the Anderson Allyn Room, in the recently renovated Chardon Library.

Over the years our Chapter has held seminars and hosted many wonderful speakers.  It has also had its ups and downs.  More than once membership declined and discussion of disbanding or least withdrawing from the Ohio Genealogical Society was held.  In the 1990s the Chapter was inactive. Starting in 2007 the Society reorganized and new officers were elected.  We’re glad to be a vital Chapter again!

One last note, the Chapter’s newsletter, Raconteur, was first published in January 1978 with Jeannette Grosvenor as Editor.   Sandy Malitz, former Genealogy Specialist for the Geauga County Public Library System, took over in 2000 as Editor.   Society member Jan Began took over in 2009 and the Raconteur continues to be published on a quarterly basis.


 

 
STANDING RULES OF THE GEAUGA COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

MAILING ADDRESS

The mailing address of the Chapter is:

110 E. Park Street, Chardon, OH 44024

MEMBERSHIP

1. Annual membership dues shall be $12.00 per person beginning in 2015. Members’ dues are to be paid before the first month of the calendar year. Dues paid after November 1 will be credited to the next year.

2. The Executive Board shall be responsible for establishing the amount of membership dues, subject to the approval of the Chapter membership. Approval of such changes in dues shall be by a majority vote of the members in good standing, present and voting at a general meeting, provided that such changes have been previously published thirty (30) days in advance of said meeting.

3. The fiscal year shall be July 1 through June 30.

MEETINGS

1. Meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Chardon Library,

Geauga County Public Library System, unless otherwise noted.

2. There will be no meetings in January, February, July or August.

3. We welcome visitors to all meetings, and encourage membership in our Chapter.

AMENDMENTS

1. The Executive Board shall review, and update as necessary, the By Laws and the Standing Rules of the Geauga County Genealogical Society every two (2) years.

2. Any changes to the Standing Rules shall be presented by the Executive Board to the general membership at a regular Chapter meeting, and voted upon at the next scheduled meeting by those members in good standing.

3. Any amendments to the Standing Rules shall be appended to said document with the date of such amendment change.


 

BY-LAWS OF THE GEAUGA COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

ARTICLE I: NAME

1. This organization shall be known as "Geauga County Genealogical Society of Ohio, Inc.," a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

2. Geauga County Genealogical Society of Ohio was incorporated September 2009.

3. This organization is required to file a statement of continued existence at a specific interval of time following incorporation or the last corporate filing in accordance with the office of the Ohio Secretary of State.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be:

1. The promotion of genealogical research by giving instructions and helping those interested in tracing ancestral lines and searching records;

2. To promote the collecting and preservation of family records, old scrapbooks, diaries, family bibles, maps, obituaries, and any material of value for genealogical or historical research;

3. To strive to foster an interest in all people who contributed in any way, great or small, in establishing and perpetuating Geauga County and surrounding areas;

4. To support the objectives of the Ohio Genealogical Society, and to encourage membership in both this Chapter and the OGS.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

1. Membership in this organization is open to anyone who is interested in this Chapter’s purpose and agrees to abide by the by-laws and the standing rules.

2. Membership shall be by written application to the Chapter, with payment of annual dues.

3. Dues shall be established by the Executive Board, with the approval of the membership.

4. New members who join the Chapter between January 1 through June 30 shall pay the full yearly dues; new members joining between July 1 and Dec. 31 shall pay half of the yearly dues.

5. Termination of membership: any member who fails to pay their annual dues by January 31 shall have their membership and all Chapter rights terminated. Membership shall be reinstated upon payment of annual dues.

ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE BOARD

1. The Executive Board consists of the elected officers.

2. The Executive Board also consists of committee chairs.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS

1. The officers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer; each of whom shall be a member in good standing of the Geauga County Genealogical Society.

2. To be eligible for election to an office, a person must be a member and have agreed to be a candidate for the office.

3. Election of officers shall take place at the June meeting of odd numbered years. The newly elected officers’ terms shall commence July 1st following the June election.

4. The term of office shall be for two (2) years. No member shall hold more than one office at a time.

5. The president may not serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

6. Vacancies in any office (except the Presidency) shall be filled by the President with the approval of the Executive Board until the next election.

ARTICLE VI: DUTIES OF OFFICERS

1. The President shall preside over all meetings, appoint chairpersons to all committees (except the Nominating Committee, see Article VII); be an ex-officio member of all committees, have authority to sign checks, sign all contracts with the approval of the officers; be a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. If the President is not a member of OGS, membership dues will be paid by the Chapter.

2. The Vice-President shall perform all the duties of the President in his/her absence; serve as Program Chairman. The Vice-President cannot appoint a President.

3. The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all Chapter meetings; in the absence of either President or Vice-President, call the meeting to order and preside over that meeting; any other corresponding duties as requested by the President.

4. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds and keep a financial statement up-do-date and available. The treasurer shall keep a membership list and an accurate record of the payment of dues. The treasurer shall be authorized to take care of routine expenses up to $25.00, and the cost of printing and postage for mailing the Newsletter. Other expenditures shall come before the Executive Board.

5. The president’s and treasurer’s signatures shall be on record on the bank card. Only one signature is required on a check.

ARTICLE VII: THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE

1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) members and shall be elected by those members present at the April meeting of odd numbered years.

2. The Nominating Committee shall elect their own Chairperson.

3. Failure of the members to elect a Nominating Committee will result in the Executive Board appointing a committee.

4. Nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers at the May meeting of odd numbered years for the upcoming election at the June meeting.

5. Written notice of election of officers shall be given to each member at least thirty (30) days in advance of said meeting.

6. Nominations for officers may also be made from the floor at the May meeting with the consent of the nominee.

ARTICLE VIII: AUDIT COMMITTEE

1. The Audit Committee shall consist of three (3) members and shall be elected by those members

present at the April meeting of each year.

2. The audit Committee shall elect their own Chairperson.

3. Failure of the members to elect an Audit Committee will result in the Executive Board

appointing a committee.

4. The Audit Committee shall complete the audit by May 31 of each year.

ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS

1. Regular meetings shall be held as established by the Executive Board.

2. Members in attendance shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.

3. Special meetings may be called by the President or by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE X: FINANCES, ASSETS, AND ACTIVITIES

1. No part of the net earnings of this Chapter shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to, its members, officers, or other private persons, except that the Chapter shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payment and distributions in furtherance of the purposes as set forth herein.

2. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, this Chapter shall not engage in any activities or exercise any power that is not in furtherance of the purpose of this Chapter.

3. The Geauga County Genealogical Society acknowledges that all materials in the Anderson Allyn Room at Chardon Library are the property of the Geauga County Public Library.

4. Any archival materials generated by the Geauga County Genealogical Society such as minutes, reports, financial statements, membership lists or other items is the property of the Geauga County Genealogical Society.

5. Upon the dissolution of this Chapter, any remaining monetary assets and any archival materials belonging to said Chapter shall be donated to the parent organization, the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Page 3. By-laws of the Geauga County Genealogical Society

ARTICLE XI: NEWSLETTER

1. The Chapter shall publish a newsletter, which shall be sent to all members in good standing.

2. The newsletter shall be published quarterly.

ARTICLE XII: DISCIPLINE

Any member conducting himself or herself in a way calculated to disturb the harmony of the Chapter or to injure its good name or to hamper it in its work may, upon charges filed, be reprimanded, suspended, or expelled from the Chapter by a majority vote of the members present and voting in a GENERAL or SPECIAL meeting. The member against whom the charges are to be proffered shall be informed thereof at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting and shall have an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel at said meeting.

ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS

1. These by-laws may be amended at any business meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present, if not less than seven (7) members, providing the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing to all members at least thirty (30) days in advance of said meeting.

2. The standing rules may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting provided that such changes have been submitted in writing to all members at least thirty (30) days in advance of said meeting.

3. Any amendments to the by-laws and/or the standing rules shall be appended to said document with the date of such amendment change.

ARTICLE XIV: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The business of the this Chapter shall be conducted in accordance with the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, or any future revision thereof. This shall apply in all cases so long as they are not inconsistent with these by-laws, and any special rules the Chapter may adopt.

ARTICLE XV: ENABLING

These by-laws shall go into effect upon adoption.

 


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