Bay County, Florida, Genealogical Society

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Standing Rules

We operate in accordance with our own set of standing rules. You can read them below or download a printer-friendly PDF version here.



    Section 1. Categories of Membership

    1. Individual. $20.00 per year.
    2. Household. $30.00 per year.
    3. Organization. $15.00 per year.
    4. Honorary Lifetime. No annual dues are required.


    Section 1. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings shall be held at 1:00 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month, except in July and August, in the conference room of the Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401.

    Section 2. Identification. As a courtesy to guests, it is suggested that members display their name tags at regular meetings. Guests will be provided with stick-on name tags.


    Section 1. Recently Elected. Officers and directors elected for the 2019-2020 term are:

    1. President:                         Mary K. McGraw
    2. First Vice President:            Vacant
    3. Second Vice President:        Patti Menchion
    4. Recording Secretary:           Judy Bennett
    5. Corresponding Secretary:     Cheryl Wisner
    6. Treasurer:                         Bill Zehner
    7. Director:                           Vacant
    8. Director:                           Faye Gainer
    9. Director:                           Caroline Windham
    10. Director:                           DeCody Brad Marble


    Section 1. Meetings. Executive board meetings shall be held at 10:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month, with July and August (optional), at the Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, Florida, 32401. All members of the Society are welcome to attend these meetings, but only officers and directors are eligible to vote.


    Section 1. Standing Committees. The Standing Committees of the Society shall be Archives, Budget and Finance, Extractions, FFBC, FGS Delegate, FSGS Liaison, Hospitality, Library, Membership Services, Newsletter, Programs, Publicity, Tracing Past, and Web Site.

    Section 2. Qualifications. Any member in good standing who is willing to serve may be considered for appointment as a committee chairman. Except for Membership Services and Programs (which are chaired by Vice Presidents), and the Nominating Committee Chairmen shall be selected by the President, with approval of the Executive Board, as needed.

    Section 3. Terms of Office. Standing Committee Chairmen shall serve for a term of two years from the date of appointment.

    Section 4. Duties:

    1. Archives shall:
      1. Be chaired by the Archivist/Historian.
      2. Collect and preserve all items of historical interest to the Society.
      3. Collect and preserve the genealogy and biography data submitted by Society members.
      4. Maintain a Surname file and a member’s pedigree file.
      5. Keep the permanent issues of the Society's publications and periodicals.
      6. Provide an annual report of the Society’s holdings.

    2. Budget and Finance shall:
      1. Contain no less than two nor more than four members. The treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of this committee, but shall not be eligible to serve as chairman.
      2. Prepare an annual budget to be presented to the Executive Board two months prior to the Annual Meeting and to the membership two months prior to the Annual Meeting. The budget shall be adopted at the Annual Meeting by a majority vote.
      3. Plan and conduct fund-raising projects as approved by the Executive Board.

    3. Extractions shall:
      1. Maintain a list of all current projects and volunteers
      2. Update list as necessary when projects are completed, new projects are added and volunteers complete and/or volunteer for additional projects.
      3. Email President and Webmaster an updated list at board meetings if there are any changes.
      4. Have all completed projects submitted to the committee chairperson and chairperson will forward to the Webmaster.
      5. Be sure to save a copy of these completed projects so we have a duplicate.
      6. Solicit volunteers.
      7. Give samples of how project needs to be done to volunteers so it will line up with what the webmaster needs in order to add to the website.
      8. Check with volunteers occasionally to see how they’re doing and if they need help or have questions.
      9. Liaison between webmaster and volunteer if there are questions or missing information.

    4. FFBC shall:
      1. Assist or find assistance for person/persons who seek to make application for certification in the First Families of Bay County, Florida certification program.
      2. Provide guidance to the rules and their interpretation as needed by prospective applicants.
      3. Provide guidance to applicants regarding the methods and sources for requisite information as related to qualifying pioneers for acceptance.
      4. Train and maintain a small group of people suitable for judging applications rigorously.
      5. Judge each applicant's submission and provide guidance if needed, as to particular shortfalls in the application, and methods to correct deficiencies, as needed.
      6. Insure that the application adheres to the guidelines contained in "First Families of Bay County, Florida, Information for Applicants" here.
      7. Maintain a spread sheet for all successful applicants regarding Pioneer applicant's full name before and after marriage, descendant(s) full name, researcher's name and number (if applicable), pioneer's number, descendant's number, application number, year awarded, birth-death dates of the pioneer, and a photo (if applicable).
      8. Maintain a permanent file at the Bay County Library for each applicant for certification.
      9. Provide the Webmaster with appropriate photos for inclusion in the BCGS web page.
      10. Provide a location for the awards to be presented in the summer.
      11. Create acceptance award certificates.
      12. Create a poster containing photos representing appropriate pioneers each year.
      13. Create a handout describing briefly each of the pioneer's lives for the summer session.

    5. FGS Delegate shall:
      1. Act as a liaison between BCGS and FGS. The Delegate will keep their society up-to-date on issues they learn from FGS via the Delegate Digest E-mail and Forum quarterly magazine.
      2. Become familiar with other items we offer that help societies like Strategy Series papers, etc. and keep our society informed about upcoming genealogy events noted on the FGS website.
      3. Keep FGS informed about our society by submitting information to be printed in Forum and other publications.

    6. FSGS Delegate shall:
      1. Act as an information conduit between our society and the state society by reporting:
        • Upcoming Events
        • Political Activities of Importance To Genealogists
        • Publications
        • Announcements
        • And Any News Deemed Important For All Florida Researchers.
      2. Maintain an email address list for our members
      3. Receive email information from FSGS
      4. Forward that information to BCGS members
        • Monthly liaison newsletter
        • Quarterly notice when the FSGS newsletter is posted on the FSGS Website.

    7. Library shall:
      1. Be chaired by the Librarian
      2. Serve as liaison between the Society and libraries.
      3. Administer donations, arranging for the purchase of items requested by the society and members.
      4. Support Publicity with announcements about special area events.
      5. Respond to member queries and requests for research as appropriate.

    8. Hospitality shall:
      1. Provide refreshments at the regular meetings and seminars.

    9. Membership Services shall:
      1. Maintain a current list of all members in good standing and provide an email copy to the President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary,Newsletter, Publicity, and FSGS Chair.
      2. At regular meetings obtain attendance records.
      3. Provide personalized name tags for members and stick-on for visitors.
      4. Provide new member membership card and
        1. Online Information:
          • Letter of welcome from the society signed by the President
          • Email a copy of most current newsletter, The County Line
        2. Online Forms:
          • Volunteer survey
          • Blank pedigree chart
          • Blank "Surnames Being Searched" form for the BCGS surname registry
          • BCGS general info brochure
          • Membership benefits list + BCGS Publication
          • Calendar of events
          • Last quarter edition of The County Line
          • Getting Started here.
          • Starting Your Genealogical Research @ Bay County Library
          • Society Bylaws
      5. Notify members of delinquent dues by January 31 and report such delinquencies to the Executive Board
      6. Create and administer programs to increase membership
      7. Be chaired by the Second Vice-President.

    10. Newsletter shall:
      1. Be chaired by the Editor.
      2. Publish by e-mail a call for articles not later than 45 days before each newsletter publication date, i. e., 15 February, 15 May, 15 August, and 15 November.
      3. Publish and mail the official periodical of the Society, The County Line on a quarterly basis on the first day of January, April, July, and October.
      4. Acquire materials to be considered for publication in the Society periodical(s).
      5. Publish any items specifically requested by the Executive Board.

    11. Programs shall:
      1. Plan programs for regular meetings and obtain speaker(s) for each program, subject to approval by the Executive Board.
      2. Set up the meeting room as needed before regular meetings and restore it after the meeting.
      3. Obtain and arrange any special audio/video equipment needed by presenters.
      4. Provide program information, including the titles, brief descriptions, speaker names, and brief biographical information to the webmaster, the publicity chair, and the newsletter editor not later than 1 March, 1 June, 1 September, and 1 December for the programs to be presented to the general meeting for three months following.
      5. Be chaired by the First Vice-President.

    12. Publicity shall:
      1. Be responsible for publicity and public relations on behalf of the Society, including announcements of periodic events and special projects such as fund-raising activities.
      2. Be in charge of Society displays.
      3. Be alert to opportunities to build support in the community through participation in civic programs.
      4. Generate political or civic support for issues of concern to the genealogical community, such as records preservation.

    13. Seminar Committee Chair shall:
      1. Present date, speaker, and topic information to the board
      2. Acquire suitable venue and schedule it for seminar
      3. Co-ordinate with committee volunteers to fulfill duties as listed on the volunteer schedule.

    14. Tracing Past Committee Chair shall:
      1. Acquire articles for monthly publication by The News Herald from the membership.
      2. Articles should be around 500 words on a genealogical or istorical subject.
      3. Proofread articles.
      4. Add:“title” “author (By)” and “Bay County Genealogical Society”
      5. Email to the News Herald on the first or second week of the month.
      6. Obtain a copy of the published article and email it to the webmaster.

    15. Web Site shall:
      1. Be chaired by the Webmaster.
      2. Create and maintain the official Web site of the Society.

    16. Nominating Committee Chair shall: Be elected by the general membership in the month of September. Committee Chairmen for the 2015–2016 term are:
      1. Archives & Library:          Vacant
      2. Budget and Finance:       Judy Bennett
      3. Extractions:                   Caroline Windham
      4. FGS Delegate:                Bill Zehner
      5. FSGS Liaison:                 Joan Potter
      6. FFBC:                            Bill Zehner
      7. Hospitality:                    Cheryl Wisener
      8. Membership Services:      Patti Menchion
      9. Newsletter:                    Caroline Windham
      10. Programs:                      Vacant
      11. Publicity:                       Cheryl Wisner
      12. Tracing Past:                  Faye Gainer
      13. Web Site:                      Bill Zehner


    Section 1. These Standing Rules may be amended at any executive board meeting by a simple majority of those present and voting.


    These Standing Rules were adopted by the executive board of the Bay County Genealogical Society on 15 October 2005.

    Amended Art. VIII, Sec. 4 by adding subparagraph 10 . “Nominating committee shall: a) Be elected by the general membership in the month of September.”

    Amended _17 June 2006

    Amended Art. III, Sec. 2 by changing individual dues to $20 from $15 per year.

    Amended _19 Aug 2006

    Amended Art VIII, Sec 4 by removing Education and adding FGS Delegate and FSGS Liaison. Changed the names of officers, directors, and committee chairs

    Amended _21 Jan 2007

    Change board meeting place; add hospitality committee

    Amended _09 Jun 2007

    Change general meeting place; add Becky as Director, Shay as Corr Sec, Judy as Extractions (was Publications) Chair, Lanell Matsumura as Archivist, Brandi Barnes as publicity chair.

    Amended _17 May2008

    Updated Officers, Directors, and Nominating Committee

    Amended _03 Dec 2014

    Changed numbering system, added Tracing Past, Extractions, and FFBC Chairmen responsibilities. Updated Chairmen and Membership information to more clearly represent information offered on the website.

    Amended_21 May 2016

    Updated personel

    Amended_20 Apr 2019