Ontario Genealogical Society  new logoDurham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical SocietyDurham Region Branch 2018  logo

676 Simcoe St. N. — Oshawa, Ontario — L1G 4V7


ARTICLE 1: Definitions


SOCIETY - means the Ontario Genealogical Society (herein called “the Society”).


BOARD - means the Board of Directors of the Society.


BRANCH - means a group of members of the Society who join together for reasons of geographical proximity and genealogical interest, and who agree to be bound by the Letters Patent and Bylaws of the Society. All assets of each Branch are held in trust for the Society.


BRANCH EXECUTIVE - means the Executive Committee of the Branch. (see Article 4)


COUNCIL - means the Branch Council (see Article 5)

ARTICLE 2: Branch Structure



The Name of the branch of the Society shall be Durham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (hereafter called “the Branch”)


Geographical Area:

The Branch’s designated area shall comprise the geographical area within the boundaries of the Regional Municipality of Durham as formed Jan 1, 1974. The Branch is included in Region VII, as designated by the Society.




to promote, encourage and foster the pursuit of genealogy, family history and original genealogical research in the Branch’s geographical area.


to collect and preserve information and related materials relevant to genealogical study; including, but not limited to, books, manuscripts, charts, maps, photos, microfilm, and various electronic media.


to establish and maintain a research collection for public access.


to encourage and instruct members in the ethical principles, scientific methods and effective techniques of genealogical research.


to publish or reprint and distribute such books, bulletins, indices, and other materials of genealogical and/or historical nature of local or regional interest as may, from time to time, be desirable to further the objectives of the Branch.


to issue a Branch publication titled “Kindred Spirits”. The aim of the Branch shall be the publication of four issues yearly.


to encourage and foster the use of computers and the Internet in assembly of and access to genealogical information.


to raise funds for any of the foregoing objectives and to accept donations, gifts, legacies and bequests. Charitable donation receipts may be given by the Society, if donations are channeled through the Society to the Branch.


to support organizations external to the Society, and within the Branch’s geographical area, which have a shared interest in genealogy and family history. (see Article 4.1.3)

ARTICLE 3: Branch Membership



Any person, or institution, that is a member of the Society, and is willing to subscribe to its bylawsand objectives, and those of the Branch, may become a Branch member.


Classes of Branch Membership:


Individual Branch Membership:

Any qualified person may become an Individual Branch Member, and is entitled to all privileges listed in Section 3.3.1


Family Branch Member:

Two or more qualified persons, having the same mailing address, may form a family group, one as an Individual Branch Member, and the other(s) as Family Member(s). Each Family member is entitled to the privileges listed in Section 3.3.2.


Honourary Life Branch Member:

Any qualified person who has made notable contributions to genealogy may be made an Honourary Life Member by vote of the Branch Executive. Such appointment shall be for the natural life of the member, and while the Branch continues in operation. An Honourary Life Branch Member is entitled to all of the privileges listed in Section 3.3.1.


Institutional Branch Member:

An institution, such as a library or society, may be accepted as an Institutional Branch Member, and is entitled to the privileges listed in Section 3.3.3.


Associate Branch Member:

This classification was discontinued by the Society as of April 26, 1997; however, all Members in this class have been grandparented and when paid up continually in the years of membership after 1997, are Branch Members in good standing with rights and privileges of a Branch Member as listed in section 3.3.4.




Individual and Honourary Life Branch Members are entitles to:

a) attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch.

b) vote on any issue at such meetings, including the election of officers, changes to the Branch Bylaws, and approval of the annual budget and fee structure.

c) serve in any capacity on any committee in the Branch.

d) receive, without charge, one copy of all issues of the Branch newsletter, “Kindred Spirits” for the term of membership.


Family Branch Members are entitled to:

a) attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch.

b) vote on any issue at such meetings, including the election of officers, changes to the Branch Bylaws, and approval of the annual budget and fee structure.

c) serve in any capacity on any committee in the Branch.


Institutional Branch Members are entitled to:

a) attend and participate in, but not vote at, all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch.

b) receive, without charge, one copy of all issues of the Branch newsletter, “Kindred Spirits” for the term of membership.


Associate Branch Members are entitled to:

a) continue to keep their grandparented memberships in force upon payment to the Society’s office of the Associate Member Fee set by the Society as well as the Branch annual dues. The Associate Member classification was discontinued as of April 26, 1997.

b) attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch.

c) vote on any issue at such meetings, including the election of officers, changes to the Branch Bylaws, and approval of the annual budget and fee structure.

c) serve in any capacity on any committee in the Branch.

d) receive, without charge, one copy of all issues of the Branch newsletter, “Kindred Spirits” for the term of membership.


Branch Membership Year:

The Branch membership year shall be the calendar year. A new member who joins the Branch after the first day of November in any year shall become a member for the following year.


Branch Annual Dues:


In addition to the annual dues set by the Society for each class of membership, members shall pay Branch dues. Branch dues will be set from time to time, in accordance with Section 3.5.2.


The Branch fee structure shall be recommended by the Branch Council, approved by members at the annual meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose, and subsequently authorized by the Board.


A member who does not renew by the last day of January in a particular year shall cease to be a member, but may regain membership by paying dues for the current year prior to November 1st of that year.

ARTICLE 4: Branch Officers


Branch Officers:


The officers of the Branch shall be: Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Recording Secretary and Treasurer.


Should the office of Chair become vacant during a term, the First Vice Chair shall automatically complete the term of office.


The Branch Officers, together with the immediate Past Chair shall comprise the Branch Executive Committee.


Branch officers having signing authority shall not hold a position having signing authority in another organization with similar interest in family history or genealogy located within the Branch’s assigned geographical area.



Each Branch officer shall be an Individual, Family, or Honourary Life Member of the Society and the Branch.


Election of Branch Officers:


Branch officers shall be elected at the Branch Annual Meeting held in November of each calendar year. If no candidate for an elected office accepts nomination at or before the Annual Meeting, the Branch Council may appoint a qualified person at a later date.


Branch Officers shall be elected by a show of hands, or by ballot, to serve for one year, or until their successors are elected or appointed. Their term of office shall commence January 1st of the next calendar year.


The Chair and Vice Chairs may be elected to a maximum of three consecutive terms.


The Secretary and the Treasurer may be elected for an indefinite number of terms.


No member shall hold more than one elected office as defined in Section 4.1.1 at a time.


Branch Nominating Committee:


Composition of Branch Nominating Committee:

The Branch Nominating Committee shall be comprised of the immediate past Chair and two other Branch members in good standing. If the past Chair is not able to serve, the Branch Council may appoint another member as a replacement.


Slate of Officers:

At a regular Branch Council meeting not later than September in each year, the Branch nominating committee shall prepare a slate of nominees for the Branch offices to be filled at the Annual Meeting. A member of the nominating committee will preside over the elections, taking additional nominations from the floor.



Nominees for Branch offices must either appear in person at the Annual Meeting or have provided the nominating committee in advance with a signed statement of willingness to stand for office.

ARTICLE 5: Branch Council



The Branch Council shall be comprised of the Branch Executive Committee and the chairs of standing and ad hoc committees of the Branch. A quorum shall consist of 50% of the elected officers and 50% of the appointed committee chairs.




Standing committees of the Branch are:

Finance, Membership, Correspondence, Publications, Newsletter, Cemetery, Special Projects, Program, Library, Office Management, Places of Worship, and Publicity.


Ad Hoc Committees for special purposes may be formed and their chairs appointed by the Branch Council. An Ad Hoc committee is intended to be temporary, and will be dissolved by the Branch Council when it is no longer needed.



The Branch Council shall meet at least four times each year between Annual General Meetings for the purpose of organizing, and making decisions related to, regular Branch activities. Meetings will be conducted according to the authority stated in Section 8.1.


Committee Chairs:


All members in good standing of the Branch are eligible to be chairs and participants in standing, ad hoc and other committees.


The Branch Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of Committee Chairs. Chairs may be either elected by majority vote, or appointed by the Executive at the Annual General meeting or at the subsequent Branch Council meeting. At any Branch Council meeting the Council may appoint a Committee Chair to fill a vacant position for the balance of the term.

ARTICLE 6: Branch Meetings


Quorum: Twenty (20) Members of the Branch , including at least two of the officers listed in section 4.1.1, shall constitute a quorum.


Proxy voting: There shall not be any voting by proxy.


Regular Meetings:

The Regular Meetings of the branch are usually held in the months of September to June.


Annual Meeting:

The regular meeting held in the month of November shall be the Annual Meeting, and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, for announcing the appointment of auditors, for the approving of amendments to these bylaws, and for any other business that may arise.


Special Meetings may be called by the Chair or by the Executive Committee. Special meetings may also be called upon the written request of 20 members of the Branch. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. Notice of such meetings shall be given in writing to all Branch members by the Chair, as soon as possible and at least 30 days in advance of the meeting date

ARTICLE 7: Finance



The treasurer shall prepare the budget for the fiscal year commencing January 1 of the following year, and shall submit it to the Branch membership not later than the last regular meeting in the previous calendar year. Following approval by the members, the budget shall be forwarded to the Society.



The Executive Committee shall appoint at least one person who is not a member of the Branch Council, who shall review the Treasurer’s accounts at the close of the Society’s fiscal year. The financial statement and the auditor’s report shall be presented to the members as soon as possible and submitted to the Society by Feb. 28 of the following year.


Signing Officers:

The executive Committee shall appoint three Signing Officers from among the Branch executive. All legal and financial documents pertaining to the Branch shall require the signatures of at least two of the three Signing Officers.

ARTICLE 8: Parliamentary Authority



The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Branch in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order which the Branch or the Society may adopt.

ARTICLE 9: Repeal and Amendment


The Branch bylaws with any earlier date are revoked upon the approval of these bylaws at the Branch Annual Meeting.


Before this bylaw and amendments hereto are submitted to the membership for approval, the Branch Council shall review them with the Regional Director to ensure absence of conflict with The Society’s bylaws.


These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of votes cast by ballot at a Branch Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting called for this purpose. In either case, thirty days notice of an amendment must be presented to all Branch members.


Amendments to the Branch bylaws shall take effect at the end of the Branch annual meeting at which they are approved by the Branch members.

I, ____________________, Director for Region 7 of the Ontario Genealogical Society have reviewed this bylaw (or bylaw amendment) with the Branch Council and have found no conflict with the Society’s Bylaws.

Approved at the Durham Region Branch Annual Meeting, the _____ day of _______, 20____.

Thank You for visiting - the Durham Region Branch OGS.