Bylaws of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois
ARTICLE I NAME AND PURPOSES
Section 1. Name: The name of this Society shall be the “Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois,” in subsequent articles and sections to be referred to as “the Illinois Society.” The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois is an independent organization associated with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and is subject to the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Society.
Section 2. Purposes: The objects of the Illinois Society shall be to perpetuate to a remote posterity the memory of our Pilgrim Fathers; to maintain and defend the principle of civil and religious liberty as set forth in the Compact of the Mayflower--”for the glorie of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, and honor to our countrie;” to cherish and maintain the ideals and institutions of liberty, freedom, justice, and equality, and to oppose any theories or actions that threaten their continuity. To transmit the spirit, the purity of purpose and the steadfastness of will of the Pilgrim Fathers to those who shall come after us, an undiminished heritage of liberty and law. Our purpose is also to educate and to promote the objectives of the General Society.
Section 3. Mission Statement: The mission of the Illinois Society shall be “To promote Mayflower history and ideals.”
Section 1. Eligibility: All persons who are descended from a passenger on the Mayflower on the voyage which terminated at Plymouth, New England in December, 1620 shall be eligible for membership (as approved by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants), provided however that no person shall be eligible for membership who is pledged to or advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States, or that of any State or Territory, or who has been guilty of other treasonable practices, or who is not of good moral character. The Illinois Society shall have the right to deny or expel from its membership any person who violates the provisions of this section.
Section 2. Membership Procedures:
(a) Every applicant for Membership shall fill out the preliminary application form furnished by the Illinois Society and shall return it within six months of its issuance to the Membership Secretary with the application fee, as defined in Article VIII.
(b) Upon approval of the completed preliminary application by the Membership Secretary he/she shall forward the applicant’s preliminary application to a State Historian(s) who shall issue to the applicant an application worksheet.
(c) Within two years of the issuance of the application worksheet, the applicant must return to the State Historian a completed application worksheet acceptable to the State Historian and which in the opinion of the State Historian is likely to be approved by the Historian General. The proof required to become a member of the General and Illinois Society is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
(d) After approval by the Historian General the name of the applicant shall be submitted to the Board of Assistants of the Illinois Society for approval for membership in the Illinois Society.
Section 3. Members:
(a) Regular Members – Regular members are those 18 years of age or older who pay an annual dues.
(b) Life Members – Life Membership in the Illinois Society may be selected upon payment of a Life
Section 4. Junior Associates:
(a) An applicant under the age of 18 years may apply to become a Junior Associate through sponsorship by a related member of the Illinois Society (see below) or upon submission and approval of the necessary lineage papers proving his/her line. The Junior Associate category terminates on the individual’s 18th birthday. A Junior Associate applicant must be related to his/her sponsor in the Illinois Society by blood through the line through which such member was approved by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. The term “by blood,” in addition to parents and grandparents, shall be interpreted to include uncles or aunts in the same line.
(b) The Member who sponsors a Junior Associate applicant shall request and complete an application obtained from the Junior Associate Secretary. This application must be returned with two copies of the applicant’s legal birth certificate and the required Junior Associate fee.
(c) A Junior Associate of the Illinois Society within a period of one year from his/her 18th birthday, wishing to complete an application for membership to be approved by the Historian General, may request a Preliminary Application form from the Membership Secretary. All normal requirements and procedures for membership must be fulfilled except the payment of the Application Fee is waived at this time.
(d) Junior Life Membership: A Junior Associate may choose Life Membership upon approval of the individual’s Lineage Paper (application) and supporting documentation by the State Historian and the Historian General in accordance with the established procedures for membership as stated in these Bylaws.
Section 5. Transfers: An applicant for transfer into the Illinois Society may request a transfer through the Membership Secretary. Lineage papers shall be accepted from the State Society from which transfer is made. A letter certifying that the applicant is a member in good standing shall be required. The term “good standing” shall mean that the member has paid all required dues and fees.
Section 6. Resignations: All resignations of a member in good standing shall be presented to the Treasurer or the Membership Secretary of the Illinois Society in writing and referred to the Board of Assistants for action. Any member who has resigned in good standing may request reinstatement at any time.
Section 7. Drops for Cause: Any member whose annual dues remain unpaid for a period of one full 12-month year shall be dropped from the rolls on 15 December of the following year, unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Assistants. Before 30 November of each year, the Treasurer will send a final notice to each member who has not paid dues that year. Any member dropped for non-payment of dues must pay all back dues to be reinstated and reinstatements must be approved by the Board of Assistants or petition the Board of Assistants for an exemption of this requirement for good and valid reasons.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF ASSISTANTS
The Board of Directors shall be known as The Board of Assistants. All Officers and Assistants shall constitute the Board of Assistants.
Section 1. Elected Officers and Assistants: The Officers of the Illinois Society shall be: Governor, Deputy Governor, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, one or more Historians, Captain, Elder, Newsletter Editor, Finance Chairman, and Counselor. In addition there shall be up to eight (8) elected Assistants, all of whom shall be members of the Board of Assistants and who may be assigned specific tasks from time to time as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Assistants. The Lieutenant Governors of Colonies shall also serve as ex-officio members of the Board of Assistants vote.
Section 2. Terms of Office: Each Officer and Assistant (with the exception of the Lieutenant Governors of the Colonies, who serve terms designated by their own Colonies) shall serve for a term of one year or until successor is duly elected. No person who has served as Governor for three successive terms shall be eligible for reelection to that office until at least one year shall have elapsed after the end of the 3rd successive term.
Section 3. Vacancies: Vacancies in its own body may be filled by the Board of Assistants for the unexpired terms. Section 4. Past Governors: All Past Governors of the Illinois Society shall be ex-officio members of the Board of
Assistants with vote, provided they are members in good standing of the Illinois Society. Section 5. Definitions:
(a) The Annual Meeting shall be considered the main business meeting of the year, at which elections shall be held. The Annual Meeting shall be the meeting of the Illinois Society closest to Nov. 21, to commemorate the signing of the Compact on the Mayflower November 21, 1620.
(b) The Spring Meeting may be a meeting of the Illinois Society held in the spring of the year, probably April or May. All business, including Bylaws changes, may be conducted at the Spring Meeting, except for the election of officers.
(c ) Meeting Dates – The Board of Assistants shall determine and publish notice of the actual dates of any meetings.
Section 6. Voting for Board Elections: All Officers and Assistants shall be elected by a plurality vote at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Society. There shall be no cumulative or voting by proxy for the election of Officers or Assistants.
ARTICLE IV ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Nominations:
(a) The Board of Assistants shall at its regular meeting in May appoint a Nominating Committee of five members of the Illinois Society. The committee shall name candidates for the offices to be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Society.
(b) The recommendations of the Nominating Committee shall be printed and mailed by the Corresponding Secretary to each member of the Illinois Society at least two weeks before the Annual Meeting.
(c) Any member of the Illinois Society may be placed in nomination for any office by seven members of the Illinois Society. All such nominations must be communicated to the Recording Secretary by written notice signed by the members making the nominations at least three weeks before the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. Elections: Elections shall be by secret ballot, except for unopposed candidates. A plurality vote of the members present shall determine the choice.
Section 3. Assumption of Duties: The persons elected shall take up the duties of their offices immediately after the meeting at which they were elected.
ARTICLE V DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Governor: The Governor shall preside at all meetings of the Illinois Society and Board of Assistants and perform such other duties as pertain to the chief officer of the organization. The Governor shall be an ex-officio member of all committees with vote, except the Nominating Committee. The Illinois Charter and the Governor’s Medallion of Office shall be kept by the current Governor in safekeeping during his/her term of office. The Charter and the Medallion are the property of the Illinois Society.
Section 2. Deputy Governor: The Deputy Governor shall perform such duties as requested by the Governor or pursuant to these bylaws, stand in for the Governor in the Governor’s temporary absence or incapacity or to exercise all the functions of the office of Governor if the Governor resigns or the Board of Assistants declares the office of Governor vacant because of death or permanent incapacity.
Section 3. Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall report any business proceedings of the Illinois Society and shall, in general, perform all duties usually pertaining to the office. The Recording Secretary shall have custody of the Seal of the Illinois Society.
Section 4. Corresponding Secretary: The Corresponding Secretary shall notify members of the Illinois Society and Board of Assistants of all meetings to be held, send whatever notices and communications may be required by the order of the Illinois Society or of the Governor and, in general, perform all duties pertaining to the office.
Section 5. Membership Secretary: The Membership Secretary shall furnish Preliminary Application forms upon request, notify applicants when they have been elected to membership by the General Society, order and complete the certificates of membership, maintain a complete database of all adult and Junior Associate members from 1897
to the present, and keep a complete list of current members up-to-date
Section 6. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall take charge of all funds belonging to the Illinois Society; keep suitable books of account; charge, collect and receive all dues; make all disbursements upon approval of the Governor, and distribute to the Board of Assistants monthly financial statements including but not limited to a balance sheet, a statement of profit and loss, and a statement of cash flow. Additionally, the Treasurer shall prepare a profit and loss statement for each luncheon, or event, sponsored by the Illinois Society. He/she shall provide all necessary documents needed once each year to complete the annual filing of the organization’s federal and state not-for-profit income tax forms. The treasurer shall also provide all necessary documents needed when called upon for an annual audit of the books and accounts. An outside firm may do the income tax filing and the audit. The Treasurer shall be required to supply the Illinois Society, upon entering office, with a surety bond in an amount to be fixed by the Board of Assistants and subject to its approval. The premium for the bond shall be paid by the Illinois Society out of its general funds.
Section 7. Historian: The Historian shall receive and submit to the General Society applications for membership which adhere to the standard of proof required for an applicant to become a member. There may be one or more Historians. In the event there is more than one Historian, such individuals shall hold the office as Co-Historians. Between annual meetings, the Board of Assistants is authorized to appoint an individual to fill any vacancy in the office of Historian/Co-Historian on an interim basis.
Section 8. Elder: The Elder shall serve as spiritual leader, when called upon, at all meetings of the Illinois Society.
Section 9. Captain: The Captain shall carry out all orders of the Governor of the Illinois Society and act as marshal on occasion of ceremony. The Captain shall be custodian of the “Pilgrim maiden” statue, the piece of wood from the Scrooby manor tree, the casket pall, and the plaque from the State of Illinois commemorating the Illinois Society’s 100th Anniversary and any other possessions of historical significance to the Illinois Society. The Captain shall also be custodian of any flags (and flag stands) or banners owned by the Illinois Society.
Section 10. Newsletter Editor: The Editor of the Newsletter shall publish the official newsletter of the Illinois Society on a semi-annual basis.
Section 11. Finance Chairman: The Finance Chairman shall manage the investments of the Illinois Society with approval of the Finance Committee.
Section 12. Counselor: The Counselor shall be a licensed attorney of the State of Illinois who shall render legal advice and opinions upon matters pertaining to the Illinois Society when requested to do so by the Governor or Board of Assistants.
BOARD OF ASSISTANTS AND COMMITTEES
Section 1. Board: The Board of Assistants shall have charge general direction of the affairs of the Illinois Society.
Section 2. Standing Committees: Standing Committees are those committees which remain in service from year to year. Standing Committee members may be members of the Board of Assistants or may include non-Board members with a particular expertise.
(a) Finance Committee: The Finance Committee shall consist of the Finance Chairman, Governor, Deputy Governor and Treasurer. The Finance Committee shall arrange to have an independent review of the Treasurer’s records performed at the end of each fiscal year. The term audit for purposes of these Bylaws, shall include all expressions of opinion, or lack thereof, or management letter issued by an external certified public accounting firm. These expressions may range from the most rigorous (audit) to the least rigorous (compilation). At the August meeting of the Board of Assistants, the Finance Committee will recommend to the Board of Assistants the kind of opinion, or lack thereof, deemed appropriate to be undertaken at the end of that fiscal year. The final determination made by the Board of Assistants must be by majority vote.
(b) Education Committee: The Education Committee shall 1) distribute educational materials as the Illinois Society may develop to schools in Illinois; 2) timely post, and review, educational material and information on the website of the Illinois Society which encourages the study of genealogy and history of the Plymouth Colony; 3) distribute Mayflower and other genealogy books to approved libraries throughout Illinois and 4) review grant applications and make recommendations to the Board of Assistants as to awarding monetary grants and donations to individuals and organizations which support the educational purposes of the Illinois Society.
(c) Program Committee: The Program Committee shall select the venues for the Spring and Fall/Annual Meetings, plan and produce the programs presented at such meetings and initiate and welcome new members to the Illinois Society. The Deputy Governor shall chair the Program Committee and shall select one or two additional Assistants to serve with him/her on the Committee.
Section 3. Special Committees: Special committees shall be appointed by the Board of Assistants or the Governor as circumstances require. Upon completion of work assigned to them, a Special Committee shall present a final report before being discharged.
ARTICLE VII COLONIES
Section 1. Rules for Establishment: Twelve or more members of the Illinois Society, residing in any geographical region of the State of Illinois, may associate themselves as a local Colony for objects that promote the interests of the General and Illinois Societies. Upon receipt by the Illinois Recording Secretary of a written petition to the Board of Assistants for the authorization of such a Colony, signed by at least 12 members residing in such a geographical region and accompanied by a copy of its proposed bylaws, the Board may, in its discretion, formally authorize such a Colony.
Section 2. Name: A local Colony shall be known as “The (place the name here) Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois.”
Section 3. Membership: No member shall be admitted into a local Colony unless previously admitted as a member of the Illinois Society. Any member who resigns from the Illinois Society, or is transferred or suspended or dropped from the roll, thereupon ceases to be a member of a Colony; and it shall be the duty of the State Treasurer, at the direction of the Membership Secretary to promptly notify each Colony of all cases of resignation, transfer, suspension or dropping from the rolls affecting the membership of each Colony. Any Colony once formed may admit, as members thereof, any member of the Illinois Society, whether or not a resident of its geographical location.
Section 4. Officers: Each Colony shall elect a presiding officer, to be designated as Lieutenant Governor, and may choose such other officers as needed. The Lieutenant Governor of such Colony shall be an ex-officio member of the Illinois Society Board of Assistants.
Section 5. Bylaws and Funding:
(a) Each Colony may adopt its own rules or resolutions, provided the same, in all respects, conform to the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Society, these bylaws and to such resolutions as the Illinois Society may adopt from time to time. Annual membership dues shall be paid to the State Treasurer, not to the Colony Treasurer.
(b) The State Treasurer shall pay to each Colony such sums of money as the Illinois Board of Assistants shall deem necessary. Colony Treasurers shall submit financial reports to the State Treasurer as may be requested from time to time, but at least annually.
(c) Each Colony may maintain its own bank account.
Section 6. Suspension or Revocation: The authorization of any Colony and its power to continue may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Assistants for failure to comply with the provisions of these bylaws or for non-use of the rights and privileges of such Colony as defined in this article.
ARTICLE VIII FEES AND DUES
Section 1. Establishment of Fees and Dues: All fees and dues provided for by this Article may be set from time to time as may be necessary by the Board of Assistants by a majority vote. The then-current schedule of fees and dues shall be posted on the website of the Illinois Society.
Section 2. Initial Application Fees: Applicants to the Illinois Society shall submit an initial application fee with their preliminary application to the Membership Secretary. The initial application fee includes a fee for reviewing and processing the application and the annual dues for the first year of membership. If an application is not ultimately approved by the General Society that portion of the initial application fee which covers the cost of reviewing and processing will not be refunded but that portion which covers the first year’s dues will be refunded to the applicant.
Section 3. Supplemental Application Fees: Members of the Illinois Society who submit such additional or supplemental applications to establish lineage to other passengers will be charged a separate fee for reviewing and processing the supplemental application.
Section 4. Dues: The Illinois Society offers two alternative plans for payment of dues. These are 1) annual installment payments or 2) a single, lump sum payment for a life time membership.
(a) Members who choose the annual installment payment plan shall remit their dues to the Treasurer before 30 November of the calendar year in which they are invoiced. These dues cover the subsequent 12-month period.
(b) Members who wish to become life members shall pay a single payment to the Treasurer according to their age in line with the following schedule:
Birth thru age 18
Age 18 and one day thru age 35 Age 35 and one day thru age 65 Age 65 and one day and over
Section 35. Junior Associate Fees: Each application for a Junior Associate shall be submitted with a set fee. There shall be no annual dues for Junior Associates.
Section 6. Transfer Out Fees: Members transferring to other State Societies shall pay to the Illinois Society a set fee.
Section 7. Non-Payment Penalty: Any member whose annual dues remain unpaid for a period of one 12-month year shall be dropped from the rolls on December 15 of the following year, unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Assistants. Any member dropped for non-payment of dues must pay all back dues to be reinstated or petition the Board of Assistants for an exemption of this requirement for good and valid reasons.
ARTICLE IX MEETINGS
Section 1. Regularly Scheduled Meetings: There is one regularly scheduled meeting of the Illinois Society, the Annual Meeting in the fall. Another meeting may be held in the Spring at the discretion of the Board of Assistants. (Both meetings are described in Article III, Section 5 – Definitions, in these Bylaws.)
Section 2. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Illinois Society may be held at any specified time and place at the call of the Governor and must be held upon the written request of 25 members. The object of a special meeting must be stated in the notice.
Section 3. Board Meetings: The Board of Assistants shall normally meet eight times a year – starting with the first meeting following the Annual Meeting in November of each year. These meetings shall take place in December, February, March, April, May, August, October, and November, or at the call of the Governor.
Section 4. Notice of Meetings: Written notice by mail or email shall be given not less than 5 nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting, or in the case of a removal or one or more directors or dissolution, not less than 20 nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting, by or at the direction of the Governor, or the Secretary, or the officer or persons calling the meeting, to each member of record entitled to vote at such meeting.
Section 5. Quorum: At the Annual or the Spring meetings of the Illinois Society, 25 members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. At all meetings of the Board of Assistants, nine members shall constitute a quorum. For purposes of establishing a quorum of the Board of Assistants, members may participate by telephone. In the absence of a quorum, the Board of Assistants need not adjourn but may receive reports and conduct such other business which does not require a vote.
Section 6. Meeting Attendance: All meetings of the Illinois Society and/or the Board of Assistants shall be open to all members of the Illinois Society, unless the Board of Assistants is meeting in executive session.
SUSPENSION OF BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Suspension: Any section of these bylaws may be suspended for a special purpose at any time by a unanimous vote of the members present at a meeting of the Society.
Section 2. Amendment: These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed at any Annual or Spring Meeting of the Illinois Society by a two-thirds vote of members present, provided that a general notice is mailed to each member of the Illinois Society not less than 15 days and not more than 90 days prior to such Meeting that a revision of the bylaws will be considered by the membership at the upcoming meeting. The wording of the proposed alteration or amendment may be mailed with the notice or posted on the official website of the Illinois Society. If posted on the website, any verbal or written request made by a member that the proposed revisions be mailed to him/her will be honored in a timely fashion.
ARTICLE XI DISSOLUTION
Although the period of duration of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois is perpetual, if for any reason the Illinois Society is to be dissolved or otherwise terminated, no part of the property of the Illinois Society or any of the proceeds shall be distributed to or inure to the benefit of any of the officers or members of the Illinois Society. Upon the dissolution of the Illinois Society, assets shall be distributed by the Board of Assistants and/or the elected current Officers to, and only to, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR GENERALS AND ASSISTANT GOVERNOR GENERALS
The current Governor of the Illinois Society shall represent the Illinois Society as its Deputy Governor General when attending any annual meeting of the General Society. If the current Governor cannot fulfill this duty, the Board of Assistants shall select someone else to represent the Illinois Society who will hold the title of Deputy Governor General at the upcoming meeting of the General Society.
The immediate past Governor of the Illinois Society shall represent the Illinois Society as its Assistant Governor General, when attending any annual meeting of the General Society. If the immediately past State Governor cannot fulfill this duty, the Board of Assistants shall select someone else to represent the Illinois Society who will hold the title of Assistant Governor General at the upcoming meeting of the General Society.
An ex-Governor’s pin shall be presented by the Illinois Society to the outgoing Governor at the completion of his or her final year of office.
Adopted November 22, 2014.