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Standard Rules

These Standard Rules of procedure for the USGenWeb Project will add to or vary from the rules of parliamentary authority indicated in USGenWeb Special Rules, Section II and will stand until revoked, modified, or properly approved by membership for insertion into the USGenWeb Bylaws.


(Adopted March 8, 2007)

These Standard Rules do not require periodic sustaining when a change in permanent National Coordinator occurs. These rules may be amended or revised by the Advisory Board in accordance with USGenWeb Bylaws, Article VIII, Advisory Board Procedures.


(Adopted February 2003 and amended 24 February 2003)

a. The process for removal of an SC or ASC may be initiated by the Advisory Board on a 2/3 favorable vote of a quorum (9), or by a petition signed by 10% of the voter-qualified CCs of XXGenWeb Project, or by 2 CCs if 10% of that total falls below the number of three (3). This petition must be presented to at least one of the regional CC Representatives for immediate forwarding to the entire Advisory Board. Reasons for removal must be clearly stated. Immediately following a favorable vote by the AB, or upon receipt of the CCs' petition, the National Coordinator shall request the EC to "freeze" the voter list for XXGenWeb until after the process is concluded.

b. Reason(s) stated for removal will be forwarded to the named SC, or ASC, who will have five (5) days to send a response to his/her regional SC Representative for immediate forwarding to the entire Advisory Board. An additional five days will be granted only if the person is unable to respond due to unavoidable circumstances.

c. Regardless of which entity begins the process, the National Coordinator, upon receipt of the response (if any), will immediately send a copy of the reasons for removal and the response (if any) to the Election Committee, instructing the Committee to conduct a vote within the State and within the Advisory Board, simultaneously, asking the question "Shall [Name and Title] be removed from office?" Choices are to be "Yes", "No", "Present". Included with this question will be the reason(s) for removal and the response (if any). The voting period will be 10 days in length.

d. Removal will require, per USGenWeb Project Bylaws, a 2/3 favorable majority vote of a quorum (9 members) of Advisory Board Members and a 2/3 favorable majority vote of a quorum (minimum 75%) of the voter-qualified CCs of that State.

e. No removal procedure may be implemented against the same SC, or ASC, within six months of a failed attempt, unless evidence is presented to the Advisory Board that retaliatory actions are being taken, or attempted, against the initiators of the original action. Evidence that is proven false, may result in the removal of the CC.

f. In the event that removal of an SC, or ASC, is approved, an election to replace the SC will be conducted by the EC. The same shall apply to the ASC if that person was elected. If not, replacement of the ASC will be left to the SC.

g. This policy will go into effect upon passage.


The Election Committee will operate under the Election Committee Procedures. Changes to the said Procedures may be made by the Advisory Board, or may be proposed by the Election Committee, subject to approval by the Advisory Board. The current said Procedures can be viewed on the Election Committee web site at:


(Adopted 17 October 2006 (Motion 06-18))

In the event a request for permission to use one of the USGenWeb Logos in a publication is received, the National Coordinator shall notify the Advisory Board of his/her intent to accept or reject the request. Unless an objection is registered the National Coordinator's decision will stand.

(Adopted 31 May 2016 (Motion 2015/16-8)

County, State and Project Coordinators do not need permission from the National Coordinator to use any of the official USGenWeb Project logos on their social media sites as long as they coordinate the matching county, state or special project.

If the Coordinator leaves the county, state or project, the Coordinator must remove the official logos from the related social media site.


(Adopted 11 July 2006 (Motion 06-13) and 22 August 2006 (Motion 06-13a); amended 9 May 2011 (Motions 2010/11-12 and 2010/11-13); amended 4 Feb 2022 (Motion 2021/22-09)

Introduction: When a conflict arises between two members of The USGenWeb Project that cannot be resolved informally, either party has the option of requesting a review of the dispute by the Grievance Committee. The final decision of the Grievance Committee is binding on all parties.

A - Committee Membership, Qualifications & Appointments.


The Grievance Committee shall consist of five members of The USGenWeb Project in good standing. The Committee must include a State Coordinator, a member of the Special projects, and three County/Local Coordinators who have not served as State Coordinator or in a national level position within the last three years. The National Coordinator is an ex officio member of the Grievance Committee and is not eligible for assignment as the committee member overseeing an accepted grievance. In the event that a member of the Grievance Committee is one of the parties involved in the dispute or has a personal interest in the dispute, that Committee Member shall be recused from involvement with any aspect of that grievance.

In the event that a Grievance Committee member changes positions in the USGenWeb Project during their term, they may remain as a representative of the position for which they were appointed until the end of their term. This does not apply in the case of the committee member's election to the USGenWeb Advisory Board, at which time they would be required to resign and a new committee member appointed after a call for volunteers from within the project to fill the seat.

A Grievance Committee member may be temporarily removed, upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the committee, for unwillingness to serve in the capacity for which the person was accepted, releasing information on a grievance presently before the board and/or not answering three (3) roll calls.

The member will be sent a letter by the Grievance Chair stating the reason for the temporary removal. The member will then be given 72 hours in which to respond. During this time the member will be unsubscribed from the Grievance Committee mail list. If no answer is received then the member will be removed without recourse. If a response is received, after discussion of said reply, the Grievance Committee will vote on whether or not to permanently remove the member.


Volunteers for the Grievance Committee will be required to meet certain minimum requirements for service.

Volunteers must have a minimum of one year's continuous service as a Member in Good Standing of either a State Project or a recognized Special Project of the USGenWeb Project.

Volunteers may not have been a party to a grievance for a minimum of two (2) years prior to volunteering for the Grievance Committee nor be currently involved in a grievance.


The Advisory Board will vote to make the initial appointments to the Grievance Committee after soliciting volunteers for the committee, posting their qualifications for comment by USGenWeb Project members on the BOARD-L, each of the Regional lists, and any other official project lists deemed necessary. Of the initial appointments three (3) will be for two-year terms, and two (2) for one-year terms. The Advisory Board will appoint the Grievance Chair for the initial term for a period of one year.

Future vacancies within the Grievance Committee will be filled in the following manner: The Chair will solicit volunteers for the position, and post their qualifications for comment. Volunteers will be chosen by a vote of Grievance Committee members, and presented to the Advisory Board for approval.

Future appointments as Chair will be by vote of the Grievance Committee members. Elections will be for a two-year term.

B - Committee Business

Two email lists will be established for Grievance Committee business. The first list will be archived, and will be available for all interested project volunteers to subscribe to on a read-only basis. The list will be used to announce committee vacancies/appointments, to request volunteers for open positions, and for discussions of policy and/or procedures related to the Grievance Committee. This list will also be used for Grievance Committee assignments and announcements. No discussion of specific grievances will be held on the public list.

The second list will not be archived and is considered strictly confidential. Only Committee members and the National Coordinator (NC), as ex-officio member of the committee will be subscribed to this list. (The NC will be subscribed in read-only mode.) Any questions or concerns related to specific grievances will be raised ONLY on the confidential list. The confidential list may NOT be used for public business, or in an effort to avoid public disclosure. To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest or impropriety in the case of a grievance being filed against the National Coordinator, the NC would be unsubscribed from the confidential list and another Advisory Board (AB) member will be subscribed until the grievance process is completed. The National Coordinator will not be eligible to vote on matters related to specific grievances, but will have full voting participation in other Grievance Committee business.

C - Duties of Grievance Committee Members.

Grievance Committee members act as administrators/advisors to volunteer mediators and arbitrators, following complaints assigned to them throughout the grievance process. Should a complaint progress to an arbitration hearing, the Grievance Committee member will be responsible for acting as Chair for the hearing. Grievance Committee members will not take direct part in mediations under their guidance, and will not have a vote in hearings they may chair. Grievance Committee members are responsible for tracking the progress of complaints until resolved, and making status reports to the Chair and/or Committee as may be necessary, with a final status report upon resolution of the complaint.

Additional duties of the Grievance Committee include:

  1. Recruit and train volunteer mediator/arbitrators;
  2. Review incoming grievances to determine compliance with Sections F2 and F3 of these procedures to determine if they should be assigned to volunteers;
  3. Review the outcome when a process is completed.
D - Duties of Chair.

The Chair will be responsible for receiving complaints, numbering them, and assigning them to a Grievance Committee member to administer. The Chair will also be responsible for maintaining a list of volunteer members to act as mediators, as well as a list of volunteer arbitrators, and assigning them to complaints as needed. The Chair will make a Quarterly Report to the Advisory Board on the number of complaints received and resolved, and provide other information as needed by the Board.

E - Confidentiality.

Because grievances are considered personnel matters, all volunteers (committee members, mediators and arbitrators) must state that they are willing to abide by strict confidentiality requirements.

Confidentiality begins when the grievance is filed with the Committee. All discussion regarding the issues during the grievance process is to be considered privileged and private, and shall not be disclosed during or after the process by either the team or either party, except as allowed by these procedures.

The mediation process is confidential, and parties involved must agree to uphold that confidentiality unless ALL parties agree to the contrary.

The arbitration process is considered confidential, and parties involved must agree to uphold that confidentiality unless ALL parties (including volunteer arbitrators and witnesses) agree to the contrary.

Members of the Committee must also state that they understand that violation of this confidentiality agreement will mean immediate expulsion from the Grievance Committee and may result in determination of Member Not in Good Standing by the Advisory Board. Once declared as such, the former Grievance Committee member may not serve on the Grievance Committee again.

In the event of a party to the grievance breaking confidentiality, for a first violation, the party will be sent a letter by the Grievance Committee Chair reminding the party that there can be no discussion of the grievance from the time that the grievance has been filed. A second violation will terminate the process and a finding will be made against the violator. If the Grievant is the one who has breached confidentiality, the grievance may not be re-filed in any form.

F - Grievance Process

1 - Who may file: The grievance process is initiated, when a complaint is made by any of the following:

a. A member of the USGenWeb Project, filing on his/her own behalf, within 30 days of incident, or discovery of incident;

b. A former USGenWeb member within 30 days of termination of membership either with the Project, or within a specific State or Special Project;

c. A transcriber or an accepted contributing researcher, within 30 of incident, or discovery of incident.

In the case of two or more individuals forming one party, the group will select one spokesperson to act on behalf of the others.

2 - Types of grievances: The following types of grievances will be handled by the Grievance Committee:

a. Grievances against the USGenWeb Project, the standing committees or Special Projects of the USGenWeb Project, or the USGenWeb Project Advisory Board. Grievances by a State Project or Special Project against another State Project or Special Project. Grievances against USGenWeb Project standing committees must be against the Chair or a specific member of the standing committee.

b. Grievances by a USGenWeb Project member against another USGenWeb Project member who is not located within the same State or Special project.

c. Grievances by a USGenWeb Project member against another USGenWeb Project member located within the same State or Special Project when there is no local Grievance Procedure to follow in that State or Special Project.

d. Grievances against the local grievance project of a State or Special Project having its own member-approved process for resolving grievances.    

1. The Grievance Committee is limited to a finding as to whether the local procedures for the grievance process were followed within that State or Special Project. The Grievance Committee will not re-hear the complaint once it has been handled at the local level.

e. Other specific grievances on a case-by-case basis when there may not be a reasonable alternative at the local level for resolution of the dispute, solely at the discretion of the Grievance Committee as a whole.

3 - Required information: The initial complaint should be brought to the Chair, and must include the following information:

a. Full name & project affiliation of the member bringing the complaint;

b. Full name & project affiliation of the member the complaint is against;

c. The exact nature of the complaint, including the date that the incident occurred;

d. What steps or actions the member has taken to this point, if any, to resolve the situation outside of the grievance process;

e. What actions/reparations that the project member desires as a result of the grievance;

f. A specific citation or reference to the USGenWeb Project Policy, Procedure, or By-Law, or XXGenWeb Project, Policy, Procedure, or By-Law which is alleged to have been violated.

4 - Committee Review: Upon receiving the initial complaint, the Chair will assign it a number, and appoint one of the permanent committee members to review the complaint to determine whether it meets the requirements outlined in subsections 1 - 3 of this section. The review of the complaint will result in an "accept" or "reject" determination from the Committee Member assigned. The recommendation and the reasons therefore, shall be provided to the Grievance Committee as a whole, and voted upon.

The review at this level should assume that the facts stated in the complaint are true, and the determination of the viability of the grievance made based upon the assumption that the complaint is true and a review of the by-laws, policies, or procedures alleged to have been violated.

If rejected, the member filing the grievance shall be informed that the grievance was not accepted and the reason(s) that it was not accepted. If the grievance was not accepted due to the initial complaint not fulfilling the requirements of subsections 1 - 3 of this Section, the member will have ten (10) days from the date of notification to amend or correct any deficiencies in the initial complaint and resubmit it to the Grievance Committee Chair.

If accepted as a viable grievance, the parties shall be so informed and a Committee Member, a volunteer mediator and two volunteer arbitrators assigned. The Chair shall advise the parties of the identity of the members of the team once they are assigned.

5 - Objections: It shall be the responsibility of the parties to the dispute to raise the issue of bias or conflict by a mediator or arbitrator. This shall be done privately to the assigned Committee Member. All claims of bias or conflict must be raised prior to the beginning of the mediation process, and before the mediation/arbitration team members are subscribed to the mail list. If either party objects to more than one member of the team, that party must lodge all objections at the same time.

If an objection is raised to a team member, that member or members shall be dismissed and a new team member or members assigned without the necessity for any proof of bias or prejudice. The identity of the party raising the objection shall not be revealed to any team member. The replacement team member(s) will be the final members of the team and will then be subscribed to the mail list unless the opposing side lodges an objection to a replacement member. Once the team is seated on the list and the process initiated, no further objection may be raised as to partiality, bias, or conflict, and a team member may only be removed on his or her own request.

There can be no objection filed against the Grievance Committee Representative as that person is there to aid the mediator and arbitrators in the rules of the Grievance Committee and does not take an active part in the mediation/arbitration processes.

6 - The duties and responsibilities of the team shall be:

a. To provide a full and fair opportunity for both parties to present their side of the dispute and present relevant material in support of their position.

b. To review the material provided by both parties, to ask questions of the parties, and seek clarification to further understand the issues in dispute.

c. To assist the parties in identifying the source of the dispute, the options for resolution, common ground between the parties, and to explore the possibility of an amiable agreement for resolution of the dispute that will benefit both parties and The USGenWeb Project.

d. To notify the Grievance Committee that mediation has been successful and the exact nature of the agreement the parties have come to and have agreed to abide by, or

e. To notify the Grievance Committee that mediation has not been successful.

7 - Mediation: When the team is seated, the parties shall be so advised by the Mediator. The parties shall have seventy-two (72) hours to submit to the Mediator a written statement of their position on the issues of the dispute. The mediator shall provide the position statements to the team members for their review. Upon receipt of the position statements, the volunteer arbitrators shall be unsubscribed from the discussion list during the mediation process.

The issues raised in the initial complaint and in the position statements of the parties shall be the sole issues for discussion in either mediation or arbitration. Prior precedent may be considered, but issues not raised in the complaint or in the position statements will not be considered.

The mediator may meet with each party separately, discussing the issues raised and prompting suggestions for a solution, short of the party receiving their requested goal that would be acceptable. All correspondence will be accessible to the permanent committee member.

If an amicable agreement is achieved between the parties in the mediation process, the members of the team shall retire to closed session to ensure that the resolution is appropriate in view of the goals and requirements of The USGenWeb Project. If no conflict is found, the resolution agreement will be forwarded to the Grievance Chair with a recommendation for approval, and the parties so notified by the mediator. If the resolution agreement is not consistent with the goals and requirements of The USGenWeb Project after review in closed session, the team will reconvene with the parties for further discussion.

Mediation will continue until the matter is resolved, or until it is apparent to the mediator that there will be no resolution forthcoming, but for a period of no more than ten (10) days once mediation has begun without approval of the Grievance Committee. The mediator may request additional time from the Grievance Committee if it is the opinion of the team that a resolution is at hand.

If, after the mediator has worked with both parties for a reasonable amount of time, and the mediator determines that the movement of one or both parties will not be sufficient to produce a mediated resolution, the mediation process is terminated. The Mediator will make a final recommendation to the Chair as to whether the matter should proceed to arbitration or whether the matter should be closed. The Committee must vote on a recommendation to close the grievance without proceeding to arbitration.

Failure of either party to proceed with mediation in good faith is grounds for terminating the process.

8 - Arbitration: If the mediation process fails, and the grievant wishes to continue with the complaint, the mediator will advise the volunteer arbitrators. The mediator and the arbitrators, along with the overseeing committee member, will conduct the arbitration hearing, with the committee member acting as a non-voting chair.

The volunteer arbitrators will be re-subscribed to the mail list and both parties to the grievance will remain subscribed to the list. Both parties will be given the opportunity to present statements or evidence. The volunteer arbitrators may request additional information if they feel it is necessary, and may ask further questions of the parties involved.

After hearing both sides of the issue, the parties shall be given an additional seventy-two (72) hours to provide to the chair a written summation of their position in view of the discussions held.

The chair will provide these summations to each member of the team. The team shall retire to closed session and decide on a recommended course of action to be taken by the parties to resolve the dispute. The arbitrators may find for either party, or reach a decision that is a compromise between the two positions.

The burden of proof of a violation of the by-law, policy, or procedure cited in the initial complaint is on the person making the allegation. The decision of the arbitration team will be based on the information and evidence submitted and applicable USGenWeb and XXGenweb Project by-laws. Failure of either party to participate in the arbitration process will result in the decision being made against the non-participating party in accordance with the information presented.

The recommendation of the Arbitration Team shall be submitted to the Chair for approval of the Grievance Committee. Upon approval, a written decision will detail to the parties the findings of the Team and the actions to be taken by the parties in light of the findings.

The decision of the Arbitration Team becomes the final resolution of the dispute upon approval of their recommendation by the Grievance Committee. Failure of either party or other USGenWeb Project member to comply with the decision is a violation of the USGenWeb Project Bylaws and subject to action by the USGenWeb Advisory Board.

9 - Appeals: A party aggrieved by a decision of the Grievance Committee may make an appeal to the USGenWeb Project Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will review the appeal to determine if the Grievance Procedures were followed as set out herein. An appeal to the Advisory Board is not a rehearing of the issues and the outcome is either to affirm the determination made by the Grievance Committee, or a return to the Grievance Committee for reconsideration.

The decision in a grievance may be appealed only once and that appeal must be filed within 15 days of the decision made by the Grievance Committee. A notice of intent to file does not change the 15 day deadline for filing the actual appeal.

A decision by the Committee to reject a grievance may not be appealed if the Grievant breaks the confidentiality procedures.


(Adopted March 8, 2007)

Effective with the Advisory Board term beginning 1 September 2007, when a motion is presented to the assembly by the Presiding Officer, the motion will be numbered in this format:

a. Four Position Term Year Start, ex. 2007.

b. Two Position Term Year End, ex. /08.

c. Sequential number starting with -01.

d. Example: 2007/08-12 represents term year beginning in September 2007 and ending in August 2008 and it's the 12th motion of the term.


(Adopted March 8, 2007)

In the event the Project is offered a donated membership in the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), or other national professional non-profit genealogical organizations, the National Coordinator shall notify the Advisory Board of his/her intent to accept or reject the donation. Unless an objection is registered the National Coordinator's decision will stand.


(Adopted March 8, 2007)

In the temporary absence of the Presiding Officer/National Coordinator (NC) for a period of less than ninety days the Representative at Large (RAL) will act as the Presiding Officer. In the temporary absence of both the NC and the RAL, either the NC or the RAL will designate another member of the Advisory Board to be the Acting Presiding Officer.


(Adopted 8 March 2007; Amended 10 August 2008 (3); Amended 26 January 2021 (Motion 2020/21-09))

A. National Coordinator. USGenWeb Bylaws Article VI, Section G. applies along with the following:

1. A permanent absence occurs when:

a. the position was not filled in the last election, or

b. the incumbent resigned, or died, or

c. the incumbent has not communicated with any other Advisory Board Member for a period of 15 days, and has not arranged for a temporary absence, or

d. an arranged temporary absence has exceeded ninety days.

2. When any of the above events occur, the Representative at Large (RAL) will immediately become the Acting National Coordinator. If the RAL is unavailable, for any reason, the remaining members of the Advisory Board will immediately select an Acting National Coordinator from among their number.

3. Within seven days of discovery of the absence, the Acting National Coordinator will declare the position vacant and the Advisory Board will vote to confirm the vacancy. Upon affirmative vote confirming the vacancy, the Acting National Coordinator will announce the vacancy on the ANNOUNCEMENTS Mailing List.

4. Replacement.

a. Within seven days of a confirmed vacancy, the Advisory Board will take the following action:

i. If the vacancy is confirmed before 4 March, the Acting National Coordinator will notify the Election Committee to conduct a Special Election for a National Coordinator to be effective immediately through 31 August.

ii. If the vacancy is confirmed on or after 4 March, the Advisory Board will elect, from the Advisory Board membership, an Acting National Coordinator to be effective immediately through 31 August.

B. All Other Advisory Board Positions. USGenWeb Bylaws Article VI, Section H. and Standard Rule Article XIV applies along with the following:

1. When a vacancy is confirmed prior to 15 May:

a. in the first year of a two-year term, the Advisory Board will appoint someone to fill the vacancy to serve until the next Scheduled National Election when the membership will elect a candidate to complete the unexpired term.

b. In the second year of a two-year term, the Advisory Board will appoint someone to serve until the expiration of the term.

2. When a vacancy is confirmed on or after 15 May:

a. In the first year of a two-year term, the Election Committee will conduct a Special Election to elect a candidate to complete the unexpired term.

b. In the second year of a two-year term, the position will remain vacant until it is filled in the next Scheduled National Election.

3. The Presiding Officer will notify the Election Committee of a confirmed vacancy position, the term expiration date, and the requirement for the position to appear on the ballot of a Special Election or in the next Scheduled National Election.

4. Within five days after the Advisory Board confirms a vacancy they are required to fill by temporary appointment, the Presiding Officer will publish on the BOARD and ANNOUNCEMENTS Mailing Lists, a Call for Volunteers interested in filling the vacant position.

5. The Call for Volunteers will include:

a. Vacant position's title and original term expiration date.

b. Project Bylaws and Standard Rules authorities.

c. Due date to submit an application to any member of the Advisory Board. This date will be fifteen days from date of the Call.

d. Any additional information or requirement providing they are not in conflict with Project Bylaws/Rules.

6. Within ten days of the Call for Volunteers due date, the Advisory Board will elect a replacement for the vacated position to be seated immediately. The Presiding Officer will post the results on the ANNOUNCEMENTS Mailing List.


(Adopted February 10, 2007)


It is the policy of the USGenWeb Project that a member, where duly qualified, may cast only one vote per office, or per question in polls. In the event a member registers to vote more than one time the procedures as outlined in the Election Committee (EC) guidelines will be followed.

Section A. In the event the EC, per its current standard rules/procedures, reports a possible case of fraudulent registration to the National Coordinator (NC)/Advisory Board (AB), the following steps will be taken:

a. The NC will assign a sequential number to the report and send it to the complete AB.

b. The NC will notify the appropriate State/Assistant State Coordinators, Special Project Coordinators, and individual(s) named in the report.

Section B. The NC will seek a volunteer from the AB to lead the investigation. If there are no volunteers the NC will lead the investigation or appoint an AB member. All parties involved will be given the opportunity to provide input. All documentation will be collected by the leader only.

Section C. The person(s) being investigated will be accorded the benefit of doubt if reasonable explanations are proffered, and they will be given the opportunity for review and comment at each point of the investigation.

Section D. Based on discussion of the findings, the AB shall determine by vote whether the individual(s) shall be removed from the Registered Voter List, and whether any additional sanctions should be imposed on the individual(s), up to and including expulsion from the Project.

Section E. The NC shall advise all involved parties of the AB's determination via e-mail, with a copy to the Board-Exec mailing list. Said parties shall include those State and/or Special Project Coordinators whose Project Membership may be affected by the AB determination.

Section F. In the event a possible case of Fraudulent Registrations or suspected case of aliases is reported to the NC or AB member by an individual (he/she being required to provide a convincing statement or sufficient documentation in support of the claim to justify the need for investigation) the following steps will be taken:

a. The AB member receiving notification of a possible fraudulent registrations situation and/or suspected case of aliases will ask the notifying individual if he/she will agree to the disclosure of his/her name. If so, the AB member will forward the eMail to the NC and Board-Exec mailing list. If not. the AB member will remove all identification of the sender from the eMail and forward the eMail to the Board-Exec mailing list and forward a full copy of the eMail to the NC.

b. The NC shall notify the EC of the situation and ask the EC to check its files for possible multiple voter registrations and for any information the EC may have that has a bearing on the reported situation.

c. Section 1.a. through Section 5. will be followed.

These Standard Rules of procedure for the USGenWeb Project will add to or vary from the rules of parliamentary authority indicated in USGenWeb Special Rules, Section II and will stand until revoked, modified, or properly approved by membership for insertion into the USGenWeb Bylaws.

XI: Motion 2008/09-04: 'Webmaster Qualifications'.

(Added Monday, 03 Nov 2008, Revised 20 Dec 2009)


A: The USGenWeb Advisory Board (AB) will appoint the website manager and an assistant website manager, if any, from the Project membership applications, to maintain the USGenWeb National website. The website manager and assistant, if any, serve as trusted technical assistants to the Advisory Board. In addition, one AB member will be appointed to work with and act as a liaison between the AB and the website manager and any website manager assistant to ensure that the National site is in compliance with the Project by-laws and that the duties outlined in this document are fulfilled. The National Coordinator (NC) will also work with the website manager and any website manager assistant to ensure that their responsibility for day-to-day operational management of the project site is fulfilled.

B: Selection of the Webmaster - The USGenWeb Advisory Board (AB) shall issue a call to the Project at the beginning of the last two weeks of August, each year, for volunteers to fill the position of Website Manager. The slate of applicants for this position, received by the current AB prior to the expiration of their term on September 1 of each year, shall be provided to the newly seated Advisory Board for their consideration.

The qualifications for both positions are:

a. The individual must have been a member in good standing of the USGenWeb Project for a minimum of 6 months.

b. The individual must have a strong demonstrated knowledge of HTML, CSS (cascading style sheets), SSI (server side includes), and FTP software.

c. The individual must be able to devote approximately 8 to 24 hours per month to their duties as webmaster, spread out across the month.

d. The individual must respond to requests for updates in a timely manner. This is defined by responding to the request within 48 hours and completing the requested update within one week. These time limits do not apply if the webmaster and/or assistant have notified the board they will be unavailable for a period of time or if there are extenuating circumstances such as a natural disaster in the area where the webmaster and/or assistant reside. The second limit does not apply if the scope of the change is large and if the webmaster or assistant have notified the board that it will take longer. If the webmaster or assistant have notified the board it will take longer than the stated week, they must provide an expected completion date for the change.

e. Additional knowledge and/or skills such as php, databases and search engine optimization may be desirable but are not required.

C: Duties & Responsibilities of the website manager and assistant website manager:

a. Makes website changes requested by the advisory board or the National Coordinator. Changes may include, but are not limited to adding additional or updated links, updating the identity of committee members and/or state SCs or ASCs and formatting and posting of committee minutes.

b. Finding and correcting broken or erroneous links by running a link checker monthly.

c. Reviewing server logs for errors and taking any needed corrective action.

d. Keeping a log of all changes made to or other actions taken in regards to the National site. This log must be available for review by the AB members at all times.

e. Watching, reporting on and taking steps to improve the performance of the National site's performance.

f. Receiving reports on website problems from site visitors, pro-actively detecting problems that arise whenever practical and reporting the problems to the web host provider, either directly or through the designated process in place at the time, and work with their support organization to correct the problems.

g. Providing quarterly reports to the AB regarding the site and actions taken and changes made by the webmaster and/or assistant.

h. Notify the assistant/assistant webmaster, AB representative and NC if they will be unavailable for periods of more than 48 hours so that others can cover the duties and complete any necessary updates.

D: Responsibility of the NC or Designated Individual with Control Panel Access:

a. Provide the codes/passwords to the webmaster, assistant webmaster and the AB representative so the stated responsibilities can be carried out.

b. If the webmaster and assistant don't have direct access to site error logs, do whatever is required to make them available to the webmaster and assistant so that their duties can be carried out.

c. If the webmaster and assistant don't have direct access to the support organization of the webhosting service, serve as the interface to report problems to the web hosting service and in working with their support organization to correct them.

E: General Requirements:

a. The financial information of the account holder must be protected at all times.

b. The website must be designed such that it is portable between web hosting services in the event that a move is necessary or desirable.

c. The ability to hand code a site in HTML format is not necessary. Pages may be created using website designing software, but the software must not be specific to the web host, causing the transfer of the site to be impossible, nor should the software insert scripts that are not portable between web design applications.

d. The webmaster and/or assistant webmaster may be replaced for failure to comply with Sections B and C, above.

e. The webmaster and assistant webmaster will only be granted ftp access to those portions of the National site for which the Advisory Board have assigned them responsibility.


(Adopted 25 February 2017 (Motion 2016/17-03) )

A: No later than 30 September, each year, the National Coordinator will present to the Advisory Board a potential candidate, or candidates, for the Secretary; then, no later than 15 October the Advisory Board will vote to appoint a Secretary to be under the direction of the Advisory Board Presiding Officer until 31 August of the following year.

B: In the event there are no candidates, the National Coordinator will appoint the Secretary from among the standing Advisory Board Representatives.


A. Together with The USGenWeb Project Bylaws II.B., IV.A. and VII.F., members are identified by these Positions developed by State and Project Leadership and the Election Committee through the Election Committee Procedures:

1. SC - State Coordinator for XXGenWeb Project;
2. ASC - Assistant State Coordinator;
3. CO-SC - One of two or more members who share responsibility as State Coordinator;
4. CC - County Coordinator: A member who maintains a county website for an XXGenWeb;
5. ACC - Assistant County Coordinator.
6. CO-CC - One of two or more members who share responsibility as County Coordinator;
7. TC - Town Coordinator: Maintains a website devoted to a Township, Town, or City for an XXGenWeb;
8. LC - Local Coordinator: Maintains a website devoted to a project of XXGenWeb other than a Township, Town, or City, for example; ethnic migration, historical, military, etc.;
9. SFM - State File Manager for the Archives Project;
10. FM - County File Manager for the Archives Project;
11. PC - National Project Coordinator for a recognized Special Project;
12. LPC - Local Project Coordinator: Maintains a website for a recognized Special Project other than the State Archives Project. Sites may be organized by state, county, a geographic or historical region, a particular time period; or whatever hierarchy is used by the Special Project;
13. Look-Up Volunteer (non-voting - Bylaw VII.F.); and
14. Transcriber (non-voting - Bylaw VII.F.)."


Adopted 22 October 2018 (Motion 2018/19-01); Amended 26 January 2021 (Motion 2020/21-09))

A. An elected Advisory Board position will be declared vacant by the National Coordinator and confirmed by the Advisory Board under any one of the following conditions:

1. A member or member spokesperson submits a resignation to the National Coordinator.

2. Notification from a member spokesperson, or discovery by the National Coordinator, that a member has died.

3. A member or member spokesperson has not communicated with the National Coordinator or any other Advisory Board member for a period of 15 days without a previous arrangement for temporary absence.

4. The last election for a member position did not have a nominee.

5. A currently seated Advisory Board member is elected or appointed to a different Advisory Board position.

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The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy Online

Contact the National Coordinator for administrative-type comments, suggestions, questions, and concerns about the USGenWeb Project. When applicable, please provide the location of a specific website within the USGenWeb Project.

Contact the USGenWeb Web Management Team for technical comments, suggestions, questions, and concerns about the USGenWeb Project website. When applicable, please provide the location of a specific page of the USGenWeb Project website.