Branch Policy and Procedures

Branch Policy and Procedures

The Wellington County Branch was accredited by The Ontario Genealogical Society (Ontario Ancestors) on  January 1, 2001, and services the geographical area of Wellington County and the City of Guelph. The Branch operates in accordance with The Ontario Genealogical Society Bylaws and regulations. The following policies and procedures provide clarification for the effective conduct of Branch business.

The objectives of the Branch are to:

  • promote, encourage and foster original genealogical and family history research in the Branch’s geographical area;
  • collect and preserve information, books, manuscripts, charts, maps, photographs, microfilms and related material relevant to genealogical and family history study;
  • encourage and instruct members in the ethical principles, scientific methods and effective techniques of genealogical and family history research;
  • publish and distribute books, bulletins, and other material as may, from time to time, be desirable to further the foregoing objects of the Branch;
  • raise funds for any of the foregoing objects and to accept donations, gifts, legacies and bequests;
  • support organizations external to Ontario Ancestors and within the Branch’s geographical area which have a shared interest in genealogy and family history.


  • All members of the Branch must be members in good standing in accordance with The Ontario Genealogical Society Bylaws
  • The membership year shall be the calendar year. Any person or institution that joins the Branch after the first day of November in any year will be credited with membership for the calendar year commencing on the first day of January next following without additional payment
  • Individual, Family and Life Members are entitled to:
    • Attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch;
    • Vote on any issue at such meetings, including the election of officers and approval of the annual budget and fee structure;
    • Be eligible for appointment to any appointive position in the Branch, and to be eligible to serve on any committee of the Branch
    • Nominate a person to stand for office in the Branch
    • Receive one electronic copy of each issue of the Branch Newsletter
    • Have access to the Branch Family History Collection and the Member’s Corner of the Branch website in accordance with such terms as the Council may establish
  • Corporate and Institutional Branch membership privileges are outlined in The Ontario Genealogical Society Bylaws 2010.
  • The Council shall have the right to refuse to admit any person, institution or corporation to, or expel any person, institution or corporation from, membership because of unethical practice in genealogy or failure to pay dues.

Membership Dues

  • In addition to the annual dues set by Ontario Ancestors, members will pay annual Branch dues as recommended by the Branch Council, approved by the membership and Ontario Ancestors.
  • A member who does not renew their membership by the last day of January ceases to be a member, but may regain membership by paying dues for the current year.
  • A member who resigns from the Branch during the calendar year is not entitled to any refund of annual dues for the remaining portion of the year.

Operating Committee (Branch Council)

The Branch Operating Committee, known as the Wellington County Branch Council, shall be comprised of the immediate Past Chair and,

  • the following elected positions:
    • Chair
    • Vice Chair
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer, and;
    • additional positions as determined and appointed by the Council such as:
      • Program and Publicity Coordinator
      • Newsletter Editor
      • Research Coordinator
      • Membership Coordinator
      • Projects Coordinator
      • Social Media Coordinator
      • Member(s)-at-Large
      • DNA-Special Interest Group Coordinator

Each member of the Branch Council shall be a member in good standing of Ontario Ancestors.


Term of Office

  • The Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by a show of hands or by (electronic) ballot at the Annual General Meeting to serve two years, renewable.
  • Elections of the Chair and Secretary will occur on alternating years from the Vice-Chair and Treasurer.
  • Terms of office shall begin at the close of the Branch Annual General Meeting. The previous Treasurer will continue to be responsible for the year-end audit.
  • No member shall hold more than one elected position at a time.
  • Terms of office for all additional positions will be determined by the Council at the time of appointment.
  • The Operating Committee has the right to fill Council vacancies between elections as necessary.


Nominating Committee

  • The Branch Nominating Committee shall consist of the Past Chair and one additional member who will be appointed at the March Council meeting.
  • The Nominating Committee shall present their report to Branch Council at the October Council Meeting


Branch Council Meetings

The Branch Council shall meet either in-person or electronically during the months of February, March, April, May, June, September, October and November. A minimum of four members including at least two of the elected members shall be present to form a quorum for the transaction of business.



Questions shall be decided by a majority of votes. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote. All votes at such meetings shall be taken in the usual way by assent or dissent unless a Council member requests that voting take place by ballot. Voting may be conducted electronically. In the absence of the Chair, their duties may be performed by the Vice-Chair or such other member as the Council may from time to time appoint for that purpose.


Duties of the Branch Council Positions are outlined in Attachment A.


Branch General Meetings

  • The regular meetings of the Branch shall be held on the 4th Tuesday of the following months: February, March, April, May, June, September, October and November.
  • Meetings may be held in-person or electronically
  • In-person meetings will be held either in Guelph or in a location north of Guelph
  • An honorarium may be offered to the speaker in an amount approved by Branch Council. Speaker’s travel expenses may be reimbursed in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency’s reasonable kilometre allowance.


Annual General Meeting

  • Will be held during the Branch’s November meeting and shall include the election of officers, a financial report (current status), a membership report and a summary of the year’s activities.
  • Notice of the Annual General Meeting will appear in either the Branch newsletter or an electronic format at least 60 days prior to the meeting.
  • A call for nominees will be made at least 30 days and again 15 days prior to the election to allow members to indicate their interest or for members to nominate another person for one of the elected positions for that year. Nominations will close 10 days prior to the AGM to allow sufficient time to notify members of the final list of candidates. Whilst operating in a virtual meeting environment, no nominations from the floor will therefore be accepted.


Special Meetings

  • Special meetings may be called by the Chair, Branch Council or upon the written request of fifteen members of the Branch. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. A minimum of two weeks’ notice of such a meeting shall be provided.



  • The Treasurer shall prepare the budget for the fiscal year commencing January 1 next, and shall submit it to the Branch Council at the first Council meeting of the year. After approval by Council, the budget shall be forwarded to the Society
  • The Treasurer shall submit reports to the VP Finance, Ontario Ancestors as required.



  • This document may be amended through consensus by the Wellington Branch Council.



  • The Wellington County Branch Council approved this policy on 17 October 2020.