Our Constitution

The name of the Society shall be Harrogate and District Family History Society (H&DFHS). Objects:
  1. The objects of the Society shall be to promote and encourage the public study of family history and local history mainly with reference to persons living in or associated with the district of Harrogate in the County of North Yorkshire.
  2. To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archive material.
Powers: In furtherance of the above objects, but not further or otherwise, the Society shall have the following powers
  1. To hold lectures and discussions and organise visits for Society members and interested members of the general public.
  2. To hold and maintain a library of printed and other works for the use of Society members and, where practical, to extend this to the general public.
  3. To preserve source material and transcribe and publish such materials including documents and monumental inscriptions.
  4. To pursue collaborative actions with supportive bodies.
  5. To promote and engage in educational activities including the regular issue of a journal and the publication and sale of other appropriate material.
  1. The Society is a member of the Family History Federation and shall have the power to guarantee its debts in the event of its insolvency up to the sum of £1. The society may also affiliate with other charitable organisations whose objects are deemed compatible and mutually supportive.
  1. Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons showing a genuine interest in the support of the Society’s objectives. Application for membership will be on a prescribed form.
  2. Subscriptions will be payable at the time and at the rate determined by the members at a General meeting.
  3. Fully paid up members named on the membership list, will have full voting rights.
  4. The Committee of the Society may by unanimous vote and for good and sufficient reason suspend or recommend the termination of membership of any member. That suspension to become termination or set aside membership at the next Annual General or Extraordinary Meeting. Provided that such member will have the right to be heard (accompanied by a friend) by the Committee before a final decision is taken by the Committee.
  1. The Society shall be administered by an Committee consisting of not less than 3 Honorary officers which will include Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and at least 5 other people, all of whom must be full members of the Society. A quorum shall consist of 4 people of which 2 are Executive Officers.
  2. The members of the Committee shall be elected annually by the membership at an Annual General Meeting. Nominations must be submitted in writing not less than 14 days before the day of the Annual General Meeting. The Chairman of the meeting has the discretion to take nominations from the floor.
  3. The Committee shall have the powers to co-opt members up to the next Annual General Meeting who may or may not have voting rights.
  4. All Committee members shall be eligible for re-election upon completion of their annual term of office.
  5. A President may be elected by members at a general meeting.  A President's duties will include offering advice and, if requested, to chai the AGM and EGM.  The President will be an ex-officio member of  the committee.
General Meetings:
  1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held during the month of March when the officers shall present their reports. Notice in writing of this meeting and the agenda shall be given to members entitled to attend and vote, at least 28 days prior to the event.
  2. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened either at the request of the Committee or at the request of 10% of the members with prior written notice given to members at least 28 days before the meeting.
Changes to The Constitution:
  1. The Constitution may be altered only at an Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society for which proper notice has been given. Such notice shall include the Resolution setting out the terms of the proposed alteration. The Resolution must be passed by not less than two thirds of the voting membership. Those unable to attend meetings shall have the right to a postal vote.
  1. All income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the objects of the Society as defined in Clause 2. No portion shall be paid to any member. Out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Society can be reimbursed and the payment of approved fees to a speaker may be made.
  2. The Committee shall ensure proper books of account are kept with respect to all income and expenditure.
  3. The Society’s financial year shall commence on January 1st and accounts shall be prepared (in relation to each calendar year) annually.
  4. A copy of the accounts shall be made available to members and presented for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
  1. The Society may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the membership with voting rights either at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting called by the Committee and for which 21 days prior notice is given in writing. If the Society is dissolved, its assets, both physical and intellectual, shall pass to the Yorkshire Group, unless the Society votes at its wind-up meeting to allocate the assets in some other way.
  1. The members of the Committee shall each be indemnified by the Society against any liability claims or demands arising from any action done in good faith by them on behalf of the Society or its members in the administration of the Society and its activities.
Emergency Situation:
  1. If any emergency situation arises which prevents the Society meeting in person the Executive Committee shall be authorised to take whatever steps are necessary for the Society to continue to meet its objectives while the emergency lasts. In particular, the Committee is empowered to hold the Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meetings on-line, and to defer the date of the Annual General Meeting for a maximum of 6 months.