Constitution

 ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this Society shall be the OKLAHOMA SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS (State Society). The State Society shall be affiliated with the GENERAL SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS (General Society).

 ARTICLE II: OBJECTS 

The objects of this Society shall be as follows: 

Section 1. To perpetuate to a remote posterity the memory of our Pilgrim Fathers. To maintain and defend the principle of civil and religious liberty for all religions and as set forth in the Compact of the Mayflower, "For the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith and honor of our countrie."

Section 2. To cherish and maintain the ideals and institutions of American freedom, and to oppose any theories or actions that threaten their continuity.  To transmit the spirit, the purity of purpose and steadfastness of will of the Pilgrim Fathers to those who shall come after us, an undiminished heritage of liberty and law.

 ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP 

Section 1. QUALIFICATIONS

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; and all persons, so descended, who are less than eighteen years of age, shall be eligible for junior membership; 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; and the Society shall have the right to expel from its membership any person for any of these causes.

Section 2. MEMBERSHIP CLASSES

There shall be two permanent classes of membership. The previous Life Member and Junior Life Member classes shall continue to exist for those individuals already in those classes, but each class shall cease to exist upon the death, resignation or transfer from this Society of the last member of each class.

(a)  REGULAR MEMBERS: A person over eighteen years of age who elects to pay annual dues shall be a Regular Member. A Regular Member shall have all the privileges of membership and shall be counted for delegate representation.

(b)  LIFE MEMBERS: Persons over eighteen years of age who elected to pay the Life Membership fee became a Life Member under previous bylaw provisions. However, no further Life Memberships will be created after the adoption of this provision. Life Members created prior to the adoption of this provision have no further dues requirement, have all the privileges of membership and are counted for delegate representation.

c)  OKLAHOMA JUNIOR MEMBERS: A person under eighteen years of age who is related by blood to a Regular Member or a Life Member and whose Oklahoma Junior Membership fee is paid shall be an Oklahoma Junior Member. An Oklahoma Junior Member is not recognized by the General Society but is a member of the State Society. Such member shall not vote, hold office, nor be counted for delegate representation. An Oklahoma Junior Member who has reached eighteen years of age may apply for membership in the General Society following the usual application procedure, except that the State Society entrance fee shall be waived. This privilege shall be valid until the member's twenty-fifth birthday.

(d)  JUNIOR LIFE MEMBERS: Persons under eighteen years of age who were related by blood to a Regular Member or a Life Member and who paid a Junior Life Membership fee became Junior Life Members of the General Society. However, no further Life Memberships will be created after the adoption of this provision. Life Members created prior to the adoption of this provision are members with no further dues requirement but do not vote nor hold office in the State Society. Junior Life Members are counted for delegate representation. At eighteen years of age Junior Life Members are automatically transferred to Life Member.​

Section 3. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

a) Every application for Regular Membership shall be made on a preliminary application blank provided by the Historian upon the request of the proposing member. Such application shall bear the autograph signature of the applicant, the applicant’s address, telephone number, e-mail address, marital status, occupation, and any other information requested by the Historian, including the applicant’s proposed lineage. If the applicant is a minor, the applicant’s signature may be made by the adult proposing the applicant’s membership and should include the adult’s signature under it. 

 

b) If, after reviewing the preliminary application, the Historian determines that the applicant is qualified for membership, the Historian shall prepare and issue a worksheet to the applicant. When the applicant has completed the worksheet and collected the documentation, the work sheet, documentation, application fee and the current year’s dues shall be returned to the Historian. Following approval of the worksheet and documentation by the Historian, the Historian shall issue duplicate lineage papers. If the duplicate typed lineage papers are not filled out by the candidate and returned to the Historian within one year after approval of the preliminary application, such approval shall become void, provided that the Board of Assistants may grant an extension of time.  

 

c) A candidate for membership in the State Society may request through the Historian a copy of a lineage paper or copies of documentary proofs from the office of the Historian General. The charges for such copies shall be determined by the Historian General and such charges shall be paid in advance by the applicant to the Historian.

 

d) A candidate for membership shall become a member after the line of descent has been approved by the Historian General; provided, however, that if an irreconcilable difference of opinion shall exist between the State Society and the Historian General as to the eligibility of an applicant for membership, the State Society may appeal to the General Board of Assistants. The decision of the General Board of Assistants shall be final.

 

e) An application for Oklahoma Junior Membership shall be made on an application blank provided by the Oklahoma Junior Membership Committee Chairman. Such application blank shall be filled out and shall be returned to the Oklahoma Junior Membership Committee Chairman accompanied by the entrance fee. The proposing member shall sign for an Oklahoma Junior Member who is unable to write.

Section 4. MEMBERSHIP STANDING

a) A member who has paid the current year's dues prior to January 1 shall be in good standing and entitled to full membership rights and benefits. 

 

b) A member who has not paid the current year's dues by February 20 shall be in arrears. A member in arrears shall not vote, hold office, nor be counted for delegate representation. A member whose annual dues remain unpaid for a period of ten months shall be dropped from the rolls.  

Section 5. RESIGNATION FROM MEMBERSHIP

Resignations shall be presented to the Board of Assistants in writing and, if the Treasurer certifies that the member has met all financial obligations, shall be approved.

Section 6. MEMBERSHIP REINSTATEMENT

a) Any member who has resigned in good standing may be reinstated by the Board of Assistants upon request in writing accompanied by the dues for the current year.

 

b) A former member who was dropped for nonpayment of dues and who desires to be reinstated, shall make a written request to the Board of Assistants which shall grant the reinstatement provided that the dues for the year in which membership was terminated plus the dues and assessments for the current year are paid.

Section 7. TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP

a) A member who desires to transfer to another state society shall make written application to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide the member a certificate of good standing and a copy or his/her lineage papers, provided the Treasurer certifies that the member is in good standing. Such transfer shall be complete when the Secretary is notified by the Historian General that the member has been enrolled as a member of another state society.

 

b) An applicant for transfer to this Society shall complete a preliminary application form as a new member. Lineage papers from the State Society from which transfer is requested and a letter certifying that the applicant is a member in good standing shall be required. The Secretary shall notify the Historian General of the transfer date and State Society number.

Section 8. REMOVAL FOR CAUSE

The Board of Assistants may, upon two-thirds vote, drop any member shown to be prejudicial to the Society and/or in violation of Article III, Section 1.

 ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS AND BOARD OF ASSISTANTS 

Section 1. The elected officers this Society shall be a Governor, a Deputy Governor, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Historian, an Elder, a Captain, a Surgeon, a Counselor, and five Assistants.

 

Section 2. The elected officers, together with all former Governors who are members in good standing of the State Society, appointed officers and the Deputy Governor General and Assistant General, shall constitute the Board of Assistants.

 

Section 3. The Deputy Governor General and Assistant General, who are nominated by this Society and elected by the General Society, and any other General Officers who are members of this Society, and Colony Governors of this Society shall be members of the Board of Assistants.

 ARTICLE V: ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

 

Section 1. A nominating Committee composed of the three most recent former Governors who are willing to serve and who are members in good standing, shall name one candidate for each office to be filled at an annual meeting of the Society. When enough past Governors cannot serve, the Board of Assistants shall elect first from the Board of Assistants and then from the membership the number needed to make up the committee. The most recent past Governor shall serve as chairman; provided if no past Governor serves on the committee, the committee shall elect a chairman. The list of nominees shall be sent to the Secretary and to the editor of the Oklahoma Society’s Mayflower Messenger in time for inclusion in the Messenger that is published prior to the annual meeting.

a) The election of officers shall be held at the annual meeting of the Society, which is held in the even numbered years.​

b) The election of assistants shall be held at the annual meeting of the Society, which is held in the odd numbered years.

c) The Nominating Committee shall submit to the membership one nominee for each elective office and five nominees for assistant. The Nominating Committee report shall be presented for approval by the Board of Assistants at its meeting held just prior to the General Membership at which the election shall take place. There may be nominations from the floor, provided that the member nominated has consented to serve if elected.

d) The election shall be by ballot and a majority vote shall elect. A voice vote may be taken, provided that there be only one candidate for an office.

Section 2. TERMS OF OFFICE

a) Officers shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected. The term of office shall begin just prior to the adjournment of the annual meeting at which the election was held.

b) No officer shall be eligible to serve consecutive terms in the same office except the Secretary, Treasurer and the Historian; provided that if the Board of Assistants determines that a suitable candidate can not be proposed for an office an officer may serve a consecutive term.

c) A member shall hold only one elective office at the same time; provided that if the Board of Assistants determines that a suitable candidate can not be proposed for an office an officer may hold more than one elective office at the same time.

d) An officer who has served more than one half a term shall be considered to have served a full term.

Section 3. VACANCY IN OFFICE

a) A vacancy in the office of Governor shall be filled by the Deputy Governor for the unexpired term of the Governor.

b) A vacancy in any other elected office shall be filled by the Board of Assistants and that member recommended for confirmation at the next membership meeting.

Section 4. An officer may be removed from office at any time by a two-thirds vote by ballot of the members at a regular meeting or a special meeting provided that a 30 day prior notice of such intent is given in the call to the meeting.

 ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS 

Section 1. REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

a) There shall be two regular membership meetings each year: the Anniversary Meeting in the spring held as near as possible to the 2nd day of April, the anniversary of the election of the first Governor of Plymouth Colony; and the Compact Day Meeting in the fall held as near as possible to the 21st day of November, the anniversary of the signing of the Compact in the cabin of the Mayflower. The Governor shall select the exact date, location and time of each meeting.

b) The Compact Day Meeting shall be the annual meeting. At the annual meeting reports of officers and standing committees shall be presented; the budget for the coming year shall be adopted; officers or assistants shall be elected; a program of interest to the members shall be presented; and other business that arises considered.

c) At the Anniversary Meeting reports of officers and standing committees shall be presented; a program of interest to the members shall be presented; and other business that arises considered.

d) Notice of each meeting shall be published in the appropriate edition of the Oklahoma Society’s Mayflower Messenger, which shall be mailed to all members a minimum of 20 days in advance of the meeting. The notice shall include a luncheon reservation form to be filled out, returned to and received by the Treasurer by the date provided for in the notice.

e) If the Board of Assistants determines that an in-person membership meeting cannot or should not be held in a particular year due to extraordinary and exceptional circumstances, the Board of Assistants may cancel that meeting or may provide that the meeting be held via an Internet virtual meeting. To make such a determination each member of the Board of Assistants shall be notified, a quorum is required and a two-thirds affirmative vote of those participating shall be required. Such action shall be made a part of the minutes at the next Board of Assistants meeting.

Section 2. BOARD OF ASSISTANTS MEETINGS

a) The Board of Assistants shall hold regular business meetings on the dates of the Society’s annual and semi-annual meetings. Special meetings may be held at any specified time and place at the call of the Governor, or upon the written request of three members of the Board of Assistants. The object of a special meeting must be stated in the notice.

b) Notice of special meetings shall be given by the Governor or Secretary no less than 10 days prior to the meeting, by mail or email.

c) Matters requiring immediate action by the Board of Assistants may be voted on by mail, electronic mail, fax or by phone or via an internet virtual meeting, provided that the Governor or Deputy Governor deems it necessary. Each member of the Board of Assistants shall be notified, a quorum is required and a two-thirds affirmative vote of those participating shall be required for any action. Such action shall be made a part of the minutes at the next Board of Assistants meeting.

d) If the Board of Assistants determines that an in-person Board of Assistants meeting can not or should not be held in a particular year and the Board of Assistants determines that the meeting be held via an internet virtual meeting, members shall be notified, either in the Mayflower Messenger or by email or by mail by the Secretary at least 20 days prior to the Internet virtual meeting. A quorum of eleven members is required for an Internet virtual meeting of the membership to be held pursuant to this Section. A majority vote of those participating shall be required for passage of any order of business.

Section 3. QUORUM

A quorum shall consist of eleven members at meetings of the Society and five Board members at meetings of the Board of Assistants.

Section 4. VOTING

a) Members of the Society shall be entitled to only one vote at Society membership meetings and members of the Board of Assistants shall be entitled to only one vote at Board of Assistants meetings.

b) There shall be no voting by proxy at Society membership meetings or at Board of Assistants meetings.

 ARTICLE VII: COLONIES 

For geographical considerations and convenience and to encourage participation by members of the Society in Society affairs; upon the written request of five or more members of the Society, the Board of Assistants may authorize the formation of a colony. The name of such colony shall be in the following form: “The (name to be inserted) Colony of the Oklahoma Society of Mayflower Descendants. The colony officers shall be known as Colony Governor, etc. A colony may adopt a constitution and bylaws if desired, after the same are presented to and approved by the Society Board of Assistants.

 ARTICLE VIII: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY 

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the State Society in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution, the Bylaws, the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Society, or any special rules of order which may be adopted. The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall become the current parliamentary authority 12 months after first publication, with the immediately preceding edition governing until that time.

 ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS 

This Constitution, which shall not be in any respect inconsistent with the Constitution of the General Society, may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any Society meeting; provided that a notice of the proposed amendment shall have been published in the appropriate edition of the Oklahoma Society’s Mayflower Messenger, which shall be mailed to all members a minimum of 20 days in advance of the meeting.

 ARTICLE X: DISSOLUTION 

In the event of dissolution of the State Society, any assets remaining shall be sent to the General Society in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The State Society charter and all files shall be returned to the General Society.

Bylaws

 ARTICLE I: DUTIES OF OFFICERS 

Section 1. GOVERNOR

 

The Governor shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the State Society in all matters concerning its administration and operation; shall be the official representative of the State Society; shall preside at all membership and Board of Assistants meetings; shall be the custodian of the State Society Charter; shall have his/her signature on file with the bank for all accounts of the Society’s funds; and shall appoint a Parliamentarian and all standing and special committees.

Section 2. DEPUTY GOVERNOR

 

The Deputy Governor shall exercise all the functions of the office of Governor during his/her absence or disability; perform such duties as requested by the Governor and/or Board of Assistants; and succeed to the office of Governor for the unexpired term in the event of a vacancy in that office.

Section 3. SECRETARY

 

The Secretary shall record the proceedings of all membership and Board of Assistants meetings; transmit whatever notices and communications may be required by the order of the membership, the Board of Assistants, or the Governor; maintain the roster of current members in a manner determined by the Board of Assistants; and be the custodian of all the State Society books, papers, and properties except those specifically assigned to other officers.

Section 4. TREASURER

 

The Treasurer shall collect and take charge of all funds belonging to the State Society; deposit said funds in an appropriate federal insured financial institution in the name of the State Society; keep suitable books of account; make all necessary disbursements as determined by the Board of Assistants; send out dues notices prior to November 1 of each year; prepare an interim report for each membership and Board of Assistants meeting; close the Treasurer's books no less than 20 days in advance of the annual meeting in preparation for the annual audit; prepare a budget for each year based on receipts of the preceding year and present the same to the Board of Assistants at the Anniversary Meeting each spring; and file all reports required by the Federal or State government (such as Federal Form 990).

Section 5. HISTORIAN

 

The Historian shall examine the lineage papers for correctness; report on and have custody of the State Society's copy of the approved lineage papers; have charge of the issuing of work sheets and lineage papers and presenting certificates of membership; have custody of all historical documents and papers of the Society; and report on his/her duties at every meeting.

Section 6. ELDER

The Elder shall, when called upon, officiate at any meeting of the membership; express appropriate condolences on behalf of the Society to the family of deceased members; and conduct a memorial service at the annual meeting for members who have died during the year. The Elder shall, when possible, be an ordained deacon, elder, minister, or bishop of a Christian Church, or a Rabbi.

Section 7. CAPTAIN

The Captain shall carry out all orders of the Governor; act as Marshal on all occasions of ceremony; display when appropriate the Colors, the Society Standard and other flags belonging to the Society; and be the custodian of all meeting equipment.

Section 8. SURGEON

The Surgeon shall have been duly admitted to the practice of medicine; attend all meetings of the Society and Board of Assistants; and be available to perform such duties as may be requested by the Governor and Board of Assistants.

 

Section 9. COUNSELOR

The Counselor shall be an Attorney at Law and shall render legal aid and opinions upon matters pertaining to the State Society when requested to do so by the Governor or by the Board of Assistants.

Section 10. PARLIAMENTARIAN

 

The Parliamentarian shall perform the duties as specified in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised and shall attend all membership and Board of Assistants meetings.

Section 11. ASSISTANTS

The members of the Board of Assistants shall attend all meetings of the Society and Board of Assistants; give advice and render such services as they are qualified and willing to perform; and be available to take charge of and/or be a member of a committee if so requested by the Governor and approved by the Board of Assistants.

 ARTICLE II: DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF ASSISTANTS 

Section 2. POWERS

(a)  The Board of Assistants shall have general charge and direction of the affairs of the Society and all power and authority to conduct the business of the State Society between meetings of the membership, except that of modifying any action taken by the membership, incurring any debt or liability other than the current expenses; or the expenditure of money for which the membership shall be held responsible.

 

(b)  The Board of Assistants may fill vacancies among the officers for unexpired terms, except a vacancy in the office of Governor who shall be succeeded by the Deputy Governor as provided in the Constitution.

 

(c)  The Board of Assistants may, by a 2/3 vote of the members present at any meeting of the Board of Assistants, remove any elected or appointed officer from his/her office if the Board determines that said officer has failed to satisfactorily perform the duties of the office he/she holds. Said officer may appeal the decision of the Board of Assistants to a vote at the next Board meeting and/or a vote of the members in attendance at the next meeting of the members of the Society. A 2/3 vote of the members present at that meeting of the Society shall be final.

 ARTICLE III: DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 

Section 1. STANDING COMMITTEES

(a)  The Arrangements Committee shall provide for meeting places and refreshments for all Society meetings and also for suitable decoration. This committee shall also advise and assist the Governor in providing suitable entertainment at the meeting.

(b)  The Auditing Committee shall examine the Treasurer’s books immediately prior to the Annual Meeting and shall submit a report at that meeting. It shall make audits at such other times as the Board of Assistants may direct.

(c)  The Nominating Committee shall name the candidates for the offices to be filled at the Annual Meetings of the Society.

Section 2. SPECIAL COMMITTEES

The special Committees shall receive and act upon all matters assigned to them.

Section 3. IMMEDIATE ACTION

Matters requiring immediate committee action may be voted upon by electronic mail, fax, mail, phone or Internet virtual meeting when the committee chairman deems it necessary. Each member of the committee shall be notified.​

 ARTICLE IV: DUES AND FEES 

Section 1. INITIATION FEE FOR REGULAR MEMBERS

 

The non-refundable initiation fee for those seeking admission, as a Regular Member shall be the total of the $25 State Society entrance fee plus the amount of the then General Society entrance fee.

 

Section 2. INITIATION FEE FOR JUNIOR MEMBERS

The non-refundable initiation fee for those seeking admission, as a Junior Member shall be $6.

 

Section 3. INITIATION FEE FOR JUNIOR MEMBERS

The non-refundable initiation fee for an Oklahoma Junior Member seeking admission as a Regular Member shall be the then General Society fee.

Section 4. ANNUAL DUES

The dues for a Regular Member shall be the total of $20 for State Society dues plus the amount of the then current General Society dues. No annual dues shall be required of an Oklahoma Junior Member.

Section 5. TRANSFER FEE

There shall be no transfer fee. There may be a charge at clerical cost for providing lineage papers and documentation as determined by the Historian.

Section 6. SUPPLEMENTAL LINEAGE PAPERS

The fee for supplemental lineage papers shall be $150 payable in advance to the Historian.

 

Section 7. LIFE MEMBER DUES

 

Regular Life Members and Junior Life Members annual dues were paid in advance at the time of their admission to membership.

 ARTICLE V: DONATIONS 

 

Since Society officers and board members are not professional investment portfolio managers, it is the policy of the Society to liquidate contributions of stocks, bonds and other non-cash assets upon receipt. This policy should be communicated to a potential donor to ensure that the donor will not be surprised or offended upon liquidation of the donation.​

 ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS 

 

These Bylaws, which shall not be in any respect inconsistent with the Bylaws of the General Society, may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any Society meeting; provided that a notice of the proposed amendment shall have been published in the appropriate edition of the Oklahoma Society’s Mayflower Messenger, which shall be mailed to all members a minimum of 20 days in advance of the meeting.