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GCO symbol Genealogicl Council of Oregon
            Encouraging sharing of information, maintenance of records, and open access to public records

Genealogical Council of Oregon

The Genealogical Council of Oregon (GCO) was founded in Eugene in June 1969 as the Oregon Heritage Council. Its founders were looking to create a state‑wide clearinghouse to avoid duplication of genealogical and historical projects. A continuation of this effort is the annual publication of the “Record Roundup” which lists books being published and projects being researched for publication by members.

In 1971 the Council published its first “Checklist of Oregon Material” and “Researchers Guide to Oregon Laws on Access to Public Records”. In 1972 the purpose of the organization was redefined to act as an umbrella group with official representation from all types of genealogical, historical, patriotic and museum organizations throughout Oregon. In 1973 areas of interest were defined as censuses, court, cemetery, church, funeral home and mortuary, military, Indian and school records, historical sites, directories and newspapers. Open records were a focus with HB 2137, an open records bill studied and supported.

In 1976 the Council printed a directory of cemeteries for all counties. This was the forerunner to the Department of Transportation's “Cemetery Guide”. Also that year the first “Genealogical Faire” was held, attended by 62 people, and a committee was appointed to look into incorporation proceedings.

In 1982 the name was changed to Genealogical Heritage Council of Oregon and in 1985 to its present name, Genealogical Council of Oregon.

GCO's first state‑wide genealogical conference was suggested by President Gerald S. Lenzen, following successful participation in the national genealogical conference in Portland in 1991. That first state‑wide conference was held August 14‑16, 1992 at the Gateway Red Lion Inn in Springfield and was hosted by the Oregon Genealogical Society of Eugene. Since that time state‑wide conferences have been held every other year.

Additionally, biannual meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday in April and October where member societies volunteer to host. These meetings include a guest speaker in the morning and business meeting following lunch arranged by the host society. The visiting format of the meetings allows members to get acquainted with new resources. Members and potential members are invited to these meetings.




A. The name of this organization shall be the Genealogical Council of Oregon, Inc. It is a non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon.

ARTICLE II - Purpose

A. To serve as a statewide organization for educational purposes and for the preservation of family and local history.

B. To encourage the compilation and preservation of genealogical, historical, and biographical records.

C. To serve as a clearing-house through which information may be exchanged concerning projects, programs, and publications of genealogical and historical interest.

D. To maintain records indicating the location and availability of information of genealogical and historical interest.

E. To promote reasonable open access to public records.

ARTICLE III - Membership

A. General membership in this organization shall be open to persons and organizations interested in and willing to uphold the purposes outlined above.

B. Individual members or organizations shall pay annual dues. Dues are due January 1 for that calendar year. Any change in dues amount must be approved by vote of the membership.

C. Each individual member or organization, with dues paid, shall have one vote.

ARTICLE IV - Meetings

A. The general membership shall meet at least twice each year and as warranted by the Executive Committee.

B. The annual meeting of this corporation will be held in April, May, or June, or as ordered by the Executive Committee.

C. The Executive Committee will meet at least twice each year prior to each general membership meetings. The Executive Committee may also meet at other times as called by the president. Meetings may be held in person, by telephone, or by electronic media.

D. Notice of the time and place of holding the general membership and special meetings, together with the purpose thereof will be given by depositing written notice in the United States mail, fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting, sent to the address of each member as last appearing on the corporation’s books.

E. The members qualifying to vote at any duly called meeting constitute a quorum and affirmative vote shall be by majority vote.

ARTICLE V - Officers and Their Duties

A. Number of Officers: The affairs of the Genealogical Council of Oregon, Inc. shall be managed by its officers. The number shall be five. The officers shall be (1) President, (2) First Vice President, (3) Second Vice President, (4) Secretary and (5) Treasurer. These elected officers, together with the immediate past president shall constitute the Executive Committee. The immediate past president shall act in an advisory capacity only.

B. Duties of the President.

1. To preside at all regular and special meetings of the organization.

2. To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the organization.

3. To appoint committee chairmen, and Area Representatives, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

4. To be responsible for publicity and public relations.

C. Duties of the First Vice President.

1. To preside and conduct meetings in the absence of the President.

2. To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the organization.

3. To encourage and co-ordinate the work of the various Area Representatives.

D. Duties of the Second Vice President.

1. To be responsible for publications.

2. To manage various records projects, and the Projects Registry.

E. Duties of the Secretary.

1. To keep accurate minutes of all meetings and mail them, together with notice of meetings to all members.

2. To handle the general correspondence.

3. To maintain a list of members.

F. Duties of the Treasurer.

1. To receive and record any monies

2. To report the financial status of the corporation at meetings and file written report with the Secretary.

3. To disperse funds as authorized by the Executive Committee.

G. Duties of the Immediate Past President.

      1. To provide advice and counsel to the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI - Committees and Area Representatives

A. Committee chairmen and Area Representatives may be selected by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee, or by the Executive Committee, as the Executive Committee shall determine in each instance.

B. Committees may include, but are not limited to: Conference, Historian, Membership, Newsletter, and Nominations & Elections. Members of the committees may be selected by the chairman of that committee, or by the Executive Committee, as the Executive Committee shall determine in each instance.

C. The duties of the various committees and Area Representatives shall be governed by the operating rules of the organization.

ARTICLE VII - Nominations, Elections and Vacancies

A. The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of no less than three members who shall present a slate of nominees (at least one for each office) at the Annual Meeting on even numbered years. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

B. Elections shall be by ballot. However, if there is only one candidate for an office, on motion and second from the floor, the election may be made by voice vote.

C. Elected officers shall serve for two years. Their tenure shall be limited to two consecutive elected terms, except at the express request of the Executive Committee and approval of the membership.

D. Elective offices become vacant through resignation, nonpayment of dues, and/or non-participation on the Executive Committee. Vacancies occurring in an office shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII - Publications

A. In order to facilitate the purposes of this organization, there may be prepared and published a Record Round Up for the general membership meetings. This will be a list of publications either prepared or being prepared on subjects of interest to the genealogical or historical researcher. The purpose of such a list is to co-ordinate information in and about the State of Oregon, including source records, biographies, histories, libraries, Societies, speakers, and others that may be added.

B. This organization may publish a Newsletter of current activities, and coming events.

ARTICLE IX - Amendments

A. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting, provided that written notice of the proposed amendment has been deposited in the United States Mail fourteen (14) days before the meeting.

B. Amendments shall ordinarily be introduced through the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE X - Disbursement Due to Dissolution

A. In the event of dissolution or liquidation of this corporation, all of its personal property, after satisfaction of all of the corporation’s debts, liabilities and claims against it, shall be transferred and paid over to the Oregon State Library Genealogical Collection for the purpose of availability to the public as an information source. If the Oregon State Library Genealogy Collection is defunct or unable to accept any or all of the property of this corporation, the property shall be transferred only to an organization qualified under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Revised 1 April 2000

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