The San Joaquin Valley Colony – By Laws



Section 1:  The name of this Colony shall be “The San Joaquin Valley Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc.”

Section 2:  The San Joaquin Valley Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. has been organized as a local Colony, by means of its Charter granted by said California State Society, for educational purposes and to promote the interests of the California State Society and the General Society in this area.  At all times and in all things this Colony shall conform to and be governed by the Articles and By-laws of the California State Society, as they now are, or hereafter may be altered or amended, together with such actions as may be taken and such policies as may be adopted by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, together with the provisions of the Constitution and By-laws of the General Society not in conflict herewith.


Consistent with this Colony’s intent to remain a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity, its purposes shall be the following:

Section 1:  To perpetuate to a remote posterity the memory of the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers and to transmit the spirit, the purity of purpose, and steadfastness of will of the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers to those who shall come after us, an undiminished heritage of liberty and law.

Section 2:  To maintain and defend the principle of civil and religious liberty as set forth in the Compact of the Mayflower, “For the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor to our Country” by means such as observing “Compact Day” each November, at which time the Mayflower Compact shall be read.

Section 3:  To cherish and maintain the ideals and institutions of American freedom and to oppose any theories or actions that threaten their continuity.


Section 1:  Every member of this Colony, without exception, shall be a member in good standing of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc.

Section 2:  Members of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. who are in good standing and express preference for this Colony are eligible for membership in this Colony.  Anyone who ceases to be a member in good standing in the State Society (e.g. by reason of resignation, nonpayment of dues, suspension, expulsion, or otherwise) shall simultaneously cease to be eligible for membership in this Colony.  No member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. who resides within the limits of the area in which this Colony is formed and who desires to be a member of this Colony shall be excluded from membership in this Colony.


Section 1:  The officers of this Colony shall be chosen from among its members in good standing and shall be as follows: (1) Governor; (2) Deputy Governor; (3) Secretary; (4) Registrar; (5) Treasurer; (6) Chaplain; (7) Historian; and (8) Delegate to the State Board of Assistants.  The Executive Board of this Colony shall be constituted of said eight elected officers. There shall also be a Newsletter Chairperson and a Webmaster Chairperson.

Section 2:  All officers shall be elected at an Annual Meeting to be held during the month of November Compact Day, to hold office for a term of two (2) years, or until their respective successors are elected.  Each two-year term shall commence at the close of the Annual Meeting at which the officer is elected.  All officers except Delegate are limited to two consecutive two- year terms.

Section 3:  A Nominating Committee of three Colony members in good standing shall be elected at the regular meeting of the Colony prior to the November Compact Meeting by a plurality vote of those present at the meeting.  Said Nominating Committee shall nominate a candidate for each office to be filled (if any).  Additional nominations may be made from the floor, provided that the consent of said nominee first shall have been obtained.

Section 4:  Officers shall be elected from among those nominated (either by the Nominating Committee or from the floor) by paper ballot by means of a majority vote of those present and voting at the meeting.  If no candidate obtains a majority on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes will be eliminated; and so on, if necessary, until one candidate obtains a majority vote of those present and voting at the meeting.  If there is only one nominee for an office, the vote may be taken by voice vote.

Section 5:  In case of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the Deputy Governor automatically shall become Governor.  Vacancies occurring between elections in offices other than Governor shall be filled by appointment by a majority vote of the Executive Board, to serve until the next regular election.


Section 1:  The Colony Governor shall preside at all meetings; shall act at all times as the chief executive officer of the Colony; shall appoint (with the approval of the other elected officers) all committees not otherwise provided for; shall attend the Board of Assistants meetings whenever possible; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee; and shall notify registrar of any new members.

Section 2:  The Colony Deputy Governor shall, in the absence of the Colony Governor, perform the duties of Colony Governor, and, in addition, shall, as Program Chair, arrange and obtain speakers and locations for all Colony meetings.

Section 3: The Colony Secretary shall: (a) keep the minutes of the Colony and the Executive Board; (b) email, or mail, copies of the minutes within two weeks after each meeting to members of the colony and the State Secretary. (c) shall email a news blurb to the Editor of the California Mayflower newsletter in a timely manner; (d) compose and email, or mail, notices of meetings; (e) maintain a current roster of colony members; (f) conduct such correspondence as requested by the Colony Governor or by the Executive Board; and (g) email, or mail, a copy of the newsletter to members, as well as, the CA Governor and the CA Deputy Governor North.

Section 4:  Registrar shall (a) call the roll of Ancestors at each regular meeting of the Colony; (b) assist members and prospective members with applications and lineage papers; (c) notify secretary of new members; (d) Notify the State society without delay, of any changes in the vital statistics of members.

Section 5:  The Colony Treasurer shall receive all funds of the Colony and shall deposit them in such bank as may be designated by the Colony.  He/she shall disburse these funds only as directed by the Colony or Executive Board.  In case of inability of the Colony Treasurer to sign checks, the Colony Governor’s signature will be honored, and the bank notified immediately of this situation.  The accounts shall be reviewed annually by a non-Board member appointed by the Colony Governor.  The fiscal year of the Colony shall end each year with December 31.  Each year the Colony Treasurer shall render promptly to the members (as well as to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc.) a full and detailed report of all receipts and disbursements during the preceding year.

Section 6:  The Colony Chaplain shall open all meetings of the Colony with a reading of prayer and shall conduct such memorial services as the occasion may require.  The Colony Chaplain shall communicate, whenever possible, with members who are ill or in distress and shall keep an accurate list of all deceased members.

Section 7:  The Colony Delegate shall act as Colony representative to the meetings of the Board of Assistants of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc.

Section 8:  The Colony Historian shall maintain former records and advise of historically interesting items.

Section 9:  The Executive Board (consisting of all eight officers) shall have authority over the affairs of the Colony between meetings.  Executive Board meetings shall be at the call of the Governor or Deputy Governor.  Five members shall constitute a quorum.  The Executive Board shall be subject to the orders of the Colony, and none of its acts shall conflict with a duly held, lawful vote of Colony members.


Section 1:  Unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Board, regular meetings of the Colony shall be held in May and November (Compact Day).

Section 2:  The regular meeting in November shall be known as the Annual Meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and for such other Colony business that may arise.

Section 3:  Special meetings may be called by the Governor or any officer or may be requested in writing by ten or more members in good standing of the Colony.  A thirty-day notice must be given before any such meeting, specifying the time and place of the meeting and the business to be transacted.

Section 4:  Eight (8) Colony members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings.

Section 5:  The most recent edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall govern the Colony in all cases where they are not inconsistent with these By-laws or the By-laws of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. or those of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Article VII – Dues

          The per capita monies received from the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. shall constitute the dues of this Colony.  No other entrance fees or dues shall be required of any member, except as imposed by the California State Society.  Other money needed shall be raised as decided by the Executive Board of the Colony, in accordance with the By-laws of the California State Society.


Section 1:  These By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any regular business meeting of the Colony, if the proposed amendment has been submitted to all members of the Colony at least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be voted upon.  Unless provided otherwise, an amendment to these By-laws shall become effective upon the adjournment of the meeting at which it has been adopted.

Section 2:  Any amendment adopted by the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc. or the General Society of Mayflower Descendants which affects these By-laws shall be adopted promptly by this Colony.                                                                    


Upon the dissolution of this Colony by such formal action of the Board of Assistants or of the membership of the Colony, or by operation of law or otherwise, the Executive Board shall first provide for the payment of all the outstanding debts and obligations of the Colony, shall deliver all books, records, genealogical papers, and all remaining assets of the Colony into the care, custody or control of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc., if it then is in existence, and if said California State Society no longer is in existence, the Executive Board shall turn over all of said items and assets to the General Society of Mayflower

Descendants if it then is in existence and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but if it does not have such tax exempt status, to some other educational association having such tax exempt status.  No funds, assets or moneys of this Colony shall at any time inure to the benefit of any individual member of the Colony or any other person, nor shall any such funds, assets or moneys be delivered to or divided up amongst said members at the time of the dissolution of the Colony, in as much as the property of this Colony is irrevocably dedicated to educational purposes.


At a meeting of the San Joaquin Valley Colony Executive Board February 2018, these By-laws of the Colony, comprising of 5 pages, were passed by email vote and Board approval: per Governor, Susan Oldfield