Constitution and ByLaws

SEPTEMBER 17, 1977. SEPTEMBER 18, 1982,
SEPTEMBER  21, 1996, SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 AND SEPTEMBER 21, 2013.



The name of this association shall be The Rich Family Association, hereinafter referred to as the Association.


The purpose and objectives of this Association shall be to discover, procure, and preserve whatever may relate to the Rich Family in America; to procure and maintain collections of photographs, records, heirlooms, etc., relating to the Rich Family; to encourage study and research relating to the Rich Family; and to disseminate information thereon; to support scholastic achievement, and historical museum activities; to erect and maintain suitable memorial monuments; and to acquire and maintain real estate for these purposes.


Membership in this Association shall be open to persons who have a Rich Family name in its various spellings and origins, who are descended from a Rich Family, or who are married to a person descended from a Rich Family.

Membership classifications shall be: active, life, honorary, and such other classes of membership as the Board of Directors may constitute.


The officers of this Association shall be of two categories, elected and appointed.  Elected officers shall be a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. Appointed officers shall be an honorary president, state representatives, an editor, a genealogist, and such others as may be determined by the Board of Directors. All officers shall be voting members in good standing.


There shall be a Board of Directors composed of the elected officers and ten directors elected from the membership.   The appointed officers shall be eligible to attend all meetings of the Board of Directors with voice but without vote.  All members of the Board of Directors shall be voting members in good standing.


The officers shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast by the voting members at an annual election to be held at the Annual Meeting of the Association.

A vacancy among any of the elected officers during their term of office shall be filled by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Directors.  The newly elected officer shall hold office until the following annual election, at which time said officer will be eligible for reelection.


A meeting of the Association shall be held at least annually.  The authority to call additional meetings is vested in the Board of Directors


The authority to levy dues and assessments and to receive funds from these and other proper sources shall be vested in the Board of Directors.

Life and Honorary Members shall pay no annual dues

The Board of Directors may establish such reserve or endowment funds as it may decide to establish, and it shall formulate plans and regulations, authorize depositories and appoint custodians of such funds as may be accumulated from dues or received by donation from any source.  Such funds will be maintained by the Treasurer.  An annual report of these funds will be presented at the annual meeting of the Association and published in KINFOLK.


An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by any voting member who shall submit such proposed amendment in writing to the Secretary.

The Secretary shall send a copy of the proposed amendment to each member of the Board of Directors.

If approved by two thirds of the members of the Board of Directors voting, the proposed amendment shall then be submitted to the membership, and such amendment shall become effective if approved by a majority of the voting members at a meeting, or, in the event of a mail or electronic ballot, by a majority of the voting members who have returned ballots thereon within the designated time limit.  If an amendment is approved, the Secretary has the authority to incorporate it into the Constitution, and make necessary corrections to other articles to which it may refer, without alteration of the basic meaning of the corrected articles. 


Upon the dissolution of the Association, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all the assets of the corporation by conveying or otherwise appropriately transferring title to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, so long as said organization qualifies on the date of said transfer as an exempt organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue Law).


1.                  An Auditor shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. The Auditor shall not be a financial officer of the Association. If needed, additional members may be appointed to an Audit Committee to assist the Auditor.

2.                  The Auditor shall examine the records of the Treasurer and any other financial officers as of the last day of the calendar year and to coincide with the Corporation Tax returns to the IRS and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

3.                  The audit shall be completed within thirty days following the tax return due date  and its report filed with the Secretary who shall send a copy to each member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall review the report at the annual board meeting and  present it to the annual membership meeting. An additional audit shall be performed if a different individual assumes the office of treasurer or other financial officer prior to the normal time of auditing.





1. Active membership shall be available to all eligible persons upon submission of an application on forms provided by the Association and upon payment of annual dues as determined by the Board of Directors.

2. Life membership shall be available to active members who shall contribute a life membership fee in an amount to be determined by Board Directors.   Life Members shall enjoy all the privileges of Active Membership but shall not pay annual dues. Life membership is conferred only upon an individual and is not transferable to any other person or entity. If the life member does not either 1). contribute to the Association, or 2). attend the annual reunion, or 3). keep the Association advised of updated contact information for a period of three years, the board of directors shall suspend the life member.

3. Honorary membership may be conferred by the Board of Directors on any person who has made a distinguished contribution to the Association but who is not eligible for Active Membership.

4. Only Annual and Life members shall be entitled to vote, to hold office, and to attend the business sessions of the Association.

5. A member in any category may be suspended or expelled by the Board of Directors for conduct which, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, is or has been detrimental to the Association. Such member must be provided with written notice of the proposed action and the time and place of the Board of Directors meeting at least thirty days prior to such meeting.  The said member shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appear at such meeting and be heard.


1. Elected officers of the Association shall be chosen by voice or written ballot at the annual meeting and shall hold their respective offices for three years or until their successors are duly elected. They shall be eligible for re-election.

2.   Appointed officers shall be named by the President with the approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.

3. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. (S)He shall perform the customary duties of the office and shall be an ex officio member of all committees with voting rights.

4. The Vice-President shall assist the President and shall perform whatever duties are assigned; (s)he shall assist the State Representatives as required; in the absence, or at the request of the President, the Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President.

5. The Secretary shall handle all correspondence, maintain the membership files, and maintain a record of the attendance and minutes of the annual meetings of the Association and the meetings of the Board of Directors.  The Secretary shall maintain both electronic and postal mail addresses for the membership in order to facilitate communication.   Publication of any address will only be with permission of the addressee.

6. The Treasurer shall have custody of and management of all the invested property, funds, and financial affairs of the Association. (S)He shall have full authority, in the name and behalf of the Association, to receive, collect, take charge of, and disburse all monies. (S)He shall deposit such monies and safeguard the securities and records in the name of the Association in such financial institutions  as the Board of Directors shall designate.  The Treasurer shall give a report of the financial condition of the Association at all meetings of the Association and Board of Directors.  The annual report shall be published in KINFOLK.

7. The Honorary President, who shall be appointed by the Board of Directors, shall be the oldest known Active Member. The Honorary President shall hold the position for life.

8. The State Representatives shall be selected to represent the geographic regions of the United States.   They shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and shall serve for an indefinite term. Each State Representative shall be responsible for the activities of the Association in his assigned area, shall develop publicity and public relations concerning the Association, shall provide the Secretary with copies of all correspondence and related material,  and shall assist in every way possible to promote the purposes and objectives of the Association.

9. The Genealogist shall be that member of the Association most qualified by background and experience to supervise the genealogical research and work of the Association. (S)He shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors for an indefinite term and shall maintain all genealogical files of the Association.

10. The Editor shall be responsible for the publications of the Association. (S)He shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. There shall be a subcommittee of the Publications Committee, to be known as the Liaison Committee, which shall be responsible for placing KINFOLK in libraries of historical societies, genealogical societies, and public libraries with genealogical departments, on a complimentary basis.


Board of Directors

1. The Directors, who, together with the elected officers, shall constitute the Board of Directors, shall be elected by members of the Association. Of the ten members to be elected, two shall be elected annually each for a three-year term.  A Director may serve more than one term.

2. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year and more often as should prove necessary. The Board shall have authority to call meetings of the Association, determine the amount of annual dues and life membership payments, confer Honorary Membership, suspend or expel a member in any category as herein provided.

 3.   The Board of Directors shall formulate the policies and programs of the Association subject only to the direction of the membership as expressed at annual or special meetings


1. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of qualified nominees for each elective office to be filled for the coming year at the annual meeting of the Association.   Additional nominations may be made from the floor by any member in good standing, provided that the nominee, if not present, has indicated approval in writing.

2. The Publications Committee shall have general supervision over the publications of the Association. The appointed Editor of KINFOLK shall ex officio serve as chairman of the Publications Committee.

3. The Library and Museum Committee shall receive, accession, acknowledge, and exhibit all books, pamphlets, photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia pertaining to the Rich Family and shall solicit such materials from the membership and other interested parties.

4. The Scholarship Committee shall establish and publish the requirements for all Rich Family Association scholarships to be awarded, receive all applications for these, and announce the recipients at the annual meeting of the Association. Policies for the awards will be determined by the Board of Directors.

5. The Isaac Rich Scholarship Committee shall maintain liaison with Boston University in respect to the University’s action in awarding this scholarship, arrange for applications to be received for this scholarship, determine the eligibility of the applicants, and recommend one of these applicants to Boston University.

6. The Genealogical Records Committee shall assist the Association Genealogist in whatever ways are requested and shall encourage all members to file their family lines with the Association.

7. The Reunions Committee shall be responsible for the arrangements for the annual reunions of the Association under the supervision of the Board of Directors.  The details will be published in a timely manner in KINFOLK and by other means as deemed necessary by the committee..


1. The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held at a date and place to be determined by the Board of Directors and published in a timely manner in KINFOLK and by other means as deemed necessary.

2. The Annual Business Meeting shall be held during the Annual Meeting. A quorum for the transaction of business at this Annual Meeting shall be thirty voting members.


1. Subject to an annual determination by the Board of Directors, the dues shall be established on a calendar year basis, the amount to be determined annually by the Board of Directors for both active membership (annual) and life membership (single payment).

2.   The Association shall maintain a Scholarship Fund, the interest from which shall be used to provide scholarships according to provisions established by the Board of Directors.

3.   Other funds may be established by the Association to carry out the purpose and objectives of the Association. All funds shall be in the charge of the Treasurer and shall be administered with knowledge and consent of the Board of Directors.  

4. All sums received by the Association as donations or bequests (unless the donors or testators shall otherwise prescribe), all annual dues, and all income from investments may be applied to the current expenses of the Association or added to the general fund or to the permanent funds of the Association at the discretion of the Board of Directors.


1. A magazine, the Rich Family Association KINFOLK, shall be published at least semi-annually, under the direction of the Publications Committee. It shall contain such material pertinent to the general purposes of the Association as the Editor and Publications Committee shall consider proper.

2. The Publications Committee may authorize other regular, occasional, or single publications.

3The Association will maintain a website containing such material pertinent to the general purposes of the Association, and available to the general public, except for password protected sections available only to members, if desired.

4. Except on written authority given by the Board of Directors in each particular case, no member or non-member of the Association shall associate the name or use the seal of the Association in any publication to make it appear that the publication was issued by or under the auspices of the Association.


These Bylaws may be amended at any annual meeting of the Association by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Association present, provided that a statement of the general nature of the proposed amendment or amendments has been included in the notice of the meeting.

In case of emergency as certified by a majority of its members, the Board of Directors may amend the Bylaws by written ballot, provided such amendment is approved by three fourths of the Directors returning the ballot.  This emergency action shall be published in the next issue of KINFOLK.


The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be the authority on all questions of procedures and parliamentary law not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.


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