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Advisory Board Minutes - April 2005

Approved - June 2, 2005

Call to Order - April Session

(April 3, 2005) The April 2005 meeting of The USGenWeb Advisory Board was called to order by National Coordinator Shari Handley.

AGENDA - April 2005 Meeting



(3 Apr 2005)
A reminder . . . .
The logo contest is underway! We invite your ideas and designs for a new USGenWeb logo. For more information about the contest, please see:

USGenWeb in the News . . .
USGenWeb gets some very positive press in Nancy Hendrickson's article, "The Web's Greatest Hits" in the
February 2005 issue of Family Tree Magazine:

USGenWeb <> If American genealogy were a swanky hotel, USGenWeb would surely occupy the presidential suite. The free, all-volunteer Web site houses marriage, obituary and tombstone
transcriptions; church records; census images; and much more. You can search all these resources by clicking the links under Search Engines on the home page. In 2000, the Special Collections Projects (Click on Projects) started, with scanned images of out-of-print books journals, family letters, and photographs. The heart of USGenWeb though, is the network of state, county-level pages that allow researchers to post queries and
connect with anyone climbing the same family tree or prowling the same locales. As reader Phyllis Stehm explains, "You can't beat the USGenWeb for finding people in an area who really know it and can help you with possible sources to check."

Congratulations to each and every USGenWeb volunteer! Your dedication to the concept of free-access, grass- roots, online genealogy has given The USGenWeb Project a wonderful reputation as The Place to Go for free information and advice from friendly, knowledgeable, neighborly people. We should all be very proud of what we've accomplished so far, and excited about what we look forward to accomplishing in the future.


(3 Apr 2005)

Date: March 21, 2005
To: USGenWeb Advisory Board
From : Bylaws Revision Committee
Subject: Final Report

The Bylaws Revision Committee was established March 10, 2002 by then National Coordinator Holly Timm. Instructions were to study the USGenWeb bylaws to determine which articles or sections needed revision and to; 1) delete unnecessary sections, 2) clarify or strengthen sections, 3) add new articles as deemed necessary. In addition, the committee was prohibited from making major changes in the project structure, such as deciding which of the census projects is to be officially recognized or eliminating the archives.

The BRC initially reported out 14 May 2004 with a complete "revision" of the bylaws which was returned to the committee by adoption of motion 04-13 with the following additional instructions that 1) the members shall be able to vote on each amendment, 2) BRC proposed amendments do not require state sponsorship, 3) the BRC must again report out not later than 1 April 2005, 4) the Advisory Board may authorize a special referendum to present amendments to the membership for adoption. The committee initially considered changes by the consensus building process. Committee members with strongly held convictions regarding their views soon revealed the weakness of the process best described by the following - "To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects. - Margaret Thatcher."

The committee began use of preferential voting in a process of selecting from individual proposals resulting in a proposal supported by a majority of committee members. Great care was taken during committee proceedings to assure that amendments promote fairness and equitable treatment for all USGenWeb members. After return of the "revision" the committee focused on only those articles in greatest need of change, these amendments are our best effort to provide for stability and enable growth within the project in future years.

The BRC recommends the six amendments listed at be referred to the project membership for adoption.

Note - appropriate "htm" files to be sent to the NC/Webmaster for posting
as required.

Approved - Signatories
Don Kelly NW/P SC Rep
Bob Sweeney
Sharon Tabor
Paulette Carpenter
Ron Henson
Bettie Wood
Denise Wells
Roger Swafford - Chair

Opposed - Signatories

Absentees / Not voting
NC (ex-officio)
Gloria Mayfield
Vicki Shaffer


(5 Apr 2005 ) By the NC:

The complete contest rules and instructions for submitting your ideas is on the logo contest page at:


(6 Apr 2005) Call for report by the NC.

(9 Apr 2005)
The Grievance Committee has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, and I have to apologize for contributing to that, having been out of town longer than I had originally expected to be. Add some unexpected
personal business, and it's the result you might expect (for those that are curious, though, I start a new job Monday with "real world" hours; I'm not sure if I can handle such a thing!). I'm back now, though, and we should be able to get down to business.

We have a rough draft of what we've been doing, and it's available for public viewing and/or comment. It's at:
We have some details to take care of, and obviously we can make changes anywhere that seems necessary, but this draft gives an good idea of the direction we're heading.

Angie Rayfield
SEMA SC Representative
Grievance Committee Chair


(11 Apr 2005) By the NC:

At this time, I'd like to hear some discussion about adopting a general USGenWeb policy covering the posting of data on living persons, pro or con.

I'd like to submit for your perusal the following statements as food for thought:

"Whether you are sharing publicly or privately, NEVER include information about living individuals in what you share. The invasion of personal privacy and the potential for the mis-use of this information is simply too great. The genealogical community is starting to learn this admonition fairly well but there are new researchers joining our ranks ever day so it never hurts to repeat this loudly and often. Information on the living generations of our families does not significantly add to our genealogical research. If you wish to keep
track of information on living cousins, keep it in a database separate from the data which you share. GEDCOM files can be easily scrubbed clean of living individuals see Cyndi's List – Software – Privacy Issues at:
Consider how you would feel if Great Aunt Mary were cheated out of some money by a fraudster who found her personal information as a result of something from your genealogy database."
~ Mark Howells, "Share and Beware: Sharing Genealogy in the
Information Age",

"Don't post information on living persons. If you need a reason, think about the number of times you have used your mother's maiden name for identification purposes. In particular, do not include full names,
birthdates, birthplaces, addresses, occupations, degrees, phone numbers, or social security numbers. You can use a filtering program to remove data on living persons from your GEDCOM file such as GEDClean32, GEDLiving, or GEDPrivy."
~ Maureen Taylor, "Privacy and the Family Home Page",

". . . Responsible family historians consistently - - respect the restrictions on sharing information that arise from the rights of another as an author, originator or compiler; as a living private person; or as a party to a mutual agreement.
- convey personal identifying information about living people—like age, home address, occupation or activities—only in ways that those concerned have expressly agreed to."
~ National Genealogical Society, "Genealogical Standards and Guidelines",

"Genealogist who post information should respect the concerns of living relatives who feel that posting information about them online is an invasion of privacy. Just because you can doesn't mean you should."
~ Rhonda R. McClure, "Twigs & Trees with Rhonda: Ethics in Genealogy"

"Though genealogy sites provide a wealth of information to those who are tracing their family lineage, they often post personal information such as date of birth and mother's maiden name. And for living persons, these
pieces of data could be misused by identity thieves. Many people object to having their personal information so readily accessible on the Internet. . . . We recommend that genealogists do not include the information of living persons on family trees that are posted online."
~ Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, "PRC's Privacy Update No. 2:5",

(19 April 2005) Moved by Bettie Wood and seconded by Linda Blum-Barton:
“That the following question be added to the ballot during the next regularly
scheduled election.
"In an attempt to protect living people from identity theft or embarrassment [sic], should
the USGenWeb Project Advisory Board establish a policy limiting the date and/or
scope of data placed on all of its sites?"

(21 April 2005) Motion numbered and opened for discussion.

(24 April 2005) Motion withdrawn by Bettie Wood.
(25 April 2005) Motion declared withdrawn by the NC


(13 Apr 2005) Called by the NC. Meeting to resume on Monday, April 18,
2005. RAL Betsy Mills to serve as chair in case of urgent business.


(16 Apr 2005)

**Please post to all USGenWeb Project lists**

In order to receive a voting password for USGenWeb national level elections and polls you must be registered with the EC (Election Committee.) To receive a voting password for the USGenWeb National Election, you must be registered no later than 31 May, 2005. If you have previously registered and your registration (i.e., email address, participation within the project, etc.) has not changed, you do not need to re-register. If you have questions about your registration, please contact your Elections Committee representative prior to submitting a new registration.

If you were a member of USGenWeb on or before 1 February 2004 and your name was submitted to the EC by
your State or Project leadership, you were automatically registered. If you are unsure of your registration status, you may ask your area EC Representative, or you may submit a Registration form.

Members joining USGenWeb or those who have taken on additional roles will not be automatically registered,
and must register themselves. Example: You were a CC in a particular state. You resigned that county, and
now have a county in another state. To ensure you will receive a voting password for that region, you must inform the EC that you have changed states.

If you are currently registered but do not wish to receive a voting password, or if you leave the Project entirely, please contact an EC Representative to have your name removed from the Registered List.

The EC has an online registration form:

To learn who to contact on the EC, go to:

Please bookmark the EC website for the latest Election and Registration news:

***Registration information is confidential to the Election Committee, and will not be shared with Project leadership or other members. It is used only to send voting passwords. Do not depend on your SC or other project leadership to see that you are registered, or that appropriate changes are made.

Thank you,
The USGenWeb Election Committee


(26 April 2005) Moved by Bettie Wood and seconded by Larry Fleshner:

“That the following policy be adopted by USGenWeb.

’It is the policy of the USGenWeb Project to respect the privacy of living individuals. Project members and transcribers are encouraged to limit the posting of information on living persons or persons that might
reasonably be assumed to be living. Individual webmasters and file managers are responsible for the information they choose to post on their USGenWeb-affiliated websites.’”

(27 Apr 2005) Motion numbered 05-07 and opened for discussion.

(27 Apr 2005) Bettie Wood moved to amend the motion by inserting the sentence "Project members and transcribers are encouraged to remove any data about a living person upon request of the person affected." so the amended motion would read....

"It is the policy of the USGenWeb Project to respect the privacy of living individuals. Project members and transcribers are encouraged to remove any data about a living person upon request of the person affected.. However, individual webmasters and file managers are responsible for the information they choose to post on their USGenWeb-affiliated websites."

Amendment seconded by Don Kelly, and declared amended (28 Apr 2005) by the NC.

Discussion continued for remainder of month.


(26 Apr 2005)
TO: USGenWeb Advisory Board
FROM: USGenWeb Election Committee
DATE: April 25, 2005
SUBJECT: Confirmation Request for New and Replacement EC Members

The EC respectfully submits the following slate of prospective EC Members for your approval/disapproval, per Election Committee Procedures Section A, Item 2, par. 2:

"From the list of volunteers, the EC shall select new or replacement members for the EC. This list of volunteers shall then be submitted to the Advisory Board for approval and confirmation. The Advisory Board shall not be allowed to "pick and choose" any individual committee member. Should the Advisory Board disapprove the slate of members in its entirety, the process shall be repeated."

Laura Flanagan:
County Coordinator, Lubbock Co., TX
County Coordinator, Simpson Co., MS

Nancy C. Janyszeski:
County Coordinator, Northampton Co., PA
Assistant County Coordinator, Bucks Co., PA

Kimberly Latona:
County Coordinator, Philadelphia Co., PA

Lori Thornton:
County Coordinator, Monroe Co., MS
County Coordinator, Itawamba Co., MS
County Coordinator, Lee Co., MS
County Coordinator, Clay Co., MS
County Coordinator, Jackson Co., SD
County Coordinator, Ashland Co., WI
County Coordinator, Telfair Co., GA
County Coordinator, Franklin Co., GA
Asst. State Coordinator for South Dakota

The Election Committee has the following positions open:

Northeast/North Central Region: Vacant.
This position is responsible for Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin. This term ends December 31, 2006.

Southwest/South Central Region:
This position is responsible for Arizona, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana This term ends 31 December 2005.

Archives/Special Projects: Vacant Term ending 31 December 2005
This position is responsible for State Archives: Northeast/North Central & Southeast Mid- Atlantic Regions. Tombstone Project, Kidz Project & Family Group Sheet Project.

Archives/Special Projects: Vacant Term ending 31 December 2006
This position is responsible for State Archives: Northwest Plains & Southwest/South Central Regions. Archive Individual Projects (Obits, Pensions, etc.)

Should the AB approve of the submitted slate, the EC requests immediate seating of all new EC members.

The Election Committee appreciates the Advisory Board's consideration on this matter at its earliest convenience, and will be happy to answer any questions.

Respectfully submitted,
The USGenWeb Election Committee

(26 April 2006) Moved by Larry Fleshner and seconded by Cyndie Enfinger:

“That appointment of the slate of prospective new EC members as submitted by the EC on April 25, 2005 be accepted.”

(27 Apr 2005) Motion numbered and opened for Discussion.

(27 Apr 2005) Vote called.

With 10 "yes" votes and 0 "no" votes cast so far, Motion 05-08 passed.

Voting YES: Don Kelly, Bettie Wood, Angie Rayfield, Kathi Jones-Hudson, Darilee Bednar, Cyndie Enfinger, David Morgan, Linda Blum-Barton, Denise Woodside, Larry Fleshner
Voting NO: none
Abstentions: none
Not Voting: Rich Howland, Teri Brown, Jan Cortez, Betsy Mills, Gail Meyer Kilgore


(Midnight 30 April 2005.) NC declared April meeting adjourned. May meeting to begin 1 May 2005.

The full text of all BOARD-L messages can be viewed in the threaded list archives for this list, located at

Ellen Pack, Acting Recording Secretary

Please remember that minutes are a record of what was done at the meeting, NOT what was said by members or guests. If you have any questions or comments about the minutes, please write to Ellen Pack.

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