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Project Volunteer and Web Site Standards/Guidelines

Are you a new volunteer Coordinator? Welcome to the USGenWeb Project! 

Are you a new State or Assistant State Coordinator? Congratulations!

If you are new to the Project, you might want to check out the New Member Survival Guide at newvolunteer.html for general information about the Project.

Whether you are new to the Project or a new State Coordinator, you will find answers to many of your questions in this guide. New CCs/LCs can contact their SC for answers not found here. Should there be any changes made to these Guidelines/Standards, you will be notified by your State Coordinator and this web page will be updated.

Items listed as *Required* are the essentials -- minimum requirements for Coordinators and Project sites. Beyond the essentials, you can be as creative as you wish with the design and format of your site.

The *Strongly Recommended* and *Recommended* items will help you as a webmaster and will assist visitors to your site, so we ask that you implement all that are appropriate to your site.

First, here are the acronyms and terms you will frequently see in this document and elsewhere within the USGenWeb and your State GenWeb Project:



  • CC = County Coordinator
  • SC = State Coordinator
  • LC = Local Coordinator (Used for coordinators of townships, city/town and special state projects i.e. Military, Marriages, Mystery Photos, etc.).
  • TOC = Table of Contents




  • The terms “Coordinator” and “Local Coordinator” are used throughout the Bylaws, Standard Rules and Sustaining Rules. Within these Guidelines “Coordinator” is used to refer to all members of The USGenWeb Project. A full title is used (e.g. State Coordinator) when indicated.
  • County Web site = Applies equally to borough, parish, town/city, township and special state projects and Special Projects web sites.
  • Index [index.htm or index.html] Home, or Main page = All of the terms reference the first page a visitor sees when going to your web site. Within these Guidelines, the term "Index" page is used.
  • XXGenWeb = Where XX represents a State Project, i.e., ALGenWeb = Alabama
  • Project = The USGenWeb Project.

Your web site - As the owner of your web site, you have the option of establishing your web site on any server. Project web sites are hosted by a variety of servers, many of them free of charge. Your SC is available to help. Check with your SC for any particular state requirements for county web sites. If you are changing an existing web site, check with your SC about any state guidelines regarding removing any currently posted information.

Some of the state coordinators have prepared sample pages to help you get started. If your state does not have a sample file, you can check out other well-established websites for ideas. Some coordinators have had the opportunity to fine-tune their web sites over time, so you should be able to find some excellent ideas.

If you need help creating, editing or uploading your pages, help is available at Tutorials. If you have problems not addressed by the tutorials, additional help may be sought by contacting your SC, or on the Discuss-L Mail List. To subscribe to Discuss-L, email the National Coordinator or the Regional Representative At Large, or sign in with a Google account, visit the Group URL, and click Request to Join.

Below are required and recommended items for Project members and Project web sites. Please read through all of the information as there are sections for "ALL" project members' web sites and specific information for other sections of the membership and web sites.






for All

  • Contact information for the coordinator must be on their USGenWeb Project site. The coordinator's name and contact information (email address and/or Email Registry ID) must either be on the main/index page of the site, or there must be a link to a "Contact Info" page. If using a "Contact Info" page, the coordinator's name must still be on the main/index page of the site. (See AB: motion 2008/09-11; Approved 4 Mar 2009.)
  • All Coordinators are expected to respond to public and/or county coordinator inquiries within a reasonable timeframe.
  • All USGenWeb members are responsible for adhering to the Project's Copyright Policy, as stated in the Bylaws, Section X. Although the Project Policy specifically addresses genealogy information, it pertains also to all facets of the web site, i.e., graphics, html coding, backgrounds, audios, videos, etc. For detailed guidelines, see Copyright Information.
  • Solicitation of funds for personal gain is inappropriate except as provided for in the Project's bylaws (See Bylaws, Section IX, Subsection B).
  • All web sites shall include prominent display of The USGenWeb Project logo on the index page (see See Bylaws, Section IX, Subsection A.) "Prominent" is defined as standing out; readily noticeable; conspicuous, per Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  • The USGenWeb Project logo that you use on your web site must be one of the official logos chosen by the membership. These logos can be found at (see See Bylaws, Section IX, Subsection A).
  • The USGenWeb Project logo must not be altered in any way (size, colors, etc.). Inclusion of the logo in a banner is not considered to be an alteration.
  • There must be a link to the USGenWeb National site at The anchor for this link may be the USGenWeb logo, or the text "USGenWeb" or "The USGenWeb Project." Linking both logo and text is optional. However, the USGenWeb logo and the Name of the Project may only be linked to
  • NOTE - Compliance with the requirements in this section are part of the criteria the EC uses to determine voter eligibility. See Who is Eligible to Vote.

Strongly Recommended
for ALL

  • A search engine for your site.
  • Link to the USGenWeb Special Projects at ../about/projects.html
  • A copyright notice should appear at the bottom of the main index page of your website, and include the following:

    1. The copyright symbol © or the word "copyright"; or both, 'copyright ©'
    2. The current year; or a range of years, '1996-2024' (the last year being the current year)
    3. The XXGenWeb Project; or The USGenWeb® Project; or both
    4. Optional: What rights are retained by the copyright (you can have a link to a defined set of rights); Oftentimes 'All Rights Reserved.' is used.

    Example: Copyright © 1996-2024 The USGenWeb® Project, XXGenWeb, XXCounty. All Rights Reserved.

for ALL

  • Periodically run URL/Link checker
  • A Disclaimer about outside links, for example: "Links to web sites that are not part of the USGenWeb Project are provided for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of the web sites or their contents by The USGenWeb Project."







for SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites

The National Coordinator shall subscribe all State and Assistant State Coordinators or designated State Support person(s) to the State Coordinator's mail list. All official matters to do with the project and announcements from the national level are posted on this list ByLaws, Section XII, Subsection D.).

State Coordinators and Assistant State Coordinators or designated support person(s) must provide their name, postal address, and phone number to the National Coordinator to be held in strictest confidence and to be used only in the case of an emergency. The email address of all support person(s) must also be provided. (See ../about/bylaws.html).  Section XII, Subsection D.).

The state coordinator is required to maintain a state mail list with all local coordinators subscribed. (See ../about/bylaws.html)  Section XII, Subsection D.).

State coordinators and/or Assistant State Coordinators are required to forward all Project-wide announcements to the state mail list. They shall also forward other messages of interest regarding the state and/or region as appropriate.

State Coordinators or a designated person/committee are required to periodically check to make sure that all the county web sites are adhering to the few USGenWeb Project requirements (logos, links, etc.) and that they are updated within a reasonable amount of time (see Bylaws, Section XII, Subsection F). 

The state has the responsibility to remove links to local-level project websites not meeting the USGenWeb Project standards/requirements (See Bylaws, Section XII, Subsection G).

The following links are required for State web sites: (See Bylaws, Section XII, Subsection B):

  1.  A direct link to all county sites.
  2. A direct link to the National USGenWeb Project site at
  3. A direct link to the USGenWeb Archives Project at, as well as one to the State level Archives at
  4. A direct link to the member-approved official USGenWeb Project logos at
  5. A direct link to the USGenWeb Project Copyright Policy at

Strongly Recommended
for SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites

  • Provide for queries about unknown counties
  • Provide a surname registry for unknown counties
  • A link to the Archives search option at
  • Require that County and/or Local Coordinators provide complete contact information, i.e. name, postal address and phone number.

for SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites

  • As much information as possible regarding the state or county research resources with links.
  • State and/or County boundary maps.

for County/Local Coordinators and County/Local Project sites

Your State Coordinator will subscribe you to the state's email list. All official matters to do with the Project and announcements from the National level will be posted on your state's mail list. See Bylaws, Section XI, Subsection B.)

All county/local sites must have a direct link to the state's project. (See Bylaws, Section XI, Subsection C.)

Strongly Recommended
for County/Local Coordinators and County/Local Project sites

Provide basic research information for your county:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers

for the county court clerk, library and genealogical and/or historical societies.

A bibliography page showing the reference books available for your county.

for County/Local Coordinators and County/Local Project sites

  • County Boundary maps
  • As County/Local Coordinator, join the county mail list(s) for the county/counties that you coordinate.
  • Include a link to or instructions for subscribing to county mail list(s) that are related to the site(s) you coordinate.
  • You may optionally link to the WorldGenWeb Project at

Once again, we welcome you to The USGenWeb Project.

Page content reviewed and/or updated by the Advisory Board 2023 Feb

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