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Bylaws of the Martin Heiner Family Organization


Section I – General Matters

Section 1.1 – Name


The name of this organization (hereinafter referred to as the “Organization”) is the “Martin Heiner Family Organization”. 

Section 1.2 – Mission


The Martin Heiner Family Organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ancestral organization established to perpetuate the memory of Johann Martin Heiner (1818-1897), his wife Adelgunda Dietzel (1815-1894), their respective ancestors, and their posterity in order to increase love and respect for all Heiner family members—both those living and those who have passed on.

Section 1.3 – Governing Principles


Although the Organization is not a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “LDS Church”), the leaders of the Organization will strive to conduct the Organization’s affairs in accordance with the principles and practices espoused by the LDS Church.

Section 1.4 – Purpose


The Organization exists to engage in activities consistent with its mission and governing principles. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. PROMOTE RESEARCH: Organize and conduct genealogical research on the ancestors and descendants of Martin and Adelgunda Heiner and their respective families and genealogical lines.

  2. PRESERVE HISTORY: Locate, identify, and preserve family histories, artifacts, and graves.

  3. CONNECT DESCENDANTS: Hold regular family reunions and meetings to help Heiner descendants get to know each other better, maintain a directory of contact information for descendants, and maintain a Martin Heiner Family website.

  4. SHARE HERITAGE WITH YOUTH: Encourage youth of Heiner descendant families to learn and value their pioneer heritage through stories, reunions, activities, publications, books, and mementos honoring their ancestors. Facilitate sharing of historical information relating to Martin and Adelgunda Heiner among Organization members.

  5. TEMPLE WORK: Coordinate and share information regarding LDS Church temple ordinances for all ancestors and deceased descendants of Martin and Adelgunda Heiner to ensure that ordinance work is completed and not unnecessarily duplicated.


Section II – Organization

Section 2.1 – General Structure


The Organization exists to serve its members through the following general groups:

  • Members (defined in Section III)

  • Executive Board (defined in Section IV)

  • Family Representatives (defined in Section V)

  • Committees (defined in Section VI)


Section III – Membership

Section 3.1 – Regular Members


Membership in the organization is automatic for all direct descendants of Martin and Adelgunda Heiner, whether natural-born or legally adopted. Membership is also automatic for all spouses (including former or widowed spouses) of such direct descendants for so long as they wish to affiliate with the Organization.

Section 3.2 – Honorary Members


From time to time, the Executive Board may designate persons who are not automatically members of the Organization as “Honorary Members.” Such designation is for the life of the person so recognized and will be recorded by the Recording Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary will ensure that contact information for Honorary Members are maintained by the Organization. Examples of honorary members include Eberhard and Petra Wolf, who were officially designated as the first honorary members in 2015.

Section 3.3 – Duties of Active Members


All members are encouraged to contribute time (volunteer) and financial means to the Organization as they are able. Members are considered active if they have paid their annual dues (amount set by the Executive Board). In addition, all members are encouraged to contribute their personal life stories, genealogical information on their immediate families, family photographs, and any other items of historical interest to the Organization.


Section IV – Executive Officers and Executive BOARD

Section 4.1 – Definition of Executive Officers


The Executive Officers of the Martin Heiner Family organization include President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Immediate Past President. This group forms the Executive Board, the core voting board to make decisions as a group on behalf of the Organization. When the Executive Officers make decisions on behalf of the organization that require a vote, a majority of the Executive Officers must agree on the course of action. The President will have an additional vote in the event of a tie.

Section 4.2 – General Duties of Executive Officers


Section 4.2.1 – Duties of the President


It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the family organization, to preside at all meetings of the Executive Board, and to exercise general supervision over the family organization. It shall be the duty of the President to call special meetings of the Executive Board as necessary for the purpose of carrying on the work of the family organization during the period between annual meetings. The President shall submit to the family organization an annual report of all official acts of the Executive Board, together with any other information and recommendations he/she may deem important.

Section 4.2.2 – Duties of Vice President


It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to carry out the policies of the family organization by developing and administering specific programs as directed by the President. These programs must be approved by the majority of the Executive Board. It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to assist and counsel the President in all matters pertaining to the activities of the family organization. It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to act in behalf of the President in his/her absence. Upon the resignation or demise of the President, the Vice-President shall be the acting President until the next election.

Section 4.2.3 – Duties of Treasurer


It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and keep an accurate record of all dues, contributions, and other monies received by and in behalf of the family organization and to handle all expenditures and disbursements for and in behalf of the family organization. He/she shall maintain paper or electronic copies of all financial documents.

Section 4.2.4 – Duties of the Recording Secretary


It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to keep accurate minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of the Organization and assist with other secretarial duties as requested by the President or Executive Board.

Section 4.2.5 – Duties of the Corresponding Secretary


It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to correspond with members (such as sending thank-you letters to donors) as directed by the President. The Corresponding Secretary will also work with the membership committee chair, if needed, to maintain a record (database/spreadsheet) of the living descendants.

Section 4.2.6 – Duties of the Immediate Past President


The Immediate Past President serves as a voting member of the Executive Board in order to provide support and advice to the current President.

Section 4.2.7 – Delegation of responsibilities


Any of the executive officers may delegate responsibility, as needed, once approved by the majority of the Executive Board. The recording secretary will document these delegated actions.

Section 4.3 – Nomination of Executive Officers


The Executive Board will appoint at least two members to serve on the Nominating Committee for the selection of candidates for new Executive Officers. The Nominating Committee will convene at least once every two years in even-numbered years and recommend one or more names of members for the offices defined in Section IV. The Nominating Committee will obtain the consent of each nominee in advance of the election. Any incumbent officer is eligible for an office held by another incumbent officer.

Section 4.4 – Election of Executive Officers


New Executive Officers will be elected every two years by the second week of November. The exact format of the election may be determined by the Executive Officers with an intent of allowing for participation for all family members throughout the world. At least one month prior to an election, the Corresponding Secretary will notify the general membership that the organization is seeking nominations (email, phone calls, verbal announcement at a reunion or meeting, etc.) and will direct them to contact a member of the nominating committee. Individuals may either nominate themselves or another family member who is willing to serve. The nominating committee will maintain a list of nominees, and after verifying the nominee is willing to serve if elected, will electronically distribute the list of nominations for a vote. After the votes have been tabulated, the nominating committee will submit the results to the Recording Secretary. All active or honorary members who are at least 16 years of age are entitled to vote for new Executive Officers.

Section 4.5 – Installation of Executive Officers


New Executive Officers will be installed to the Executive Board on 1 January of the year following the November election. The time between the election and the instating is to allow for the previous officers to train and pass on position-specific information. The installation of the new officers will be announced to the general organization in person or via electronic means. The new Executive Officers will ratify the exiting, or appoint new, committee chairs after they are installed.

Section 4.6 – Executive Officers’ Terms of Service


The term of office for each Executive Officer will be for two (2) years from the date of installation until subsequently elected Executive Officers are installed or until a successor is duly elected or appointed, whichever is less. Executive Offices may serve as many consecutive terms as they are elected to and as long as they desire to continue serving.

Section 4.7 – Filling Executive Officer Vacancies


In the event of the death, illness, resignation, or removal (Section 4.8) of any Executive Officer, the President or next highest-ranking officer in the absence of a President, and in consultation with the Family Representatives and other Executive Officers, will immediately appoint an acting Officer to fill the vacancy until the next scheduled election occurs and the position is thereby formally filled. The period of service of such replacement officers prior to the next scheduled election will not count toward any applicable office term limit.

Selection 4.8 – Removal of Officers


In the event an Executive Officer engages in behavior that is unethical, illegal, or that violates the organizations governing principals (Section 3.1), they will be subject to the removal of office process. This removal process consists of a unanimous vote of the Executive Board. Any vacancies will be filled as outlined in Section 4.7.

Section 4.9 – Compensation


Executive Officers and Committee Chairs shall serve without compensation for their services. Committee Members may be paid for their service (for example those hired for genealogy research, work related to translation, or work spent preparing names for temple work submission) but only if their work is pre-approved by the majority of the Executive Board per Section 7.3. Subject to any applicable limitations under tax or other laws, Members (including Executive Officers, Committee Chairs, and Committee members) may receive reimbursement for actual and reasonable expenses incurred in performing his or her duties (e.g., postage for letters mailed) as subject to Expenditure Approvals outlined in Section 7.2 – Accounts and Section 7.5 – Receipts.

Section V – Family Representatives

Section 5.1 – Definition of Family Representatives


The Organization is supported by individual “branches” represented by (2) two designated “family representatives” from each of the children (child lines) of Martin and Adelgunda Heiner:

  • Mary Christina Heiner Hinckley 1839-1879

  • Amelia Heiner Black 1841-1903

  • John Heiner 1842-1868

  • Anthony Heiner 1844-1926

  • George Heiner 1846-1937

  • Elizabeth Christina Heiner Grover 1848-1882

  • Daniel Heiner 1850-1931

  • Susannah Catherine Heiner Ovard 1852-192


Descendants from Martin and Adelgunda’s nieces and nephews may also serve as family representatives of their family lines. For example:

  • Anna Eva Dittmar Herbst 1834-1880

  • Heinrich Dittmar (Henry Dittmore) 1836-1893


Section 5.2 – Appointment/Tenure of Family Representatives


Family Representatives will be appointed on a volunteer basis and approved by the Executive Officers. Family Representatives can serve for as long as they are willing to serve. However, Family Representatives may be replaced, as deemed necessary, if the majority of the board concur that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities.

Section 5.3 – Duties of Family Representatives


Family Representatives serve as advisors to the Executive Officers. They also serve as points of contact to disseminate organizational information within their family lines as well as serve as advocates for interests of their family line.

Section VI – Committees

Section 6.1 – Working Committees


The Executive Board shall set up working committees and make special assignments as necessary in administering the programs of the Organization. Committee appointments and special assignments may vary in length of tenure. Examples of potential committees include (but are not limited to): Nominating Committee, Research Coordinator, Technology Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Temple Work Coordinator, Communications/Webmaster, and Reunion Planning. Other committees may be formed or absolved at the discretion of the Executive Board to facilitate the Organization’s objectives.

Section 6.2 – Committee Membership


Membership in the various committees will be established on a volunteer basis and approved by the Executive Board.

Section 6.3 – Committee Objectives


Working committees will operate, under the guidance of the Executive Board, as needed in order to fulfill their set purpose and objective.

Section VII – Finances

Section 7.1 – Fiscal Year


The fiscal year of the Organization shall be January 1st through December 31st of each year.

Section 7.2 – Accounts


The Organization is authorized to maintain bank accounts for collecting donations and making payments in furtherance of the purposes of the Organization. The Treasurer and at least one other Executive Officer will be included (identified/named/listed) as authorized signers on any account maintained by the Organization. Other authorized signers may be added by the Executive Board as necessary and with approval of the President.

Section 7.3 – Expenditure Approvals


All expenditures will be approved by two of the following Officers: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary. An electronic copy of the approvals will be maintained by the Treasurer. Expenditures over $100.00 must be pre-approved. Expenditures shall not be approved until sufficient funds are available in the financial accounts of the Organization. The board shall not pre-approve expenditures beyond the funds in the bank account. The process for the approval of expenditures will be determined by the Treasurer and approved by Executive Board. When expenditures are approved the Treasurer will issue a purchase order or letter of intent detailing the scope and amount of work approved.

Section 7.4 – Dues


Voluntary dues may be established by the Organization. Dues may be established by the Organization. The amount of dues shall be established by being proposed at an Executive Board meeting and the majority of the Executive Board approving the amount. Any such dues established shall be payable on January 1 of each year or as otherwise determined by the Executive Board.

Section 7.5 – Receipts


Receipts for payments and donations to the Organization will be provided for tax purposes upon request unless otherwise required by federal tax law.

Section XIII – Reunions and Meetings

Section 8.1 – Purposes of Reunions


Reunions are an important element in achieving the objectives of the Organization, namely promoting solidarity amongst the descendants of Martin and Adelgunda Heiner.

Section 8.2 – Reunion Frequency


Whenever the Executive Board feels it is appropriate, it may call for, organize, and preside at reunions of the Martin Heiner Family. It is recommended that reunions be held at least every five (5) years, and optimally every two years if there is enough interest among family members to do so.  Reunions shall be held at a place and time determined by the Executive Board and may be coordinated by a reunion committee chair as designated by the Executive Board.

Section 8.3 ­ – Child Line Reunions


Child-line families shall be encouraged to hold their own reunions on a periodic basis. Family representatives (Section V – Family Representatives) are encouraged to help facilitate and initiate these reunions.

Section IX – Ratification and Amendments of Bylaws

Section 9.1 – Ratification and Amendment Procedures


The Executive Board may seek to amend these Bylaws by presenting proposed amendments in writing to the general membership. General members may also propose amendments in writing to the Executive Board to consider for a general vote. These Bylaws may be amended upon a majority vote of any family members who wish to participate in voting. Advance notice of at least 1 month must been given to the general membership informing them that amendments to these Bylaws will be considered and notification of and invitation extended to vote.  Initial ratification of these Bylaws will be done by the above procedure. Changes in the bylaws shall take effect 30 days following an affirmative vote regarding the changes made.


Section X – Dissolution


The organization may be dissolved by a majority vote of the general active membership (i.e., all who wish to vote). At least one month of the vote, prior to this vote, advanced notice must be given of the upcoming vote. Upon dissolution of the Organization, the President shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the Organization, dispose of the remaining assets of the Organization, if any, exclusively for the purposes of the Organization in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time of receipt qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), as the President and/or the Executive Officers shall determine.




These bylaws were approved by the Executive Board


Printed Name, Title: Scott S. Heiner, President_____________________________

Signature: _______________________________________ Date: _____________


Printed Name, Title: Kimberly Heiner Farmer, Secretary_____________________

Signature: _______________________________________ Date: _____________


Printed Name, Title: Scott R. Heiner, Treasurer____________________________

Signature: _______________________________________ Date: _____________

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