The MTGenWeb Project is a member of the not-for-profit, volunteer
genealogical organization called, The USGenWeb Project (http://www.usgenweb.org/).
As such The MTGenWeb Project (currently located at http://www.mtgenweb.com/)
website and all associated county websites must conform to the
established policy and procedures set forth by our parent organization.
The guidelines that are described on the USGenWeb
Volunteers Information page and the USGenWeb
Project Bylaws which describe in great detail the organizational
structure, election procedures, and general policies of this
organization, form the foundation for each state project. All project
members and interested project members should carefully review the above
websites before agreeing to participate in any USGenWeb State Project.
MTGenWeb Project Policy
The following policy and procedures are specific to our state
project. All MTGenWeb Project members are required to read and
understand the following information prior to their participation in
The name of our organization is "The MTGenWeb Project." The
name, "The MTGenWeb Project," and "The XXGenWeb
Project" (where XX is the county name of one of the Montana
counties) are service marks and reserved exclusively for The MTGenWeb
Project and any websites representing The MTGenWeb Project. Please note
that the correct name and spelling is in upper and lower case letters
without any space breaks in form (correct: MTGenWeb incorrect:
MT GenWeb or MTGen Web).
The MTGenWeb Project is an organized group of volunteers working to
create an online center for genealogical research by linking sites
representing every county in the state of Montana. The purpose of this
organization is to gather genealogical and historical information for
free online access by researchers.
This is accomplished by creating websites which are central
repositories of historical and genealogical research data, donated
either by the website coordinator or other contributors and kept at the
local county level.
The MTGenWeb Project, as a group of volunteers participating in a
not-for-profit organization, is considered to be an "Unincorporated
The MTGenWeb Project is administered by a team of members including a
State Coordinator (SC) and Assistant State Coordinators (ASC's).
Responsibilities of Project Members
The State Coordinator (SC) is elected by the project
membership and can serve an unlimited number of terms. Although the SC
may serve in an unlimited capacity, he or she, must be re-elected by the
project membership every two years (see election procedure below).
Duties for the SC include recruiting and training new project
volunteers, maintaining an internal mailing list, and creating and
maintaining the state web site. The SC may appoint other members to
serve in volunteer positions such as webmaster, archivist, welcome
hostess, new member training coordinator, special projects coordinator,
etc. These positions should be held by members in good standing and do
not merit any special project authority or position other than meeting
specific needs of the project.
The Assistant State Coordinator(s) (ASC) are selected by the
State Coordinator based upon volunteer interest. The ASC is responsible
for assisting the SC in any special projects that the project may
develop. They also serve as SC in the event that the elected SC resigns,
becomes ill, is on extended vacation, or is unable to meet the SC
position requirements. The ASC's primary duty, other than assisting the
SC with state matters, is that of Quality Control Coordinator for the
county websites located in their region. Each ASC performs a bi-annual
check of all county websites. These checks help ensure the smooth
operation of the project, help maintain a consistent standard throughout
the project, and identify any problems with links, navigation, or html
The County Coordinator (CC) is responsible for creating and
maintaining websites at the county level. The CC should try to include
as much county reference and resource information as is available.
A County Coordinator may select one (1) individual to serve as the
Assistant County Coordinator who will have equal rights to voting in any
MTGenWeb or USGenWeb election. Assistant County Coordinators will be approved
by the State Coordinator using the same criteria as for CC's. Each county website
should strive to include the following elements:
county mail list
query board (required)
family website links
county resource addresses
State Coordinator Election Procedures
Every two years there will be a State Coordinator election to be held
in the month of October. An elections committee (EC) shall be convened
and comprised of two county coordinators and the ASC(s). The EC shall set
the date for the election and choose a method for casting votes
(manually or electronically). All project members will be notified via
email on how to cast their votes and when the voting period will begin
and end. The Voting period should be scheduled to begin on or around
Each County or Assistant County Coordinator may cast only one
vote In the event a CC hosts more than one county, that CC will
only be allowed one vote.
Any interested volunteers who would like to run for this position
should make their intentions known to the project no later than
September 1. Candidates must have been a CC in the state for the
preceding 12 months to be eligible for the position of State
Coordinator. The month of September may be used to announce
candidates and for the promoting of campaign issues.
The state coordinator will be elected by the project membership. Each
County or Assistant County Coordinator may cast one vote only (no matter
the number of counties hosted). The winner of the election will be the
individual who receives a fraction over 50 percent of the votes cast, if
no candidate receives at least a fraction over 50 percent of the vote
then a run off election will be held between the two individuals with
the highest vote totals. The winner of the run-off will be the
individual who receives at least a fraction over 50 percent of the vote
Selection of County Coordinators
The position of county coordinator is selected by the SC. All
interested persons should contact the SC to see if the county of
interest is available. If it is available, the SC will determine
qualifications for hosting the county (qualifications include but are
not limited to: knowledge of the county's history, ability to create and
maintain a website, file transfer protocol (FTP), and desire to serve).
The most important quality is a desire to serve as part of this project.
If a person is interested and is knowledgeable in the county but is new
to the internet or to website design, help is available from other
project members. The county coordinator needs to be available to make
updates to the website, answer researcher queries (no research is
conducted), and generally provide assistance as needed. Time
requirements for this position can range from 30 minutes per week to
several hours. The amount of time given to each project is solely
dependant on the volunteer but a minimum amount of upkeep is required to
keep the website on active status within the project. New
CCs are expected to have a site up and running within two weeks of
appointment, and if this does not happen the CC will be replaced.
A County Coordinator may only solely host 5 county websites. A
County Coordinator may serve as an Assistant County Coordinator in as
many counties as they have time to help with.
All County Coordinators will be subscribed and will remain subscribed
to the Official MTGenWeb mailing list.
It is imperative that all websites remain active once they are
networked as part of this project. A website is considered active when
regular updates and additions are made to the website. The Project
Administrative team understands that not all volunteers have access to
materials and are not able to transcribe volumes of information for use
online. However, it is expected that every CC will maintain their sites
to the best of their ability. Date stamps are required on all county websites
and must be current within 6 months.
Regular website checks will be performed by the ASC(s). Website
checks will include all required elements and links, query board usage
(or email page updated regularly), as well as general appearance and
functionality of the site (link checks, etc.). Obvious errors in coding
will be brought to the cc's attention but choice of layout, design,
colors, etc., are not part of the check process. However, if any
background choice makes type elements practically illegible, this will
be brought to the CC's attention for modification.
Website checks will be conducted twice per year and email
notification will be sent to each CC with a copy sent to the SC. Any
websites that do not meet the project standards will be noted and the CC
will have approximately two weeks to make corrections. If the CC doesn't
make corrections within the two week period (exceptions include
vacations, illness, etc.) the website will be placed on an
"inactive status" and the link may be removed from the county
index. If after 30 days the website corrections have not been made and
the CC is unresponsive to email requests the website will be removed
from the project and a new host will be recruited to fill the county
A County Coordinator who unsubscribes from the Official MTGenWeb
mailing list and remains unsubscribed for more than two (2) weeks will
be considered as to have dropped out of the project and their county(ies)
will be placed for adoption.
Resignation of a Coordinator
In the event that a coordinator no longer wishes to volunteer with
this project, notice must be given to the SC as soon as possible. The SC
will announce to the mail list that the coordinator is stepping down and
will offer the county up for adoption to the membership first.
If no existing County Coordinator is interested in adopting the
orphaned county, a notice will be placed on the county index and a new
host will be recruited to fill the vacancy. The outgoing coordinator may
choose to remain with the project until a new coordinator is found or
may choose to step down immediately. In the event a CC chooses to leave, they will agree
to give the existing website back to the MTGenWeb Project for future
reassignment. All contributed material will remain the copyright of the
If a state coordinator resigns, the ASC's will serve out the
remaining term. A new election will be held the following October to
elect a permanent SC.
Removal of a Coordinator
Every coordinator is guaranteed due process in the MTGenWeb Project
and is given 30 days to rectify any problems or issues within the
project. However, certain behavior will not be tolerated and may be
grounds for immediate removal of either a SC, ASC or CC. A coordinator
that cannot be contacted for a period of 30 days either by e-mail, phone
or letter will be replaced. The following are types of behavior
that are considered inappropriate for this project:
- use of foul, derogatory, abusive language on the state mail list
- derogatory, inflammatory, or abusive comments made towards any
member of the project
- failure to correct flagrant copyright violation within a
period of 30 days notification of said violation
- any CC profiting from third party advertisements placed on any pages of the county site
Arbitration, Grievance Procedures
All problems within the project will be resolved according to the
following procedure. Issues between coordinators should be handled
privately and with discretion. If a resolution is not forthcoming the
two parties should contact the state coordinator for assistance. The SC
may include the ASC's in any problem resolution issues and ask for
guidance and suggestions. If a resolution cannot be reached that is
satisfactory to the two parties, a neutral committee of two county
coordinators (one from each region, eastern and western) shall be asked
by the SC to arbitrate the grievance. Upon further discussion of the
issues, the committee shall present its findings and a resolution to the
SC. With the SC approval of the committee's resolution, the parties
shall be contacted and the outcome shall be considered final.
The following guidelines are to be in effect for all members of this
project until further notice.
1. The MTGenWeb logo and return link must be placed on every county
website. The USGenWeb Project requires every project to display the USGW
logo and include a return link to http://www.usgenweb.org/.
2. Every county must maintain a query page. The coordinator may
choose any method for maintaining queries so long as the page is
current. Automated type systems are easiest and hosts are encouraged to
use this method -- as it seems to work best for everyone. However, the
choice is up to the host.
3. Every county must include a copyright notice on the main page of the county website.
The following copyright notice is an example only of common copyright
statements used on the internet (you may choose your own
© Current Year. XXXXX County MTGebWeb Project. All Rights Reserved.
4. All website contents remain the property of the county website for future CC's to use unless the
contributor requests its removal. Any material that is copyrighted and published without permission from the
author must be removed immediately.
5. Each county coordinator may choose to host the county's website
anywhere on the internet.
6. Date stamps must be on the main page of each county website and must be current within 6 months.
All coordinators are required to keep fresh in their minds the
mission of this project. Our goal is to help visiting researchers find
useful resource and reference information online and assist them in
tracing their family history. Our job is to be friendly, responsive,
helpful, cordial, and most of all available. The Project Administration team has
worked hard to try and cover every possible scenario that may occur
given the nature of internet genealogical projects. However, we cannot
guarantee that your experience as part of our project will be perfect or
stress free. We have created a working policy that will serve this
project well so long as all members agree to participate fully and
without any measure of distrust or dishonesty.
These policies were adopted on July 16, 2014.