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            The first English settlement in what is now Isle of Wight County, Virginia, was made along the south side of the James River in 1619.  The plantation was represented at the first meeting of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown in 1619 by Sir Christopher Lawne and Ensign Washer.  Isle of Wight County was one of the eight original shires or counties of the Virginia Colony.  It was designated by its Indian name, Warrosquoyacke, in 1634, but the name was changed to Isle of Wight in 1637.


      This organization shall be the "Isle of Wight County Historical Society."  It shall be a non-profit incorporated organization.


The purposes of the Society are as follows:

1. The social and educational advancement of its members and others, with the idea of getting to know more of the history of the people, homes, sites, and events of the County and State.

2. To collect and preserve historical data and memorabilia associated with Isle of Wight County for the use and pleasure of present and future generations.

3. To promote research and publish findings regarding the archaeology, architecture, history, arts, crafts, culture, and genealogy of the area.

4. To preserve or assist in the preservation of sites, buildings, monuments, etc. of historic, aesthetic, or architectural value in the area, and to extend appreciation of these characteristics to this area.

5. To discourage damage to objects of historical value in the County, and to discourage modifications or restorations of such objects until a thorough study, assisted by competent advisers, has been made.

6. To provide a place for the reception, display, study, and preservation of records and other property relating to the purposes of the Society.

7. To cooperate with other persons and organizations in promoting the above purposes.


1. Membership in the Society shall be open to any person or organization interested in furthering the purposes of the Society.  An interest in the history of the area and payment of annual dues will be the only qualifications for membership.  It shall be the policy of the Society to encourage the greatest and widest possible participation in membership by the general public.

2. Charter members of the Society shall be those members who have become bona fide members with annual dues paid as of the 1st of April 1968.  The Recording Secretary shall prepare and preserve a list of charter members.

3. Membership shall be divided into the following classes:

a. Active members, who shall be regularly approved by the Membership and the Executive Committee.

b. Student members, who shall be otherwise qualified as active members and shall be under the age of 20.

c. Life members, who shall be otherwise qualified as active members, and pay the dues prescribed for life members.

d. Organizations.  A representative of the organization duly certified in writing to the Society shall have the privilege of membership.

4. Dues shall be paid before March 1st of each calendar year in the following  amounts:

a.    Active members                       $  10.00 per year

b.    Student members                       $    1.00 per year 

c.     Life members                       $ 250.00

d.    Organizations: An organization can have one voting member.

Business                      $ 25.00 per year

Club                          $ 15.00 per year

e.     Family membership              $ 20.00 per year

5. The amount of dues for any class of members may be changed by the Executive Committee applicable at the end of a calendar year.

6.  Any donations, etc. which are accepted by the Society shall be recorded by the Recording Secretary and due credit given.


1. The Society shall hold a regular business meeting of the Membership in May of each year; the date, time, and place to be designated by the Executive Committee or the President.  Written notice of said meeting shall be mailed by the Corresponding Secretary at least ten days prior to all members in good standing.

2. Meetings shall be held during six months of the year, preferably in the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November; the date, time, and place to be designated by the President or Executive Committee.  Due notice shall be given by the Corresponding Secretary.  The President or the Executive Committee shall be empowered to call a meeting when deemed necessary.

3. A quorum of any meeting of the Society shall consist of not less than ten (10) members, and a majority of those present shall decide any question that shall come before the meeting.                                                


1. The officers of the Society shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Historian, and a Legal Adviser.  The Corresponding Secretary shall be appointed by the President.  The other officers shall be elected at the regular business meeting in May.  All officers must be bona fide members of the Society. 

2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Committee, unless the President designates someone else to preside.  The President shall, subject to the Executive Committee, have general supervision and direction of the affairs of the Society, and shall appoint all committees not otherwise provided for in this document.

3. The Vice-President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President, and be an assistant to the President.

4. The Treasurer shall collect, manage, and disburse the funds of the Society, and shall submit a written report of the transactions of that office at the annual meeting in May, and at other times when requested by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate written record of all members, the type of membership, and the amount of dues to which each subscribes, shall send notices in writing to each member of the amount and date upon whish dues are payable, and shall send a written notice to any member whose dues are unpaid sixty (60) days after becoming due.  The Treasurer shall deposit all funds of the Society in a bank, approved by the Executive Committee, to the credit of the " Isle of Wight County Historical Society ", and disburse same.  An expenditure of more than fifty ($50.00) dollars must be approved in writing by the President.  An expenditure of more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars must be approved by the Executive Committee as shown in the signature of the president.  The Treasurer shall be a member of the Finance Committee.  Prior to the annual business meeting in May, the President shall appoint an Audit Committee composed of qualified members to make a thorough audit of the financial transactions of the Society.  A report of their finding shall be made to the Society at the annual business meeting in May.

5. The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meeting of the Society and of the Executive Committee in a proper book or books to be kept only for that purpose.  The Recording Secretary shall maintain the By-Laws of the Society and have a copy available at each meeting of the Society and of the Executive Committee.  The Recording Secretary shall notify the officers of their election.

6. The Corresponding Secretary, appointed by the President, shall keep or supervise maintenance of a current roll or the committees of the Society; shall send out notices of meetings of the Society, the Executive Committee and other committees; and shall handle efficiently such correspondence as requested by the President or the Executive Committee.

7. The Historian shall supervise and coordinate the efforts of the Society in historical research, and shall supervise and assist in the development of the organizational history of the Society.

8. The Legal Adviser shall give legal advice to the President and the Executive Committee.

9. Officers of the Society will be elected at the annual business meeting in May, on even years, and will serve a term of two years.  Officers are not limited in the number of terms which they may serve.  Any vacancies in offices of the Society may be filled at the annual business meeting in odd years.


1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers listed in ARTICLE V, together with the most immediate past President available and an elected Member at Large.  Both shall serve for two years.  A quorum shall consist of not less than five members of the Committee.  A majority of such quorum shall decide any question that may come before the Committee.

2. The Executive Committee shall discuss, formulate, and approve policies for the Society.  It shall appoint a Nominating Committee to present a suggested slate of officers at the meeting prior to the annual meeting in May.  The Executive Committee shall be empowered to discuss and transact current business of the Society in the interim between the general meetings of the Society and appoint Standing Committees for special projects.

3. Vacancies occurring in any elective office between annual business meetings in May may be filled by the Executive Committee.                                                                         


    The Society shall be empowered to purchase, accept, acquire, hold, lease, mortgage, sell, exchange, and otherwise dispose of real and personal property; and to improve, protect, preserve, restore, and/or mark with appropriate signs historic relics and sites, whether owned by the Society or not.  Consent of the owner must be obtained in writing.


1. No part of the activities of the Society shall be the carrying of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation except for the specific purpose of the Society.

2. No part of the assets or acquisitions of the Society shall inure or be paid to any person or corporation as profits or dividends. All such assets and acquisitions shall be utilized as the Executive Committee deems advisable for the benefit of the Society, and for the advancement and accomplishment of its purposes.


1. These By-Laws may be amended by two-thirds vote of the voting members present at any annual meeting, provided the amendment has been approved by the Executive Committee and written notice has been given to the Membership.  Amendments shall become effective upon the adjournment of the meeting at which adopted.

2. Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the conduct of meeting of the Society.

The foregoing revised CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS were adopted at a meeting of the Isle of Wight County Historical Society at Benn's Church, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, on September 12, 2004.


President, Isle of Wight County Historical Society

Carolyn Keen


Recording Secretary

Albert Burckard


IWCHS Bylaws

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This Page Updated:October 31, 2019