Your Guide to Researching Vermont Ancestors

State Capital: Montpelier

First Settled:1724 (Fort Dummer), but there was not significant settlement until after the French & Indian War, which ended in 1763.

1777-1791 Vermont existed as a republic
Admitted as the 14th state in 1791

First mostly extant federal census: 1790 (taken 1791)

Statewide birth and death registration:1955; Earlier vital records can be found in the town records. An 1857 law mandated recording of vital records; in 1919 a statewide index of vital records was created.

V ermont is a state land state; land records are kept at the town level.

Books, Periodicals, Articles, Tapes, CD's etc.
On The Web

There is nothing more helpful that a handy reference book with information specific to the area you are researching. I've listed below those that I know about.

(find in a library) will give you a link to help you find the book in the library closest to you. Most will show libraries near Ann Arbor... to change the location, type in your zip code and you can find libraries near you.

All of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Here are some materials specific to Vermont research:


Bailey. Across the Borders for all family history researchers interested in the northern Vermont counties of Essex, Lamoille, Chittenden, Caledonia, Grand Isle, Franklin, Washington and Orleans, and the eastern townships of Quebec (find in a library)

Bartley. [writing a Vermont genealogical guide to be published in 2008]

Denis. Vermont Counties and Towns: What Was What, When and Where, 1985 (find in a library)

Eicholz. Collecting Vermont Ancestors, rev. ed. 1993out of print (find in a library)

Leppman. A Bibliography for Vermont Genealogy, 2nd ed. 2005) (find in a library)


Branches and Twigs (find in a library)
(Index 1972-1995)

Vermont Genealogy (find in a library)


Vermont Historical Gazetteer (1867-1891) available from the NEHGS.

First, bookmark or print out these FHL documents:

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state Vermont ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.


Bookmark or print out this map of Vermont Counties.
You might also find these old maps of Vermont useful.
The 1895 Vermont Atlas provides a statewide map, maps of each of the counties and an 1895 index of towns and cities.
Vermont's Historical County Lines

State/County sites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interst at at the Vermont Gen Web (use the county and town selection lists to find what's available for each of the counties). Then do the same for the ALHN Vermont page and the AHGP Vermont page.

Visit the websites of these libraries. archives and societies.

The Vermont State Archives has a few helpful pages under the "Research" links, including a summary of genealogical research hints and an online index to the Vermont State Papers,

Vermont is served by the National Archives Northeast Region, which is housed in Boston.

The Vermont Historical Society maintains a the VHS Library at Barre, Vermont and a helpful page on genealogical research in Vermont.

You may decide to join the Genealogical Society of Vermont or one of the many local genealogical societies in Vermont.

Cemetery Records

Find a listing of Vermont cemetery records online at's Vermont page or Cemetery Junction (which is arranged by the name of the cemetrey) . See what is available at the Vermont Cemeteries Project. and the Tombstone Transcription Project for Vermont.


The 1880 census can be searched for free at Be sure to use the pull down at the top to limit your search to 1880 US and the pull down at the bottom to limit it to Vermont.

Find other online cesus records and more census information at's Vermont links.



The Vermont Newspaper Project will help you locate newspapers. Those that have been filmed can usually be borrowed on interlibrary loan. Once you've identified a newspaper you want to see, ask the Librarian at your local library to try to get it on interlibrary loan.

Vital Records

To get information about vital records, check the Vermont Department of Health (official page) or the Vitalrec Vermont Page .

Black Sheep

Check out Vermont Black Sheep Ancestors to see if you have any ancestors on that list!

Help! Queries and Lookups

Post or find a query at any of the Vermont county pages of or the Gen Forum Vermont page (this site is not broken down into counties).
See if a lookup you need is offered by a volunteer at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: Vermont.

More links