Vermont, Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
The collections consist of a name index and images (index cards) of town clerk transcriptions of births, marriages and deaths for the years 1760 to 1954. Indexing continues on records outside this year range and will be added to the collection as they are completed. Images for the years 1955 to 2008 courtesy of Ancestry.com and the Vermont State Archives. The records in this collection are for the years 1760 to 2003.
The records are handwritten on preprinted pages which have been bound into volumes. The collection consists of vital records (births, marriages, and deaths), cemetery records, and burial and removal permits. They are arranged by town, record type, then date. The content and completeness of the records varies by town.
Vital record keeping began with the earliest permanent settlement, about 1760. All original records are maintained by the town or city. The present vital registration law was enacted in 1857. This statute required all vital events be recorded in the town where they occurred. A centralized registration system was established in 1919 and copies of the town vital records was sent to the state.
This collection contains records compiled and submitted to the state by town clerks in response to the 1919 law. For events prior to that time, the information was complied from a variety of sources, including original town vital records where they existed, but also church records, tombstones, and other sources. Therefore for records prior to 1919 it should not be assumed that the source is original town vital records. There is generally no indication of the source used for these records.
For a list of records by document type, dates and surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
- Secretary of State. Vermont vital records. State Capitol Building, Montpelier, Vermont.
The following important biographical facts may be found in the birth records:
- Child’s name
- Child’s sex
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Registration date
- Parents' names
- Parents' residence
- Father’s occupation
- Parents' birth places
The following important biographical facts may be found in the marriage records:
- Full name of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Residence of bride and groom
- Age of bride and groom
- Groom’s occupation
- Birth place of bride and groom
- Parents of bride and groom
- What number of marriage for bride and groom
The following important biographical facts may be found in the death records:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Age in days, months, and years
- Marital status
- Cause of death
- Birth place
- Name of parents
- Birth date
- Military service
- Surviving spouse
- Informants' names
- Informants' residence
The following important biographical facts may be found in the burial or removal records:
- Name of person on certificate
- City or town
- Death date
- Name of deceased
- Age of deceased
- Cause of death
- Medical attendant
- Purposed date of burial or removal
- Purposed place of burial or removal
- Undertaker’s address
- Name and title of person issuing permit
- Permit date
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it will be helpful to know the following:
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The place the event occurred
- The name of the individual or individuals, such as the bride and groom, infant, or deceased
Search the Collection
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Record Type, Year Range and Volume" which takes you to the images
It is most helpful to start with the index. It should list the record number. Use that number to locate your ancestor's record
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- Use a marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
Known Issues with This Collection
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to this Article
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XF9P-MYM : accessed 3 May 2012), Joseph Chastaney, born 15 September 1890; citing Vital Records, FHL microfilm 430,073; Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, Middlesex, Vermont.
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