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Societies often maintain a genealogical file for historical families of the area or for ancestors of society members. Most genealogical societies focus on local and regional records, while others concentrate on the records and migrations of ethic groups or minorities.
Societies may guide you to useful sources, suggest avenues of research, put you in touch with other genealogists who are interested in the same families, or perform research for you. The resources of the society may help determine immigrant origins. Genealogical and historical societies may publish transcriptions of original records, and many publish quarterly periodicals.
Some genealogical and historical societies hold conferences in which lecturers discuss genealogical research methods, available sources, and other topics. These lectures include information on records or research. Transcripts, audio tapes, and conference class outlines are often available to the public.
Lineage and Heritage Societies
Lineage societies, such as the DAR, Colonial Dames, and the Sons of the American Revolution, require members to prove they are descended from people such as colonists or soldiers. The applications for membership in these societies are usually preserved and occasionally published. National lineage societies such as the DAR are described in United States Societies.
A few national lineage societies have chapters in Vermont:
- Daughters of the American Revolution (Vermont). Vermont Miscellaneous Records. 20 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1952. (Family History Library films 227742–47.) These are Vermont records of Bible, church, and cemetery records; 1850 and 1860 census mortality schedule abstracts; town, vital, and family records; deeds; Revolutionary War records; lineage records; school records; some wills; and tax lists. Each volume is individually indexed.
- Hinman, Alice A.. Vermont State Conference, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1892–1930. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle, 1931. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4h.) This source contains detailed biographical information on the members and includes genealogical facts.
- Allen, Charles Edwin, The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Vermont. Burlington, Vermont: Free Press Printing, 1906. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4cw.) This book lists the officers, member claims, and member biographies.
- Society of Colonial Wars (Vermont). Society of Colonial Wars in Vermont: Officers, Committees and Members. Three Volumes. Burlington, Vermont: Free Press Printing, 1909–1922. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4cwc; film 1673335, items5–6.) This contains biographical and genealogical information of members.
Genealogical and Historical Societies
Genealogical and historical societies can provide historical information about families in the area or ancestors of society members.
The majority of the New England genealogical and historical societies deal mainly with all the New England states. There are a few which specialize in Vermont histories and genealogies. For the addresses and telephone numbers of the following societies, see the “Archives and Libraries” section of this outline.
Genealogical Society of Vermont. Founded in 1971, it is dedicated to assisting genealogists with Vermont research. They publish a quarterly journal, Vermont Genealogy, which contains genealogies, source records, and book reviews.
Vermont Historical Society. The largest historical society in the state, it collects family histories, published vital records, cemetery inscriptions, town histories, and military and biographical information. Their holdings include a large manuscript collection, letters, diaries, and account books.
New England Historic Genealogical Society. Founded in 1845, it is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and publication of materials relating to family and local history. There is a large section of both books and microfilm devoted entirely to Vermont records.
Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society. Founded in 1966, they publish Links, a semiannual journal. They have a library and research facilities.
St. John’s Club
9 Central Avenue
PO Box 65128
Burlington, VT 05406-5128
Local historical societies often have records related to family history, but may have limited hours. For a list of local historical societies, see:
Local Historical Societies. In Vermont Historical Society (database on-line). Montpelier, Vermont: VHS, 24 August 1999 (cited 25 August 1999). Available at www.state.vt.us/vhs/lhs/lhsindex.htm; INTERNET. This list gives addresses, telephone numbers, collection descriptions, contact persons, hours, and admission fees.
Family Associations and Surname Societies
Family associations and surname societies have been organized to gather information about ancestors or descendants of specific individuals or families. See the “Societies” section of the United States Research Outline (30972) for a directory and more information about these societies.
Clubs or Other Organizations
Clubs or occupational or fraternal organizations may have existed in the area where your ancestor lived. Those societies may have kept records of members or applications that may be of genealogical or biographical value. Though many of the old records have been lost, some have been donated to local, regional, or state archives and libraries.
Public librarians and county clerks may be aware of other local organizations or individuals you can contact for information and services. In many small communities, the elderly are a wonderful resource for history and memories. Some maintain scrapbooks of obituaries and events in the community.
Additional sources about Vermont societies can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Locality Search under:
VERMONT, [COUNTY], SOCIETIES
VERMONT, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- SOCIETIES