Vermont, Town Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Vermont, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005 and Vermont Town Records, 1850-2005.
The records are handwritten or typewritten 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, then by record type, then by date. The content and completeness of the records varies by town.
The earliest records are called proprietors’ records. After the proprietors sold their lands, the town clerk was the principal local record keeper. Town records generally begin with the founding of a town and are kept to the present.
Town records encompass a wide variety of record types and events and can contain records of births, marriages, deaths, burials, cemeteries, appointments, earmarks, strays (records of stray animals), military records, freemen’s oaths (men eligible to vote), land and property records, mortgages, name changes, care of the poor, school records, surveys, tax lists, town meeting minutes, voter registrations, and warnings out of town.
Births: When a birth occurs, the physician, midwife, or other birth attendant is required to complete a birth certificate and file it with the town clerk in the town of birth within 10 days. For hospital births, it is usually the medical records staff that completes the birth certificate. The completed birth certificate is recorded and filed in the town where the birth took place, and a certified copy is sent to the Health Department.
Deaths: Although a physician is responsible for filing the death certificate, the job may be, and often is, delegated to the funeral director. Most of the information needed to complete the death certificate is obtained from the family of the deceased. A physician, however, must complete the cause of death information and sign the death certificate. The funeral director files the completed certificate with the town clerk who sends a certified copy to the Health Department.
Marriage and Civil Unions: When a couple wishes to marry or establish a civil union in Vermont, they provide a town clerk with the information needed to complete the license. The couple takes the license to an officiant who signs and dates it and returns it to the town clerk. The town clerk records and files the certificate, and sends a certified copy to the Health Department.
This collection contains town records for the years 1850 to 2005.
The first settlers of Vermont carried on the early New England tradition of recording events at the town level by town clerks/treasurers. These event recordings established and delineated legal/social relationships according to the attendant norms of Vermont, and, generally the United States.
Towns in Vermont also recorded land transactions to document the transfer of land ownership and thereby establish legal rights to land, track responsibilities for taxes, and designate persons to serve in various county functions, such as maintaining public roads in earlier times.
The information given in town records is generally reliable; however, there can be transcription errors in records that undergo this copying process. The vital records are incomplete before mandatory registration began in 1857.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in the Vermont, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005 collection, select the Browse.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in the Vermont, Town Records, 1850-2005 collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Vermont, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.
Key genealogical facts usually found in birth records include:
- Child’s name and gender
- Date and place of birth
- Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
- Parents' residence
- Father's occupation
- Father's birthplace
- Mother's birthplace
- Live or stillborn birth
- Name of medical attendant
- Registration date of the birth
Key genealogical facts usually found in marriage records include:
- Date and place of marriage
- Name and age of groom
- Residence of groom
- Groom's occupation
- Number of marriages for groom
- Groom's birthplace
- Names of groom's parents and their birthplace
- Name and age of bride
- Residence of bride
- Number of marriages for bride
- Names of bride's parents and their birthplace
- Name and title of person performing ceremony
Key genealogical facts usually found in death records include:
- Name and age of deceased
- Date and place of death
- Date and place of birth of deceased
- Marital status of deceased
- Name of surviving spouse
- Race, residence and occupation of deceased
- Cause of death
- Level of education of deceased
- Names of parents
- Name of informant and their residence
- Name of attending physician
- Military service
- Burial information
Key genealogical facts usually found in burial/removal records include:
- Name of person to whom certificate was issued
- City/town and county
- Death date
- Name and age of deceased
- Cause of death
- Medical attendant
- Purposed date and place of burial or removal
- Name and address of undertaker
- Name and title of person issuing permit
- Permit date
In addition, these records may also contain Land and Property and Military records.
How to Use the Record
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the County ⇒ Select the Town ⇒ Select the Record Type, Volume, Pages and Date Range which takes you to the images.
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the person at the time of the event
- The approximate date and place the event occurred
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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.
- 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.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- 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.
- 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.
Keep in mind:
- The information in these 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 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
| This section is incomplete.
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Related Wiki Articles
- Vermont Town Records
- Vermont Vital Records
- Vermont Land and Property
- Vermont Military Records
- Vermont Cemeteries
Contributions to this Article
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Vermont, Town Records, 1732-2005," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 14 June 2012), Franklin > Bakersfield > Death Certificates 1904-1985 vol 6-16 > Image 507 of 1199, Florence Wanzer, died 23 June 1932, St Albnas, Vermont; citing various Town Offical in Vermont, Vermont Town Records. Town halls in Vermont, United States.