On December 29, 1777, an association was formed at Hanover, New Hampshire for the purpose of making a "settlement on White River and its branches," and in March, 1778, they petitioned the legislature of Vermont for the grant of a township to be called Bethel. This petition met with success and a grant was made on March 18, 1778 and the township charter was issued on December 23, 1779.
The town received its name based on the story of Jacob in the book of Genesis 28:11-22. The group of original settlers camped at the mouth of the Gilead River and used stones for pillows. They recounted the story of Jacob who also used stones as pillows and decided to name the town Bethel as Jacob did in the book of Genesis.
Bethel, the early years : a collection of photographs with annotated text by Irene Cushing and Irene Stafford - Find this book in a library.
The illustrated historical souvenir of Bethel, Vermont : containing a brief history of the early settlement of the town, the schools, churches, medical and legal professions, old families, business and manufacturing interests, together with portraits and biographies of the citizens, past and presen by Fred G. Cox - this book is available online free of charge.
FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online.
The probate district for Bethel is Hartford.
Hartford Probate Court
62 Pleasant Street
PO Box 275
Woodstock, VT 05091
Phone: (802) 457-1503
The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Bethel. For location of cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Windsor County, website at this link.
- Cherry Hill Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- East Bethel Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- Fairview Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- Gilead Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- Lympus Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- Old Christ Church (Old Church) Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
- Christ Church (Bethel, Vermont) - records of the church and society, 1821-1947, are available on microfilm at the Family History Library. Order film online.
- Records of the Rev. S. A. Parker, containing records of marriage and funerals at which he officiated, 1857-1901, are available on microfilm at the Family History Library. Order film online.
Digital images of Bethel Town records, 1790-1997, are available online at FamilySearch.
The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Bethel Town Clerk's Office. These include Town records, 1782-1886, Land records, 1779-1897, and Records of births, marriages, and deaths, 1769-1997.
Bethel Town Clerk
134 South Main St.
Bethel, Vermont 05032
Phone: (802) 234-9722
Libraries and Historical Societies
Bethel Historical Society
318 Main Street
PO Box 25
Bethel, VT 05032
Phone: (802) 234-5064
Bethel Public Library
106 Main St.
Bethel, VT 05032
Phone: (802) 234-9107
- Bethel, VT, An Old Mill Town Looks to Its Past for Its Future, by Kim J. Gifford - http://www.uppervalleylife.com/pdf/bethel.pdf
- History of the Town of Bethel, VT, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vermont/WindsorBethel.html