United States Town Records

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Many town records have been kept by town clerks, especially in New England and New York. These records may contain information about births, marriages, deaths, burials, appointments, earmarks (brands on animals), estrays (stray animals), freemen's oaths (men eligible to vote), land records, military enrollments, mortgages, church records, name changes, care of the poor, school records, surveys, tax lists, town meeting minutes, voter registrations, and “warnings out” (of town). Town records generally begin with the founding of the town and are kept to the present.

Many of the original town records are in the town clerks' offices. Many have also been published and indexed, especially in genealogical periodicals. New England town records are at the state archives and on microfilm at the Family History Library (see the state research outlines for the New England states and New York). Town records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Web Links

  • Miscellaneous Massachusetts Town Records [1]
  • Miscellaneous Vermont Town Records [2]
  • Miscellaneous New Hampshire Town Records [3]