Vermont Court Records
Names of Vermont residents may be found in civil court records of actions such as disputes over property or settlement of estates. Criminal court records have information of those involved in confrontations, thefts, or destruction of property. These records may give a person’s age, residence, occupation, and family relationships. Friends and neighbors may have given depositions as witnesses.
The following are major Vermont courts that kept records of genealogical value:
1777– present: Superior or county courts have county-wide jurisdiction over major civil and criminal cases.
1786– present: Justice courts had county-wide jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. As other courts were created, jurisdiction of the justice courts was reduced to minor civil cases.
1800s– present: District courts have county-wide jurisdiction over minor civil and criminal cases.
The records of these courts are available at the county courthouses. The Public Records Division at Montpelier has county court and supreme court records for Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Washington, and Windsor counties from 1782 to 1834. Contact details for county courts are found at http://www.genealogy.com/00000274.html. The University of Vermont has some Windsor County documents for 1759 to 1852.
See the United States Research Outline (30972) for more detailed information on court records. Refer to the “Probate Records” and “Naturalization and Citizenship” sections of this outline for information about those specific court records.
The Family History Library has microfilm copies of only a few court records. They can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:
VERMONT, [COUNTY]- COURT RECORDS
VERMONT, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- COURT RECORDS