Windham County Locality Guide

Southern Vermont has an interesting history. It was part of New York before the American Revolution, and Windham County was claimed by both New Hampshire and New York.

You are welcome to  download my Windham County Locality Guide, to help with your research.

The sections include the major Windham County, Vermont repositories; available newspapers in the local libraries, both on microfilm and digitized; the published and compiled book sources in local libraries, and a guide to  the Vermont State Archives and Records Service  holdings for Windham County, as well as other online resources.

 

History of Windham County

No county in Vermont…excels Windham in point of scenic beauty, and none can equal it in historical interest. Nearly every mountain, river, and streamlet…has clustered about its name a wealth of historical lore.[1]

This ode to Windham County appears in the 1884 Gazetteer of Windham County, and, no doubt, could be written about many places in Vermont.

The years preceding the creation of present day Windham County was fraught with conflict and intrigue. There was a long-standing land claims dispute that began in 1741 between the Governors of New Hampshire and New York relating to all lands that lay to the west of the Connecticut River. Beginning in that year, Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire issued land grants to New England families who wanted land. After the French-Indian War in the 1760 there was a large land rush to this area and grantees from New Hampshire were selling their plots. The issue was brought to the King of England and in 1764 he ruled against the New Hampshire grantees. New York began to issue grants to the disputed lands already occupied by those who took the New Hampshire grants. More violence and tension erupted in those years between the two groups that became known as the “Yorkers” and the “Granters.”[2]

In the middle of this dispute, the American Revolution began, and Vermont declared its independence on 2 July 1777 in Windsor, Vermont. When an independent Vermont organized its government in 1777-1778, it created two counties in the disputed land located in the southern part of the state. Bennington County on the west, which bordered New York, and Unity County on its east, which bordered the Connecticut River. The name of Unity was unpopular, so very soon after its declaration, the name was changed to Cumberland County, which was actually the old New York county name when New York claimed that part of the state.

The land dispute continued between two groups in the area, which actually personified the internal conflict of the Revolutionary War: the loyalist vs. the revolutionary cause.

The dispute continued throughout the War, but on 22 February 1781, Windham County was established by the now independent Republic of Vermont by taking Cumberland County on the eastern side and dividing it into three distinct counties: Windham County, Windsor County, and Orange County.  This action did nothing to solve the dispute of conflicting claims, which continued to simmer for several more years. And in fact, in 1783, the disputes broke out into open rebellion between the two groups. This conflict was called the “Guilford War,” and it required a Vermont force lead by none other than Ethan Allen to tamp it down. [3]

The current boundaries of the county are the same now as when it was created. There have been no jurisdictional land disputes since the early one between New York and New Hampshire in the 1740s.

The County has 793 square miles, is the third largest county in the state, and is comprised of twenty-three towns. Fourteen Towns are derived from the original land grant from New Hampshire by Gov. Benning Wentworth; seven towns are chartered by Vermont; and three towns are from New York and Massachusetts land patents.[4]

Windham County is presumed to be named from the town or county of Windham, Connecticut. The town was established in 1692 and the county in 1726 and from that area many citizens immigrated to this corner of Vermont. In 1787 the Town of Newfane was established as the “shire” town, or county seat.

[1] Esther Monroe Swift, Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History, (Montpelier,Vt.: Vermont Historical Society and Camden,Me: Piction Press, 1996), 473.

[2] “The Grants vs The Yorkers,” New Frontier 1750-1820, Freedom and Unity: One Ideal-Many Stories, An Online Tour Based on Vermont Historical Society’s Exhibition in Montpelier, (http://www.freedomandunity.org/index.html : accessed 21 April 2017).

[3] Swift, Vermont Place-Names, 471.

[4] Swift, Vermont Place-Names, 471.

Windham County Repositories

Town Clerks

Although this is document is to be a county locality guide, the fact remains that all vital records such as birth, death, marriage, and land records are held at the Town level in Vermont. After 1857 the State Legislature required all Towns to send copies of birth, marriages, and deaths to the Secretary of State. In 1896 the Legislature transferred the responsibility to the Vermont Department of Health.

Certified copies of certificates of birth, death, marriage, civil union, divorce and dissolution after 2012 may be ordered from that agency. For anything before 2011, those records must be requested from the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration.

An up-to-date Excel list of Windham County Town Clerks and County Clerks with mailing address, phone numbers, fax numbers, office hours, email address may be found at the Vermont Secretary of State’s web site

https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/town-clerks-election-workers.aspx

A handy brochure entitled Guide to Vermont Town Clerks, Treasurers, and County Clerks, (Montelier, Vt.: Secretary of State, updated 21 April 2017) is also available online. This brochure also outlines costs for accessing public records;

https://www.sec.state.vt.us/media/840924/townclerkguide.pdf

Windham County Clerk

Ann Patterson, Clerk P.O. Box 207, Newfane, VT 05345 TEL: 251-2009 ann.patterson@state.vt.us Location: 7 Court Street

Windham County Historical Societies

There are twenty-one historical societies in Windham County, descriptions, collection strengths, hours, and contact information may be found here, http://vermonthistory.org/community/league-of-local-societies-and-museums-directory/windham-county.

Historical Society of Windham County
Museum, Route 30, Main Street, Newfane, VT
Mailing Address: PO Box 246, Newfane, VT 05345
Website: www.historicalsocietyofWindhamCounty.org
Email: info@historicalsocietyofwindhamcounty.org
Phone: (802) 365-4148

Since the Society is currently closed, I was unable to verify content of collections, nor whether a photocopier/scanner is available on premisis.
Contact: Kate Hennessy, Curator

The Museum houses a collection of unusual quality that interprets the history of the county from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Highlights include many excellent early portraits, Vermont furniture from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, folk art, textiles, a superb collection of Civil War artifacts, including battlefield souvenirs, and the history of the West River Railroad. Exhibits change annually.

Hours and Admission: Memorial Day Weekend through mid October: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm. Not accessible to the disabled.

Windham County Large Libraries

There are nineteen public libraries in Windham County. The two largest libraries below have genealogical and local historical resources with helpful staff. Email addresses included to the Reference Librarians.

Brooks Memorial Library
Local History Collection
224 Main St.
Brattleboro, Vt. 05301
802-254-5290
10 am to 9 pm M-W
10 am to 6 pm Th-F
10 am to 5 pm Sa

Digital Microfilm reader/printer; networked copier (color and B&W).

asklibrarian@brookslibraryvt.org
http://brookslibraryvt.org/search/subject-guides2/local-history-and-genealogy

Reference Librarian: Jeanne Walsh, 802-254-5290, ext 109

Parking: Street metered parking and metered parking next to Municipal Center, which is next to the library. Parking lot map: http://bit.ly/Brattparking

Largest public library in Windham County, the local history and genealogy collection is housed in a separate Local History and Genealogy Room. There are subscriptions to Ancestry, American Ancestors, Heritage Quest, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. Special collections: Local newspapers (see Newspaper Resource section); Porter C. Thayer Photographic Collection, silver gelatin prints of early 20th Century Windham County landscape, people, architecture taken by itinerant photographer, Porter Thayer, and held in the collection of the Brooks Memorial Library. Collection was digitized and is housed at Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont Libraries. http://bit.ly/Thayerphoto

Rockingham Free Public Library
65 Westminster Street
Bellows Falls, Vermont
Phone: 802.463.4270

Monday – Wednesday 10 – 7
Thursday & Friday 10 – 5:30
Saturday 10 – 2

E-mail: reference@rockinghamlibrary.org
Asklibrarian: http://rockinghamlibrary.org/lhistory.html

Genealogy help sessions Thursday mornings, 10 AM
Map and parking: http://rockinghamlibrary.org/lhistory.html

Photocopier, microfilm reader/printer available.

Second largest public library in Windham County, the collection houses a separate Local History and Genealogy Room with subscriptions to Ancestry, American Ancestors, Heritage Quest, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. Special collections include: Records of The First Church of Rockingham; Links to  National Register of Historic Places in Springfield and Rockingham, Vt.; N Local newspapers (see Newspaper Resource section).

Windham County Newspapers

Windham County newspapers are housed in the local public libraries, historical societies, and some are digitized as part of the Vermont Newspaper Digitization Project (see section below.)

Windham County Newspapers on Microfilm

Additional Vermont newspaper titles and holdings may be found at the Vermont Newspaper Project Catalog, a searchable database of over 1,000 titles and repository holdings, http://vtnp.uvm.edu/webvoy.htm .

Windham County Newspapers Digitized

TITLE LOCALE SOURCE
American Yeoman (02/04/1817 – 01/27/1818) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Argus 03/16/1797 – 02/26/1799 Putney,Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Bellows Falls Times (1856-1903) Bellows Falls, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Brattleboro Daily Reformer (1913-1922) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Brattleboro Messenger (12/24/1821 – 08/29/1834) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Brattleboro Reformer (1907-1911) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Brattleboro Reformer 06/07/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Brattleboro Reporter (02/21/1803 – 12/05/1820) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Federal Galaxy (01/06/1797 – 01/17/1803) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Flail (07/14/1840 – 09/01/1840) Brattleboro,Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Independent Inquirer (09/14/1833 – 09/06/1834) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Semi-weekly Eagle (08/10/1847 – 12/09/1852) Brattleboro, Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Semi-weekly Windham County Reformer (1901) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Vermont Gazette or Green-Mountain Post-Boy 04/02/1781 – 09/27/1781 Westminster,Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Vermont Phoenix (10/24/1834 – 12/29/1882) Brattleboro,Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Vermont Phoenix (1836 – 1922) Brattleboro,Vt. Newspapers.com $
Vermont Phoenix (1836-1922) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Vermont Record and Farmer (01/01/1868 – 12/29/1876) Brattleboro,Vt. Genealogybank.com $
Windham County Democrat (1837-1853) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Windham County Reformer (1879-1897) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Windham County Reformer (1901-1906) Brattleboro, Vt. ChroniclingAmerica.gov
Windham County Democrat (1837-1853) Brattleboro,Vt. Newspapers.com $
Windham County Published and Compiled Sources in Libraries

Windham Count Library Online Catalogs Holdings

A profile of the Windham Region. – Windham Regional Commission, 1994- – 1 v. (looseleaf). Cover title: Windham County town profiles. Cover on bottom of pages: Windham Region: profile for the town of …

 Business directory and general register of Windham County : to which is added a general directory of Brattleboro 1867-8. Stedman’s directory of Windham County, 1867-8 – Brattleboro : D.B. Stedman, 1867. – 66 p. ; 15 cm. “Compiled from original sources” Includes advertising matter.

Cemeteries – Wardsboro, Wilmington. – [198-?] – 1 v. (loose-leaf) ; 30 cm. Typescript; some photocopied pages. Spine title.

Cemeteries, miscellaneous. – 1901-1986. – 1 folder (6 items) : ill. ; 24 x 30 cm.

Child, Hamilton, 1836- Gazetteer and business directory of Windham County, Vt. : 1724-1884. – Syracuse, NY : Journal Office, 1884. – ca. 624 p. : ill., map, ports. ; 23 cm.

Collins, Bertha Miller. Headstones and epitaphs in Westminster, Vermont / Bertha Miller Collins, compiler ; Alice C. Caggiano, editor. – Westminster, VT : Westminster Historical Society, c1990. – 132 p. ; 28 cm.

 Docket of the Supreme Court of Windham County, February term, 1861 : to be held on the 11th day of the month. – Brattleboro : Printed by Geo E. Selleck, [1861] – 12 p. ; 18 cm.

Dummerston Center Cemetery, Dummerston, Vermont : gravestones and grave locations / [compiled by Anne C. Nash] – 1989. – 1 v. : maps ; 29 cm. Computer printout with hand-drawn maps; some pages photocopied. Includes indexes.

Franks, Alison Gene. Some cemeteries of Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont / transcribed by Alison Gene Franks. – [Brattleboro : The Author], 1997. – 137 leaves ; 28 cm.

Gleanings from gravestone inscriptions, etc. : of Brookline, Vermont circa 1737-1987 / by Germaine Alland Long Hoffman. – [S.l. : G.A.L. Hoffman, 1993?] – 396 p. ; 29 cm.

Howe, Marjorie Valliere . Taft Cemetery : West Dummerston, Windham Co., Vermont / Compiled by Marjorie Valliere Howe. – Williamsville, VT : M .V . Howe, 1999. – 21 p.

Howe, Marjorie Valliere. A record of burials at the Vermont asylum : later known as the Brattleboro Retreat, 1837-1900 / compiled by Marjorie Valliere Howe. – [Williamsville, Vt. : M.V. Howe], c1999. – iv, 55 leaves ; 28 cm.

Howe, Marjorie Valliere. Gravestone inscriptions of Locust Ridge Cemetery, Brattleboro, Windham Co., Vt. / compiled and edited by Marjorie Valliere Howe. – [Williamsville, Vt.] : M. Howe, c1999. – viii, 62 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Howe, Marjorie Valliere. Gravestone listings of Prospect Hill Cemetery, Brattleboro, Vt. / compiled and edited by Marjorie Valliere Howe. – [Williamsville, Vt.] : M. Howe, 2000. – xi, 209 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Larned, Ellen D. 1825-1912. History of Windham County, Connecticut / by Ellen D. Larned. – Pomfret, CT : Swordsmith Productions, 2000. – 2 v. : ill., map, ports. ; 23 cm. Reprint of the 1874-1880 edition published by the author, with a new introduction and indexes. Includes indexes. v. 1. 1600-1760 — v. 2. 1760-1880 [i.e., 1880]

Location of gravestones in the graveyards and cemeteries of Dummerston, Vermont / [compiled by Anne C. Nash] – [1990] – 26 leaves : maps ; 29 cm. Computer printout with hand-drawn maps; some pages photocopied. Includes indexes.

Morris, Joan M. A surname guide to heads of families and landowners of Windham County, Vermont in the year 1870 as compiled by Joan M. Morris. – [s.l.] : Morris, c1977. – 97 leaves ; 28 cm.

Newfane cemeteries. – [199-?] – 1 v. (loose-leaf) : maps ; 29 cm.

 News & views : The Historical Society of Windham County. Newfane, Vt. : Historical Society of Windham County, [1996?- – v. : ill. ; 28 cm.

Nichols, Joann H. Index to known cemetery listings in Vermont / compiled by Joann H. Nichols; assisted by Patricia L. Haslam. – 3rd ed. – Montpelier, VT : Vermont Historical Society, 1995. – x, 13-69 p. : maps ; 28 cm.

Prospect Hill Cemetery : deaths 1788-1890. – [19–] – 1 v. ; 38 cm. Cover title. Photocopy of handwritten records of the Prospect Hill Association.

Prospect Hill Cemetery : list of names in alphabetical order. – [19–] – 1 v. ; 29 cm.

Stevens, Ken. A complete listing of gravestone inscriptions in Putney, Vermont / Ken Stevens. – Sykesville, MD : M.R. Jenks, c1994. – iv, 111 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Townsend, Charles D. 1911- Index of Gazetteer of Windham County, VT, 1884, Hamilton Child by Charles. – Sarasota, FL : Aceto Bookmen, 1987. – 203, [4] p. ; 28 cm. “covers the text portion of the Gazetteer and does not cover the Business Directory”

Wilmington cemeteries, Wilmington, Windham County Vermont : index to the burials / compiled by Margaret C. Greene. – 1968. – 94, 212 leaves : maps ; 30 cm.

 Windham County court records, 1766-1974. compiled by Beth T. Muskat. – 1991. – xi, 25 leaves ; 30 cm. Computer printout; inventory of court records. Includes bibliography: p. iv.

Wmsville, Newfane, Brookline, Dummerston cemeteries. Williamsville, Newfane, Brookline, Dummerston cemeteries – [198-?] – 1 v. (loose-leaf) : maps ; 30 cm.

Wright, Charles Byron. Monuments & headstones in the “new cemetery” East Parish, Westminster, Windham County, Vermont as of November 10, 1999 / Monuments and headstones in the “new cemetery” East Parish compiled by Charles Byron Wright. – Walpole, NH : Charles B. Wright, c1999. – xiii, 125 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.

Maps

Beers, F. W. Atlas of Windham County, Vermont, by F. W. Beers, assisted by Geo. P. Sanford and others. – Centennial ed., 1869-1969. – Brattleboro, Vt., The Book Cellar; distributed by Stephen Greene Press [1969?] – 1 portfolio (39 l. illus., maps (part col.)) 42 cm.

Grau, Charles William. Brattleboro and vicinity compiled from town and county maps, and actual surveys and measurements [cartographic material] Map of drives about Brattleboro drawn by C.W. Grau ; Hart & Von Arx, photo-lith. , Scale 1:42,240 – [New York? : Hart & Von Arx?, 1860?] – 1 map ; 42 x 47 cm. Shows towns, buildings, rivers, roads and railroad. Relief shown by hachures and spot heights. Depths shown by soundings. Includes legend. In cover, folded to 16 cm.

McClellan’s Map of Windham County, Vermont from actual surveys and under supervision of J. Chase, Jr. – The atlas ed. , Scale ca. 1:50,688. ca. 1 1/4 in. = 1 mile. – West Chesterfield, NH : Old Maps, c1984. – 1 atlas (58 p.) : ill., col. maps ; 36 cm. Reprint. Originally published as wall map: Phila., Pa. : C. McClellan & Co., 1856. “Village maps are enlarged by one-half”–P. [1]. “All Windham County towns in 1856”–Cover. Includes index. Grid overlay inserted.

Beers, F. W. Atlas of Windham Co., Vermont. From actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers, assisted by Geo. P. Sanford & others. – New York, F. W. Beers, A. D. Ellis & G. G. Soule, 1869. – 39 l. (chiefly illus., col. maps) 41 cm.

Windham County Record Losses

Record Losses

The only record loss documented was a fire in 1946-47 in the Marlboro, Vermont, Town Clerk’s office that destroyed mainly land records. However, the Town Clerk does not think there are huge gaps.[1] A phone inquiry to the Vermont State Archives, Middlesex, Vermont, did not reveal any that they knew about.

[1] Forrest Holzapfel, Town Clerk, Marlboro, Vermont, to Jerry Carbone, e-mail, 25 April 2017, “Vital record losses in Marlboro,” privately held by Carbone, Brattleboro, Vermont.

Windham County Records at the Vermont State Archives and Records Service

Vermont State Archive Holdings for Windham County

The Vermont State Archives and Records Service have five main online databases. Descriptions below are from the main landing page, .

Nye Index”, which is an index to the Manuscript Vermont State Papers (c. 1760-1860) and other early Vermont records; .

Surveying Maps and Lotting Plans,” This database is comprised of maps which are mainly “lotting plans.” The lotting plans divided land among the proprietors of the town who were originally granted the land. Search under town name or historic name, e.g. Brattleboro or Brattleborough. .

Photographs.” A database containing more than 1000 photographs held by the Vermont State Archives, but it cannot retrieve entries by county.

Governors’ Inaugural and Farewell Addresses.” A Full text searchable archive which may be key word searched for mentions of “Windham County,” or Windham County towns.

The Archives Record Catalog.” The primary catalog of records in the Vermont State Archives. The following links were extracted for Windham County from the Vermont State Archives database. The contents consist mainly of court records: Justice of the Peace; Windham County courts; and Supreme Court cases. The link is:

Cumberland County (Vt.)

Cumberland County (Vt.)
Deeds, 1766 – 1775.
Series ID: CUCO-001           Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 cubic foot.  Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of deeds from Cumberland County.

Windham County (Vt.)

Windham County records, 1781-1901.
Series ID: PRA-041
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 cubic foot.  Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of various Windham county records. The records were from the estate of Jason E. Bushnell, a former selectman of Brattleboro and an avid collector.

Windham County Justice of the Peace

Justice of the peace records, 1781 – 1890.
Series ID: WMJP-001
Location: State Archives
Extent: 50 cubic feet.            Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of justice of the peace records deposited with the Windham County clerk. The records include writs, judgments, verdicts, summonses, receipts, notes, and record books.

Windham County Vermont County Court

Case files, 1772 – 1942.
Series ID: WMCC-003
Location: State Archives
Extent: 95 cubic feet.            Access: Open
Scope: Case files include all documents generated during the process of a civil or criminal court trial, and may be extensive, minimal or nonexistent for any given case. They may include writs, affidavits, depositions, subpoenas, verdicts, pleas, motions, warrants, indictments, recognizances, mittimuses, bonds, bills of costs, witness certificates, transcripts, documents relating to appeals, and supporting documents such as deeds, promissory notes, statements and inventories. Case files primarily are arranged in docket order by court term. Some case files however are unprocessed. This series contains some early case files in fragile condition that cannot be handled by researchers.

Docket books, 1795 – 1945.
Series ID: WMCC-001
Location: State Archives
Extent: 18 cubic feet.            Access: Open
Scope: The series consists of court dockets kept by the court clerk. Dockets are court calendars which record all cases in order for each court term, assigning a unique number to each case. Docket entries include plaintiff and defendant, attorneys and a brief summary of action taking place that court term. Entries may also include court costs for a case. Chancery court cases were docketed with the county court cases beginning in 1914.

Windham County Vermont County Court

Naturalization records, 1851-1920.
Series ID: PRA-182
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 cubic foot.  Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of records of individuals whose allegiance was taken and attested to before the court (4 volumes), 1851 – 1906; declarations of intention to renounce allegiance to foreign powers and to become a citizen of the U.S. (1 volume), 1908 – 1920; petition for naturalization (1 page), 1908; and an index to naturalizations (3 inches), 1851 – 1897.

Click here for Related Finding Aids

Record books, 1772 – 1953.
Series ID: WMCC-002
Location: State Archives
Extent: 11 cubic feet.            Access: Open
Scope: Record books contain entries by the court clerk which summarize each case that ended in a judgment. Entries are arranged chronologically by court term. Cumberland County court cases (1772 – 1774) are recorded in the first two volumes of the Windham County court records.

Transcripts, 1890 – 1950.
Series ID: WMCC-004
Location: State Archives
Extent: 10 cubic feet.            Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of transcripts of Windham County court cases. The transcripts are unprocessed.

Windham County Vermont, Probate Court (District of Marlboro)

Administrative records, 1791 – 1996, bulk 1807 – 1891.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-001
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 box Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of records relating to the administration of the probate court including appointments, correspondence, minutes, and financial records.

Adoption case files, 1824 – 1891, bulk 1863 – 1891.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-008
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 box.            Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of case files which document adoption proceedings. Filed papers might include petitions, reports, original birth records, relinquishments of parental rights, and related records. The files are arranged alphabetically by adopted last name.

Estate case files, 1784 – 1977.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-005
Location: State Archives
Extent: 101 boxes.    Access: Open
Scope: Estate case files document the probate of wills and the settlement of estates. Files contain all papers filed during probate proceedings, and may include petitions, wills, codicils, lists of heirs, inventories, reports, and receipts. Information about Revolutionary War pensioners is sometimes included. The case files are arranged into two date ranges: 1784 to 1891 and 1890 to 1977, and are arranged alphabetically by last name within each date range.

Guardianship case files, 1892 – 1970.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-006
Location: State Archives
Extent: 6 boxes.         Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of guardianship case files. Case files may include petitions, codicils, inventories, reports and receipts. The case files frequently include a case file number. Records are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Insolvency records, 1878 – 1900.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-012
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 volume, 2 boxes.   Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of a single docket book of insolvency proceedings from 1878 to 1893 and case files covering 1887 – 1900. Case files are arranged alphabetically by debtor’s name and may contain petitions, inventories, appraisals, reports, and related records. Federal District Courts superseded Probate Courts as Courts of Insolvency with the passage of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898.

Involuntary commitment case files, 1856 – 1973.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-009
Location: State Archives
Extent: 6 boxes.         Access: Partial
Scope: Case files document commitment proceedings. Commitment files contain all papers filed during courts of inquiry and similar proceedings related to the commitment of individuals to public or private institutions. Commitment files may include petitions, reports, orders, and related records. These cases are filed alphabetically within two date ranges, 1856 – 1891 and 1892 – 1973. Mental health evaluations contained in commitment files are exempt from public inspection pursuant to Rule 77 of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure and 14 V.S.A. § 3067.

Name change case files, 1884 – 1888.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-011
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 box.            Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of case files which include all papers filed in matters related to name changes. They are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Record books, 1781 – 1997.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-002
Location: State Archives
Extent: 114 volumes, 2 microfilm reels.     Access: Partial
Scope: Record books document all probate court proceedings, including estates, trusts, guardianships, adoptions, and commitments. Books contain transcriptions of papers filed with the court, as well as copies of decrees and orders. An alphabetical index to the books from 1781 to 1944 is available on microfilm. Most books also contain their own index. Adoption records for adoptees who are less than 99 years old; records documenting the relinquishment of parental rights; and mental health records which may be recorded in the books are exempt from public inspection pursuant to state statutes and Rule 77 of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure.

Trust case files, 1825 – 1891, bulk 1851 – 1891.
Series ID: PRO-MRP-007
Location: State Archives
Extent: 1 box.            Access: Open
Scope: Series consists of case files which document trusts and the performance of trustees appointed by a will or probate court. Filed papers may include appraisals, accounts, receipts, inventories, and reports. The files are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Vermont. Supreme Court (Windham County).

Case files, 1842 – 1916.
Series ID: SUPR-WM-003
Location: State Archives
Extent: 5 cubic feet.  Access: Open
Scope: Case files include all documents generated during the course of a supreme court trial, and may be extensive, minimal or nonexistent for any given case. They may include writs, affidavits, depositions, subpoenas, verdicts, pleas, motions, warrants, bonds, bills of costs, witness certificates, transcripts, and documents relating to appeals, such as bills of exceptions. There may also be supporting documents such as deeds, promissory notes, statements and inventories. Case files are arranged in docket order by court term.

Docket books, 1794 – 1919.
Series ID: SUPR-WM-001
Location: State Archives
Extent: 2 cubic feet.  Access: Open
Scope: The series consists of court dockets kept by the court clerk. Court dockets are court calendars which record all cases in order for each court term, assigning a unique number to each case. Docket entries include plaintiff and defendant, attorneys, jury members, and a brief summary of action taking place that court term. Entries often include court costs for a case. Early dockets also include jury lists, admissions to the supreme court bar and court administrative costs. Series also contains a transfer docket.

Record books, 1794 – 1955.
Series ID: SUPR-WM-002
Location: State Archives
Extent: 2 cubic feet.  Access: Open
Scope: Record books contain entries by the court clerk which summarize each case that ended in a judgment. They are arranged chronologically by court term.

Windham County Records Miscellaneous Online Sources

Other Online Resources for Windham County

ARCCat, is cooperative catalog describing archival and manuscript collections held by various Vermont institutions. Broad keyword searching under “’Windham County,” or for Towns in Windham County will yield results.

The Landscape Change Program, University of Vermont, is a virtual collection of images that documents 200 years of Vermont’s changing face. The mission is to preserve and present images of Vermont landscapes as they were and as they are. There are 3, 321 images relating to Windham County.

Historical Research with Vermont Court Records: a published guide to Vermont’s court records, 1794-1945.

Hemenway, Abby Maria, The Vermont historical gazetteer: a magazine embracing a history of each town, civil, ecclesiastical, biographical and military; 5 Vols, (Burlington, Vt. : Abby Maria Hemenway, 1867-1890); Vol. 5: The Towns of Windham County, 736p.; RootsWeb.com , images, (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vtwindha/vhg5/index.htm : accessed 25 April 2017). Links to alphabetical order of all Towns in Windahm County.

Windham County Probate Records 

Probate records for Windham County, Vermont are divided into two districts: Marlboro and Westminster. Below are online images for them found on familysearch.org.

Vermont, Windham County, Marlboro District, probate records, 1809-1915” Images. FamilySearch.org http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 25 April 2017. Vermont. Supreme Court.
Salt Lake City, Utah : Digitized by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2008. These are images of microfilmed records.

Vermont, Windham County, Westminster District, probate records, 1781-1921.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Probate Court. Supreme Court of Vermont, Administrative Services, Montpelier. There are 21, 168 Images of probate records located at the Vermont Public Records Office in Middlesex. Records are bundled together by year. This collection is being published as images become available.

Windham County Land Records

 

Brattleboro, Vermont       

Brattleboro, Vt., “Land Records,” Town of Brattleboro Real Property Records, database with images, (https://i2d.uslandrecords.com/VT/Brattleboro/D/Default.aspx) : accessed 25 April 2017.

Document index and images are available from May 1962 to present; map index and images are available from June 1857 to resent. Searching and document viewing is provided as a free service by the Town of Brattleboro. Printing and/or downloading will incur a $3.00 per page charge.

Wilmington, Vermont

Wilmington, Vt., “Land Records, “ Vermont Town Clerks Portal, database with images, (http://cotthosting.com/vtportal/User/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fvtportal%2f) : accessed 25 April 2017). Land 08/15/1989 to current; surveys 01/01/1900 to current; land 08/15/1989 to current, surveys 01/01/1900 to current. Portal offers free guest access, index only.

Newfane, Vermont

Newfane, Vt., “Land Records,” Vermont Town Clerks Portal, database with images, (http://cotthosting.com/vtportal/User/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fvtportal%2f) : accessed 25 April 2017). [Land records] 02/24/1998 to current; Book 84 Page 1 to current. Portal offers free guest access, index only.