Catherine Desmarais, Certified Genealogist

Stone House Historical Research

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Vermont Church Records at the State Archives

Posted: October 28th, 2013

Warren United Church c1839

Warren United Church c1839

Church records are probably one of the most under-utilized sources by Vermont historians and genealogists. (Court records would also be in contention for the title of most under-utilized, but that’s a topic for another day.) The relative inaccessibility of Vermont church records, as compared to church records in some other states, contributes to this. The last state-wide inventory of Vermont church records was completed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, and has not been updated.

Most early church records seem to remain with their Vermont congregations. The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society has done an amazing job transcribing Catholic records into repertoires, thus making them accessible to researchers. Records of other denominations are less accessible. I’ve discovered that some current pastors do not know what became of the records that were in possession of their congregation during the 1930s, and have asked me to get back in touch with them if I discovered their current location. Some records have been donated to the Vermont Historical Society, local historical societies, or the Special Collections Department of the Bailey-Howe Library at the University of Vermont. Many researchers are not aware that the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA) has a sizable collection of church records on microfilm.

In order to make the titles in VSARA collection more easily searchable for myself and other researchers, I transcribed the church record films in their card catalog into the following table. The titles of the films are not necessarily as descriptive as I’d like them to be. For example, the card catalog says that the records for the First Congregational Church in Jericho begin in 1793. This is because it includes a list of pastors that begins that year. As I recall from using this film some time ago, the baptisms and marriages do not begin until about the turn of the 20th century. Some other cards are a bit cryptic. For example, one of the cards for Middletown Springs, in Rutland County, shows the “Secretary’s Book of the Y.P.S.C.E., Nathan Record.” A google search tells me that the initials stand for the “Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor.” I’m still not sure what the reference to “Nathan Record” means. Someday I’d like to look at all of these films and annotate this list. In the meantime, I hope it helps someone find their Vermont ancestor. If you have used some Vermont church records in your research, post a comment to let me know where you found them!

 

 Vermont Church Records Available on Microfilm at the Vermont Archives and Records Administration, Middlesex

Town County Church Vol. Dates Film # Comments
Ferrisburg / Ferrisburgh Addison Quaker, Society of Friends, including vital records 1-2 1801-1881 F-1893 Not indexed
Goshen Addison Old Goshen Church, formerly Baptist Society 1, 3 1805-1989 F-36980
Hancock Addison Hancock Church Records 1880-1922 F-7265
Vergennes Addison Vergennes Church 9 assorted pamphlets 1814-1976 F-7851
Vergennes Addison First Congregational Society Ledger 1 1841-1852 F-7851
Vergennes Addison First Congregational Society Records 1-3 1807-1902 F-7851
Vergennes Addison Congregational Church Records 1-3 1793-1892 F-7851
Shaftsbury Bennington South Shaftsbury Universalist Society 1840-1876 F-7248
Barnet Caledonia McIndoe Falls Church 1-4 1829-1956 F-7055
Danville Caledonia Danville Baptist Church 1792-1842 S-27967 VHS
Peacham Caledonia Congregational Church 1794-1956 F-581
St. Johnsbury Caledonia St. Johnsbury Church Records 4 vols. 1809-1903 F-7102
Jericho Chittenden First Congregational Church 1793-1943 F-2926
Jericho Chittenden 2nd Congregational Church 1834-1960 F-2926
Richmond Chittenden Universalist Church warranty deeds to pews 1 1880 F-1643
Franklin Franklin First Congregational Society 1-2 1863-1905 F-7118
Franklin Franklin First Congregational Society 2 1851-1900 F-7118
Georgia Franklin Georgia Church Records 1 1812-1827 F-1605
Bradford Orange Bradford Church Marriage Records 1810-1875 F-2102
Bradford Orange Baptist Society 1863-1913 F-2102
Randolph Orange Congregational Church 1-5 1786-1919 F-7383
Randolph Orange Congregational Church Misc. Papers 1791-1961 F-7384
Tunbridge Orange Tunbridge Church Records 1 1792-1864 F-2365 Not indexed
Albany Orleans First Methodist Episcopal 1 1818-1917 F-7028
Brownington Orleans First Congregational Church 1-2 1809-1869 F-7161
Coventry Orleans Coventry Church Records 1, 2, 1 1874-1931 F-2960
Greensboro Orleans Greensboro Church Records 1804-1910 F-1960
Greensboro Orleans Congregational Church 1-3 1804-1976 F-7852
Greensboro Orleans Congregational Church Session Records 1845-1958 F-7852
Greensboro Orleans Congregational Society Records 1817-1905 F-7852
Greensboro Orleans Book of Records of the Associate Congregation 1844-1947 F-7852
Greensboro Orleans Records of Meetings of Church of Christ 1947-1966 F-7852
Greensboro Orleans Letters of Dismissals & Recommendations 1943-1967 F-7852
Lowell Orleans Lowell Church Records (Kelleyvale) 1 1816-1850 F-1543
Lowell Orleans Lowell Church Records 2 1816-1880 F-1543
Ira Rutland Ira Church Records 1 1862-1927 F-7076
Middletown Springs Rutland Trinitarian Congregational Society 1834-1908 F-7187
Middletown Springs Rutland Secretary’s Book of the YPSCE, Nathan Record 1802-1869 F-28336
Middletown Springs Rutland Cummunity Church Board of Fellowship, Middletown Park Assoc. 1802-1869 F-28337
Pawlet Rutland Methodist Church 1-4 1804-1901 F-7126
Pawlet Rutland Congregational Church 1-5 1781-1900 F-7126
Rutland    (Old Town) Rutland Rutland Religious Society 25 1860-1900 F-7593
Rutland     (Old Town) Rutland Rutland Religious Society 57 1885-1890 F-7594
Rutland City Rutland Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, Church Council Book, Annual Meetings 1901-1951 S-16872
Rutland City Rutland Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, Books D, E, & H/B, D, & M 1913-1957 S-16872
Sherburne Rutland Christian Church 1 1829-1862 F-7070
Sherburne Rutland Sherburne Union Society 2 1838-1889 F-7071
Sherburne Rutland United Church of Christ 3 1838-1972 F-7072
Shrewsbury Rutland Shrewsbury Church Records 1797-1958 F-7184
Tinmouth Rutland Congregational Church 1804-1866 F-2587 At end of reel of vital recs.
Wells Rutland St. Paul’s ? F-7354
Wells Rutland Wells and East Wells Methodist Episcopal ? F-7355
Wells Rutland Universalist Church ? F-7356
Duxbury Washington Union Society of South Duxbury 1 bk, pt. II 1854-1872 F-7156
Montpelier Washington Bethany Congregational Church 1808-1959 38942 VHS
Montpelier Washington Bethany Congregational Female Mission Society 1812-1816 38942 VHS
Montpelier Washington Bethany Congregational Montpelier Aux. Tract Soc. 1828-1834 38942 VHS
Montpelier Washington Bethany Congregational Church 1808-1959 F38942 to          F-38947
Northfield Washington Congregational Church 1822-1879 F-7146
Waitsfield Washington Waitsfield Church Records 1 1796-1855 F-1731 Not indexed
Granville, NY Washington (NY) Quaker, Society of Friends 1469 1795-1876 F-2818 Formed in 1795 from Easton, NY
Brookline Windham Brookline Baptist Church 4 1891-1973 F-7122 Some 1802 records included.
Wardsboro Windham Congregational Church 1 1793-1844 F-7472
Wardsboro Windham Congregational Church 2 1844-1859 F-7473
Barnard Windsor E. Barnard Methodist Episcopal 1867-1898 F-7297
Barnard Windsor Broad Brook Union Society – E. Barnard Church 1833-1968 F-7297
Bethel Windsor Church of Christ 1 1821-1860 F-7192
Bethel Windsor Church of Christ 2 1860-1924 F-7192
Bethel Windsor Church of Christ Parish Register 1847-1947 F-7192
Cavendish Windsor First Universalist Church 1848-1965 F-7135
Cavendish Windsor Baptist Church 1866-1966 F-7135
Norwich Windsor Windsor Church Records 1-2 1804-1846 F-2342 Not indexed
West Windsor Windsor West Parish Meetings 1791-1849 F-7183
Windsor Windsor Congregational Church 1-5 1779-1913 F-8104

 

 

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3 Comments to “Vermont Church Records at the State Archives”

  1. charlene key sokal says:

    I really appreciate the work you have done on Vermont Church Records. Having searched for church records in both Pennsylvania and Texas and found that they are not being well kept, nor are the pastor’s aware of them I appreciate your work all the more. It is certainly a contribution to those researching in Vermont.

    Charlene Sokal

  2. Cathi says:

    I should have also mentioned that the film numbers that say “VHS” are ones that were at the Vermont Archives at one time, but now may be located at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre.

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Catherine Desmarais is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists

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Catherine is a Board-Certified Genealogist. Certified Genealogist and CG are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified associates after periodic competency evaluations.