Vermont County (Probate) Resources

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This entry was originally written by Scott Andrew Bartley and Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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The Counties and Towns of Vermont

Between 1772 and 1777, four counties existed in what is now Vermont—Albany, Charlotte, Gloucester, and Cumberland. All were politically New York counties even though they encompassed a sizable number of New Hampshire granted towns. Gloucester County court records are extant and have been published. In 1777 two Vermont counties were erected—Bennington, for the west part of the state, and Cumberland for the east. However, the name Cumberland was abandoned in 1781 when four new counties were created—three replacing Cumberland, namely Windham, Windsor, and Orange; Bennington County was subdivided to form Rutland County.

Even though the political division of county has little meaning in Vermont, there are some county land records (see chart), primarily for unorganized towns, and county court records located at the appropriate county office. In addition, county designation is necessary for census research. For nine of Vermont’s counties, the probate district follows the county’s political boundaries. For six counties—Addison, Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor—there are, or have been, two probate districts within the county’s boundaries. The divisions for Addison and Orange were dissolved in 1962 and 1994, respectively. The following listing delineates the county address, parent county, and date of formation; what land and other records in addition to those recorded in towns are available that were recorded by entire county; the name and address of the probate district; and the dates probate district records are extant.


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Map County County Address Parent County(ies) Land Records Probate Address Probate Records
D3 Addison 7 Mahady Ct., Middlebury 05753 1785 from Rutland 1774–1926 (county only)Addison, 7 Mahady Ct., Middlebury 05753See below
Presently includes all the towns in Addison County. The town of Orwell became part of Addison District in 1847 from Fair Haven District. Between 1824 and 1962 the northern part of the county constituted the New Haven District (see below). Those records were filed separately but are now located at Addison County Courthouse as well as an index to them and to all remaining records from Addison after 1852. On 25 February 1852 a fire in the courthouse burned the probate records for Addison district (not New Haven). Only fragments remain for Addison Probate District records before 1852. They are available on microfilm in Montpelier, in chronological order, but are extremely difficult to use.
Addison (same) New Haven 1824–1962 (same)
New Haven District was set off from Addison District in 1824 and then reabsorbed in 1962. Records retained by Addison Probate District.
H3 Bennington 207 South St., P.O. Box 65, Bennington 05201 1777 from Albany and Washington counties, New York 1782–1832 (county only)Bennington, 207 South St., P.O. Box 65, Bennington 052011778–present
Bennington Probate District includes towns in the south part of the county–see Vermont Town Resources.
Bennington Manchester, Rt. 7 Box 446, Manchester 052541778-present
Manchester Probate District includes towns in the north part of the county–see Town Resources.
B6 Caledonia 27 Main St., Box 406, St. Johnsbury 05819 1796 from Orange Land Records 1797–1896 (county only)Caledonia (same)1796-present
B3 Chittenden 175 Main St., P.O. Box 511, Burlington 05402 1791 from Addison Chittenden, P.O. Box 511, Burlington 05402 1795-present
Cumberland Originally a New York county, it went out of existence as a New York entity in 1777 when Vermont became independent. Land that had been in Cumberland and Gloucester counties, New York, then fell under Cumberland County, Vermont, jurisdiction. Cumberland County, Vermont, was abolished in 1781 when Windham, Windsor, and Orange counties were formed.
A7 Essex Box 426, Guildhall 05905 1796 from OrangeLand Records 1793–1971 (county only) Essex, Main St., Island Pond 05846 1791-present
A2 Grand Isle P.O. Box 7, North Hero 05474 1801–02 from Chittenden/FranklinGrand Isle, P.O. Box 7, North Hero 05474 1796-present
Jefferson Formed in 1810; renamed Washington, 1814.
B4 Lamoille Main St./P.O. Box 102, Hyde Park 05655-0102 1835 from Washington/Orleans/FranklinnoneLamoille, Main St./P.O. Box 102, Hyde Park 05655-0102 1837-present
D5 Orange 5 Court St./P.O. Box 30, Chelsea 05038 1781 from Cumberland and Gloucestercounties, New York;later CumberlandLand Records 1771–1952 Tax 1789–1847 Misc. 1770–81 (county only) Randolph, Now called Orange, 5 Court St./P.O. Box 30, Chelsea 05038 1792-present
D5 Orange 5 Court St./P.O. Box 30, Chelsea 05038 1781 from Cumberland and Gloucestercounties, New York;later CumberlandLand Records 1771–1952 Tax 1789–1847 Misc. 1770–81 (county only) Randolph, Now called Orange, 5 Court St./P.O. Box 30, Chelsea 05038 1792-present
County VT Randolph (now Orange) Probate District covers towns in western part of Orange County. See Vermont Town Resources before 1994 and for all towns in Orange County after 1994.
Orange Bradford 1781–1994
Probate district covers towns in eastern part of Orange County; Bradford probates, absorbed by Orange Probate District (above) 1 June 1994. Court records are now at Vermont Public Records Division.
A5 Orleans 247 Main St., Newport 05855 1796 from Orange/ChittendenLand Records 1799–1849 (county only) Orleans 247 Main St., Newport 05855 1796-present
G3 Rutland 83 Center St., Rutland 05701 1781 from BenningtonLand Records 1763–1822 (county only) Rutland, 83 Center St., Rutland 05701 1784-present
Rutland Probate District covers towns in eastern part of Rutland County. See Vermont Town Resources.
Rutland 83 Center St., Rutland 05701 Fair Haven, 3 N. Park Place, Fair Haven 05743 1797-present
Fair Haven Probate District covers towns in western part of Rutland County. See Vermont Town Resources.
C4 Washington 39 Main St., Montpelier 05602 1811 (as Jefferson)from Orange/Chittenden/Addison/CaledoniaNone Washington, 10 Elm St. #2, Montpelier 05602 1811-present
J4 Windham P.O. Box 36, Newfane 05345 1781 from Cumberland County, Vt.Cumberland County Deeds 1766–74;1772–77Marlboro, West River Rd., P.O. Box 523, Brattleboro 05301 1781-present
Marlboro Probate District covers the towns in southern part of Windham County. See Vermont Town Resources.
Windham Westminster, 39 Square/P.O. Box 47, Bellows Falls 05101 1781-present
Westminster Probate District covers the towns in northern part of Windham County. See Vermont Town Resources.
F4 Windsor 31 The Green/P.O. Box 275, Woodstock 05091 1781–82 from Cumberland County, Vt.Land Records 1784–94(see also Windham County)Windsor, Rt. 106/P.O. Box 402, North Springfield 05150 1787-present
Windsor Probate District covers towns in southern part of Windsor County. See Vermont Town Resources. First book of guardianships is missing, as are some pages in the recorded probates. Probate files for 1781—1850 were burned.
Windsor 31 The Green/P.O. Box 275, Woodstock 05091 Hartford, Woodstock Green, P.O. Box 275, Woodstock 05091 1783-present
Hartford Probate District covers towns in northern part of Windsor County. See Vermont Town Resources.
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