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Vermont: Local History & Genealogy Resource Guide

Compiled by reference specialists at the Library of Congress, this guide identifies key print and online resources for pursuing family history, as well as state, county and municipal historical research, for the state of Vermont.


Vermont. Samuel Lewis' Atlas. 1817. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Native Americans, primarily from the Abenaki nation, lived in Vermont for thousands of years. The Western Abenaki people have been called the "Original Vermonters." Native knowledge, experience, and traditions have deeply influenced many aspects of Vermont's rich history. Today, many place names in Vermont use Abenaki words. For example, Winooski means wild onion place and Ascutney means at the end of the river. French explorer Samuel de Champlain came to Vermont in 1609 guided by Algonquin Indians from Canada and claimed northern Vermont for France. When the British won the French and Indian War in 1763, the territory became part of what is now New England. The English began to settle the territory, which became known as the New Hampshire Grants, but the territory was also claimed by New York. Many settlers who received land from the New Hampshire government found that other settlers were given the same land from the New York government. In 1775, Ethan Allen formed the Green Mountain Boys to defend the New Hampshire land grants against the New Yorkers. Vermont was an independent republic before joining the Union. Between 1777, when Vermont established its independence, and 1791, Vermont was truly independent – with its own coins and its own postal service. In 1791, fourteen years after declaring independence, Vermont became the 14th state, and the first state to join the Union after the original 13 colonies.

This guide offers a selection of resources and strategies for Vermont local history and genealogy research. These include the print and digital collections of the Library of Congress, as well as external repositories and web sites key to finding forebears in the Green Mountain State.

About Local History & Genealogy Reference Services

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.