Vermont Land Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Vermont|
|Location of Vermont|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues
- 7 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of Vermont land records for the years 1600 to 1900. Additional indexes and records are being added to this collection. This index currently has the following years: 1850 to 1900.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Dates when the transaction occurred, was written up, and recorded in the town
- Names of the grantors (sellers), the grantees (buyers), witnesses, and sometimes neighbors
- Ages are seldom given, but a person might be mentioned as a minor
- Exact relationships may be stated in deeds for property sold or given to heirs during a person’s lifetime
- Usually the residences of the grantor(s) and grantees(s)
- Usually the occupations of both the grantor(s) and grantee(s)
- Signature or mark (usually an X) of the grantor(s)
- Legal description of the parcel
- The amount the property was sold for (consideration)
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
Land records give the locations and dates for land transactions with the names of buyers and sellers. Most volumes of land records have indexes of buyers and sellers. Look in the indexes first to find the volumes and page numbers where the actual land records can be found. Then look in the appropriate land records volumes to see the images of the deeds.
Land records were kept in the towns. They recorded land transactions to document the transfer of land ownership and thereby establish legal rights to land, track responsibilities for tax revenues, and designate persons to serve in various functions of the county, such as maintaining public roads in the early times. Towns began recording deeds soon after the town was formed and continue to the present.
The records were handwritten in large bound volumes. One deed usually fills one to three pages. Deeds may be recorded either in separate land record books or as part of the town records. Later deeds may have been recorded on pre-printed forms. Each town has separate grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer) indexes. Original copies of land records are in the town clerk’s office.
Vermont was originally part of Massachusetts. In 1749, New Hampshire claimed a large portion of the area and granted land for 129 towns in Vermont. In 1764, New York claimed jurisdiction over a large portion of the land held by New Hampshire. In 1777, Vermont became independent, and claimed the land was under its jurisdiction. The towns remained the same, and the town records contain the land deeds without regard to the political jurisdiction of the time. The legislature granted land in the towns to a group of individual called proprietors, so the earliest deeds are called proprietor’s deeds. Towns began recording deeds soon after the town was formed (Combined with text in date range). The town clerk transcribed into the registers the original documents which remained with the owners or their families. A high percentage of adult males who lived in rural areas of Vermont owned land at some point during their lifetime. Very few women owned land in their own right. They sometimes witnessed deeds and may have been asked to relinquish their dower’s rights.
The information given in town land records is generally reliable, although there may be errors made in transcribing the town’s copy from the original deed.
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Names of interested parties
- Approximate date of the transaction
- Location of the property
Search the Index[edit | edit source]
|This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.|
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select Town Letter
- Select Town and County
- Select Record Type
- Select Volume Number plus Date Span to view the images.
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Use the places and date to search for the family in census and church records
- Use land records to search for additional land transactions for other family members. The parents may have sold or given property to a son or daughter. Such transactions confirm relationships that might not be found in other records
- Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents
- To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
- Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person
- One deed does not usually give sufficient information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all deeds for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information
I Can't find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Vermont.
- Beginning United States Land and Property Research
- Vermont Guided Research
- Vermont Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.