Vermont Vital Records Research Guide
Vermont Birth, Marriage, Divorce as well as Death records, also known as vital records, provide you with information about important occasions in your ancestors life. Vital records, generally held by a civic office, can give you a much more comprehensive picture of your respective ancestor, assist you to differentiate concerning two people utilizing the exact same name, and enable you to locate links to a new generation. They could comprise of information like the event date and place, parents’ names, occupation and residence. The cause of death is also provided in many Vermont death records.
Vermont vital records really are a cornerstone of Vermont ancestors and family history research simply because they were typically recorded at or near the time of the event, helping to make the document more likely to be reliable. This page contains links, information that will help you request copies from Vermont state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the milestones of our lives and are the basis of genealogy research.
Vermont Department of Health Office, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in Vermont. To verify current fees and information the telephone number is (802) 863-7275.
- Ordering Vermont Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Certificates: The State Department of Health Office has records most recent 5 years. The fee for all certified copy are $10. For all records over 5 years old see the Vermont State Archives below. Records also can be obtained from the Town or City Clerk in town/city where birth or death occurred.
How to Order Vermont Vital Records
Vermont State Archives and Records Administration
- Physical and Mailing Address: Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Secretary of State, 1078 US Route 2, Middlesex, Montpelier, VT 05633-7701. The fee for all certified copy are $10. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (802) 828-3286. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Vermont Secretary of State. Do not send cash.
- Website Address: http://vermont-archives.org/certifications/
- Has Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Records more than five years old (as early as 1909)
Background of Vermont Vital Records
In early times in new England it was traditional for each town to record its own major events and vital records. Early Vermont settlers were no exception to that rule. Each town kept its own documents and it wasn’t mandatory to record vital records until 1857. That’s why many deaths and marriages before that time in Vermont were not well-documented.
Anyone who is looking for Vermont vital records can go to the Public Records Division and search on their own or send an inquiry. Any inquiries sent by mail will be taken care of for a $7 fee per event inquiry. Inquiry responses includes reference information for where the original record was found and a certified copy of the index card microfilm, if one was located.
There are eight time periods for cord indexes on microfilm in Vermont. They are: 1760-1870,
1871-1908, 1909-1941, 1942-1954, 1955-1979, 1980, 1981, 1982.
The index contains separate cards for cemetery and death records, birth records, and marriage records for both grooms and brides. However, only the 1760-1870 group contains cemetery record cards.
In 1919 a state-wide survey of Vermont cemeteries was taken and an index was created. That index generally included all deaths that were reported before 1857 and all gravestone markers from before 1857 that were still present when the survey was taken in 1919. The survey was meant to compile a better list of deaths from before mandatory recording began in 1857.
The FHL and the New England Historic Genealogical Society both have the 1760-1870 and 1871-1908 records on file also.
The card index list each family by surname in alphabetical order. However, since some surname spellings varied, it’s important to check all variations carefully. Also, keep in mind that births after 1857 are listed under each surname in reverse chronological order and some children were not yet named when their births were recorded.
Each town clerk’s office may contain original vital records for families in that town. The state will issue an official record in the form of a microfilmed index card copy, but the original records may hold more information. Therefore, researchers should use the official reference card to locate and examine the original document whenever possible. Luckily, the official index card copy should list where the event is recorded in the town’s files. The Public Records Division has many original records on microfilm in their original form. The FHL also has several records for Vermont towns that pre-date 1850.
Birth Records – All birth certificates must be filed with each town clerk 10 days or less after the birth. They are filed by the midwife, doctor, or whoever is attending the birth. For example, the medical records staff of each hospital usually completes the certificates of birth for that hospital. Once that certificate is filed in the town, the town sends a certified copy to the Vermont Health Department to be filed there as well.
Marriage Records and Divorce Records – The Health Department receives a copy of each marriage certificate from each town after it has been completed. In order to complete the certificate, a couple must first give the town clerk certain information. Then they must have the person who officiates at their wedding date and sign it before they return it to the town clerk’s office.
In 2000, same-sex couples were granted the right to civil unions in Vermont. Those civil unions gave each couple the same responsibilities, protections, and benefits that married couples in the state receive. However, when the Marriage Equality Act was passed in the state, on September 1, 2009, same-sex couples were granted the right to marry and civil unions were discontinued. Nevertheless, all civil unions that took place during the time of civil unions being granted in the state are still considered to be official civil unions.
Whenever a lawyer initiates a certificate that dissolves a civil union or marriage in Vermont, it is filed with the court. That also goes for divorce filings. When the divorce or dissolution is finalized, the court clerk signs the paperwork and then sends the record to be filed with the Health Department. Typically, it takes about three months for that finalization process to take place after the initial hearing is conducted in the court.
Death Records – Death certificates in Vermont are officially supposed to be filed by physicians. However, the funeral director is often given that task, instead. The family members of the deceased typically provide the majority of the information for the death certificate. The cause of death, however, must be listed and certified by a physician. Then the funeral director takes the certificate and sends it to the offices of the town clerk. From there, a copy is sent to the Health Department for its official records.
Searchable Vermont Vital Records Databases and Links
- Social Security Death Index
- USGenweb Archives Vermont Marriage Project
- Vermont Births, 1981-2001This database contains an index, created by the Vermont Vital Records Office, to approximately 152,000 births occurring in the state of Vermont between 1981 and 2001.
- Vermont, Births and Christenings, 1765-1908 ame index to birth, baptism and christening records from the state of Vermont. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
- Vermont Birth Records, 1909-2008This data collection contains birth records from the state of Vermont from 1909-2008. The records consist of different types of birth certificates, including (1) Certificate of Birth, (2) Amended Certificate of Birth, (3), Delayed Certificate of Birth, and (4) Certificate of Birth for Foreign Born Child.
- Vermont Marriage Index, 1981-1984 and 1989-2001This database contains an index, created by the Vermont Vital Records Office, to approximately 200,000 marriages occurring in the state of Vermont from 1981-1984 and 1989-2001. For all years, the following information is available: Marriage date, Groom’s name, Bride’s name. For records from the years 1989-2001, the following information is also included: Town of marriage, Bride’s and Groom’s states of birth, Bride’s and Groom’s ages at time of marriage
- U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700
- Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700
- Second Supplement To Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700
- Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700
- Vermont Divorce Index 1981-1984 and 1989-2001This database contains an index, created by the Vermont Vital Records Office, to approximately 89,000 divorces occurring in the state of Vermont from 1981-1984 and 1989-2001. For all years, the following information is available: Divorce., Husband’s name, Wife’s name. For records from the years 1989-2001, the following information is also included: County of decree, Husband’s and wife’s states of birth, Husband’s and wife’s ages at time of divorce
- Vermont, Marriages, 1791-1974 Name index to marriage records from the state of Vermont. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
- Vermont Marriage Records, 1909-2008This data collection contains marriage and civil union records from the state of Vermont from 1909-2008. The records consist of different types of certificates, including (1) Certificate of Marriage, (2) Amended Certificate of Marriage, (3), Certificate of Civil Union, and (4)Amended Certificate of Civil Union.
- Vermont Death Index, 1981-2001This collection of death records from the state of Vermont covers the years 1981 through 2001. With over 100,000 entries, this database provides valuable information regarding recently deceased relatives and friends. Information provided in this index includes the full name of the deceased, their age, date of death, town and state of death, sex, race, marital status, birth date, state of birth, town and state of residence, and educational level. NOTE: Each entry may not contain all of this information.
- Vermont, Deaths and Burials, 1871-1965 Name index to death and burial records from the state of Vermont. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 74,099 records. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
- Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008This data collection contains death records from the state of Vermont from 1909-2008. The records consist of different types of certificates, including (1) Certificate of Death, and (2) Amended Certificate of Death.
State Vital Records Guides