There were only four Vermont counties from 1772 to 1777, Cumberland, Charlotte, Albany and Gloucester. Although there were many New Hampshire towns in those counties, they were considered to be part of New York, politically. The records for Gloucester County have been published.
Bennington and Cumberland counties were founded in 1777, but Cumberland county ceased to exist in 1781. At that time, it was split into Orange, Windsor and Windham counties. Meanwhile, Rutland County was formed in part of what was Bennington County.
Vermont County records can vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been very carefully maintained while some have been much misused and neglected.
Some Vermont records have purely vanished. For genealogists doing research in Vermont there’s no valuable substitute to have an on-site search of county courthouse records.
Counties don’t have much meaning in Vermont politically. However, there are some court records, records for unorganized towns and a few other bits of information available in the various county offices. The county designations were also used during the taking of censuses.
The probate districts and political boundaries line up for nine Vermont counties. However, there are 6 counties that each had two probate districts. They are: Addison, Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windham, Windsor
Vermont contains counties that no longer are in existence. Most were established and disbanded during the Nineteenth century; county borders have altered very little since 1900 in most states.
These counties needs to be researched when performing family history research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or consolidated with a different county.
Cumberland County: 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, N.Y., then fell under Cumberland County, Vermont, jurisdiction. Cumberland County, Vermont, was abolished in 1781 when Windham, Windsor, and Orange counties were formed.
Jefferson County: Formed in 1810; renamed Washington, 1814.
List of Vermont Counties with Burned Courthouses
Addison County Courthouse – On 25 February 1852 a fire in the courthouse burned the probate records for Addison district (not New Haven). What remains for Addison Probate District records before 1852 are fragments.