The state of Vermont contains several types of cemeteries, including private, church, family, and town cemeteries. The only index of cemeteries for the state is on file at the Vermont Public Records Division. The Vermont Historical Society Library has an index of the graves of all veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic. It covers Vermont veterans graves through the end of World War II. Many projects have been taken up to organize various cemetery records for the state. In fact, there is an extensive cemetery record collection at the Vermont Historical Society. However there are also indexes for local cemeteries in several town offices. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations
What kind of information can you get from Vermont cemetery records?
The full legal name of a person
When they died and sometimes how they died
When and where they were born
A person's next of kin
The attending physician at the time of death
In some cases, this can lead to locating other family members you were not even aware existed. Often times getting the Vermont cemetery records in person can help because you can see the burial plot and other family members who may be buried there.
Why Use Cemetery Records?
Vermont cemetery records often make a great alternative to census records. This is especially important for older ancestry hunting, which may take you back before the census was started. Vermont cemetery records can be as useful as many other vital records including birth records, marriage and death certificates. Some places that you may try to hunt down Vermont cemetery records include:
State cemetery associations
State funeral directors committees
Veteran's affairs for military personnel
Volunteer groups involved with genealogy
There are plenty of other places to use to look for Vermont cemetery records, but these are some of the most common. Although it can be more of a challenge to find these records, it may give you data other records cannot. For one thing, not all states kept other types of vital records, until sometimes after 1900. Another reason is that not all records in all states are available to the public. The good news is that anyone willing to commit to looking for them should be able to track down Vermont cemetery records.
Research In Vermont Cemetery Records
Town, church, family, and private cemeteries all exist in Vermont. The cemetery cards in the vital records microfilm of the Vermont Public Records Division constitute the only statewide cemetery index . There is a Grand Army of the Republic card index of all veterans’ graves through World War II at the Vermont Historical Society Library. Since 1982 there have been a number of projects undertaken to publish some Vermont cemetery records. The Vermont Historical Society has the most extensive collection, but some town offices are known to have good indexes of their own cemeteries.
Burial Grounds of Vermont (Bradford, Vt.: Vermont Old Cemetery Association, 1991), by Arthur L. Hyde and Frances P. Hyde, lists nearly 1,900 cemeteries, indexed by town. Each town entry has a road map with cemetery location and an inventory listing number of graves, condition of cemetery, and whether gravestone inscriptions have been published and where. Joann H. Nichols, Patricia L. Haslam, and Robert M. Murphy’s Index to Known Cemetery Listings in Vermont, 4th ed. (Montpelier, Vt.: Vermont Historical Society, 1999) provides a list of known published abstracts of Vermont cemeteries whether in journals, separate publications, or in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) collection. Both publications are available from the Vermont Historical Society Bookstore.
Famous People Buried in Vermont Cemeteries
Name / Date / Cemetery
Frost, Robert 3/26/1874 - 1/29/1963 Old Bennington Cemetery
Acclaimed writer and poet. Born in San Francisco, his family moved to Massachusetts after the death of his father.
Wilson, William G. 'Bill' 11/26/1895 - 1/24/1971 East Dorset Cemetery
American businessman and visionary, best known as a co-founder of the mutual-help group Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Together with Dr.
Bronson (Buchinsky), Charles 11/3/1921 - 8/30/2003 Brownsville Cemetery
Actor. Best remembered for his roles in the movies, "The Great Escape" (1963), "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), and the "Death Wish" series of movies.
Burial Grounds of Vermont (Bradford, Vt.: Vermont Old Cemetery Association, 1991), by Arthur L. Hyde and Frances P. Hyde - lists nearly 1,900 cemeteries, indexed by town. Each town entry has a road map with cemetery location and an inventory listing number of graves, condition of cemetery, and whether gravestone inscriptions have been published and where.
Index to Known Cemetery Listings in Vermont, 4th ed., Joann H. Nichols, Patricia L. Haslam, and Robert M. Murphy(Montpelier, Vt.: Vermont Historical Society, 1999) provides a list of known published abstracts of Vermont cemeteries whether in journals, separate publications, or in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) collection.