Vermont County Histories

Vermont is in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermont’s western border, which it shares with the state of New York. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.

Much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France in the early colonial period. France ceded the territory to the Kingdom of Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years’ War (also called the French and Indian War). For many years, the nearby colonies, especially New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants).

Flag of VermontVermont is one of seventeen U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, the brief California Republic, and each of the original Thirteen Colonies) that once had a sovereign government. In 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the fourteenth state, the first outside the original Thirteen Colonies. It abolished slavery while independent and upon joining the Union was the first state to have done so.

In 1777, Vermont had two counties. The western side of the state was called Bennington County and the eastern was called Cumberland County. In 1781 Cumberland County was broken up into three counties in Vermont, plus Washington County, which eventually became part of New Hampshire. Over time, county names derived from British or American people and various geographic locations. Today, Vermont’s 14 counties together contain 255 political units, or places. Essex County, Orleans County, and Caledonia County are commonly referred to as the Northeast Kingdom.

Collection Details

  1. Aldrich, Lewis C., History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and pioneers. D. Mason Co., 1891
  2. Vermont Gazetteer, Vol. III: Orleans & Rutland Counties. 1877
  3. Jeffrey, William H., (Caledonia, Essex, Orleans Cos.), Successful Vermonters: Modern Gazetteer of Caledonia, Essex & Orleans Counties, … (2 vols.) Historical Publishing Co., 1904
  4. Child, Hamilton, Editor, Gazetteer of Orange County, Vermont, 1762-1888. 1888
  5. Child, Hamilton, Editor, Gazetteer of Washington County, 1783-1889. (2 vols.) 1889
  6. Smith, H.P., History of Addison County, with Illustrations & Biographical Sketches of its prominent men & pioneers. 1886
  7. History of Chittenden Co., with Illustrations & Biographical Sketches of some of its prominent men & Pioneers. D. Mason Co., 1886
  8. History of Rutland County, with Illustrations & biographical sketches of some of its prominent men & pioneers. D. Mason Co., 1886
  9. History of Windsor County, with Illustrations & biographical sketches of some of its prominent men & pioneers. D. Mason Co., 1891
  10. History of Benington County, with Illustrations & biographical sketches of some of its prominent men & pioneers. D. Mason Co., 1889
  11. Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Vol. V. The Towns of Windham County. 1891