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Counties, Towns and Villages
January 2003

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The following links should assist you in understanding those confusing place names
you keep finding for your Vermont ancestors.

The State of Vermont has fourteen counties, which are divided into townships. If you've been doing genealogy for a while, you have most likely encountered place names like Brighton Township (Twp), Essex County, Vermont. This was quite common during frontier times, before the townships were developed into the cities we have today. In Vermont, this is not the case. There are only nine cities in the entire state. Although Vermont is the second largest New England state in land area (only Maine is larger), it is still largely rural. Vermont has less than 600,000 residents. Townships are a collection of cities, towns, villages and hamlets. I have frequently found inquiries posted on message boards asking if anyone knows the difference between so-and-so township and so-and-so city/town/village/hamlet.

Counties
If you don't know which county (or counties) your ancestors came from, there are still ways to find that information. Do you have a place name, but have no idea what or where it is? You can look it up in the index or you can find lists place names through their Grants, Patents & Charters  or look them up by Sorted By Date or  Sorted By Name.

 If you have no place name, but you know which the part of the state they came from, you can look at the map of counties and towns and see what is located in that area of the state. You can even click on that map to see it enlarged. If none of this is helpful, perhaps you can find some clues by going through the County Changes page.

Townships
If your place name is a township (often written in vital records as twp), click on this link and look it up. Clicking on the township name will take you to the listing. Do not assume that a township is in a county of the same name. Orange Township happens to be in Orange County, but Essex Township is not in Essex County, it is in Chittenden County. These townships were once the seat of the county of the same name, but politics and a growing population shifted the county borders so that many of these "county seats" are now part of another county.
Cities, towns, villages and hamlets
If all you have is a place name, for example, Island Pond or Bellows Falls, but you have no idea if it is township or a village or where it is located, click on this link and look it up. The listings include the names of the Township and County in which the place is located. Clicking on the township name will take you to the listing.



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This Site was created by Jalanne C. Barnes. If you know about a web site that contains information on Vermont
Genealogy that is not included here or you find a link that doesn't work, email the URL  with a description of the web site/problem to me at: <VTGenResources@yahoo.com> and I will make the changes when I do my next update.