Orwell, Addison County, Vermont Genealogy

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United States
Addison County

Guide to Orwell, Addison ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish register transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Brief History

Orwell was chartered on August 18, 1763. No settlement occurred in town for another eight years, however.

The first settler is recorded as John Charter, a Scotsman who took up residence near what was then known as Rattlesnake Hill, now Mount Independence, in 1771.

By the mid-1770's, a few families were living in town, clearing land for fields and building rudimentary shelters for themselves and their livestock. With the start of the Revolutionary War, most residents returned to the safer, established communities to the south.

Further settlement did not commence until the close of the war.

The British burned nearly all of the buildings in town--and indeed the entire area---before the end of the war. No pre-revolution structures survive in Orwell today. [1] [2]

Historical Data

Town Histories

Vital Records

FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online.

Probate Records

The probate district for Orwell is Addison.
Addison Probate Court
7 Mahady Court
Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone: (802) 388-2612

City Directories


1871 Map of Orwell Township


The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Orwell. For location of cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Addison County, website at this link.  


Town Records

Town Clerk Vital and Town Records, 1802-1887, can be found on FamilySearch (browse only images).

The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Orwell Town Clerk's Office. These include Records of births, marriages, and deaths, 1883-1997; indexes to births, marriages, deaths, 1857-1997, Town records, 1787-1791 and Index of births, deaths & marriages recorded in early land records, 1829-1854.

Orwell Town Clerk
PO Box 32
Orwell, VT 05760
Phone: (802) 948-2032
Website: http://www.town-of-orwell.org/


Addison County Independent ($)

Burlington Free Press

Rutland Herald

Libraries and Historical Societies

Orwell Free Library
473 Main St
Orwell, VT
Phone: (802) 948-2041
Email: OrwellFreeLibrary@gmail.com
Website: http://orwellfreelibrary.org/


Adjacent towns: