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Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as: *A person’s birth date and place *Names of family members, including maiden names *Education *Occupation *Social, political, and religious affiliation *Previous residences *Immigration information *A physical description of the person (sometimes) Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research. State and county histories often have short biographies of early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.
Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
- Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
- Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
- These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.
Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]
- The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
- Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
- The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".
The University of Vermont at Burlington and the Vermont Historical Society have the largest and most representative collections of biographical materials. The Family History Library collection includes biographies of civil and military leaders and pioneers.
- Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont. 2 vols. (New York, New York: Lewis Publishing, 1903). These volumes are about leading Vermont citizens. Birth dates and places for several generations may be included. This source is indexed by surname. Family History Library book 974.3 D3cg; films 496892, item 2 and 496893; fiche 6046680.
- Vermont Historical Gazetteer: A Magazine Embracing a History of Each Town, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military. 6 vols. in 9. (Burlington, Vermont: A. M. Hemenway, 1868–1923). This book includes all towns in the state, except towns in Windsor County. Each volume contains local histories and biographical notes. Volume 6 is a comprehensive index. Family History Library book 974.3 H2v; films 1000620–21. Digital versions are available online for volumes 3 and 4. Volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5, also a comprehensive index to volumes 1-5, and a subject index, are available online through rootsweb.com.
- Kent, Dorman B.E. Vermonters. (Montpelier, Vermont: Vermont Historical Society, 1937). This book includes an index and is arranged alphabetically by town of birth. It is a list of prominent Vermont-born business, political, military, and ecclesiastical leaders and their occupations. It is arranged chronologically by birth year under each town. Family History Library book 974.3 D3k; film 1000630, item 4.
- Ullery, Jacob G. Men of Vermont. (Brattleboro, Vermont: Transcript Pub., 1894). Each alphabetical biography relates political and military facts, residences, and family information. Family History Library book 974.3 D3u; film 1000623, item 3.
- Dodge, Prentiss Cutler. Encyclopedia, Vermont Biography. (Burlington, Vermont: Ullery Publishing, 1912). This book contains information about founders and politicians and includes governors, senators, and judges with some genealogical information. It also includes an index. FHL book 974.3 D3d.
See United States Biography for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also Vermont History and Vermont Genealogy for additional sources. To find biographies and published family histories on specific surnames in the FamilySearch Catalog, use a Last Name Search. For a common name, use the Keywords Search and type the last name plus 'Vermont'. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local county histories with biographical sketches of residents. These can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search under: VERMONT- BIOGRAPHY
VERMONT, [COUNTY] - BIOGRAPHY
VERMONT, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - BIOGRAPHY
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Access Genealogy, Vermont Biographies (Free) has short biographies of people having Vermont connections.
- Vermont Biographies Project (Free) has short biographies by county with a name index. Many of the biographies were transcribed from old biographical and county histories. The submitters may have given brief comments and clarifications.