Woodbridge, Orleans County, Vermont Genealogy

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Woodbridge  was more of a theoretical town, than one in fact. And part of the story includes a role in a drummed-up scandal that brought down a governor. In 1781 Vermont granted land in Orleans County for two towns. But there was no money to pay the survey crews. The legislature authorized the sale of one of the towns, Woodbridge, to raise money for the survey. No buyer was forthcoming. So, the Surveyor-General used his own money to pay the survey crews, and he asked to be given Woodbridge in compensation. This was done by the Governor Chittenden and his Council in 1786. The Governor's political opponents discovered the Council had less than a quorum at the meeting where this happened, and hyped it into a scandal and thereby caused the Governor to lose the 1789 election. An investigation showed that, in fact, much more was owing than had been paid in the value of the town, the Governor was exonerated, and re-elected the next year. However, the charter for Woodbridge was never recorded by the State of Vermont, and no one ever benefited from it. [1]

At least part of the Woodbridge land was included in an 1801 grant for the town of Missisquoi, which was renamed Troy in 1803.[1] [2] [3]

"The charter of Woodbridge seems never to have been recorded by the Secretary of the Governor and Council, or the Secretary of State, but it was entered by Allen in his record as Surveyor General, and is now in the office of the Secretary of State, in a book erroneously marked as Vol. 2 of town charters. All the town charters in this book, Woodbridge excepted, are in the official record. . . . . The charter of Woodbridge given to Allen was dated October 26, 1781, the date of the grant to Maj. Woodbridge, and it was recorded by Allen on the 10th of Oct. 1786, in this book, which probably was originally intended for a state record, but was withheld on account of the questionable character of Woodbridge." The charter of Woodbridge described it as a tract bounded West on Alburgh and must have covered part at least of Highgate. When Allen's writ was served upon the state in 1792 the present town of Troy was levied upon as "Woodbridge, so called." Governor and Council, IV 428.[4]  

Records. For information about former residents from 1781-1801 of the theoretical town of Woodbridge, try searching records of Troy, Vermont. Canaan town meeting records, 1796-1903, are preserved at the Vermont Public Records Division in Montpelier, Vermont. A microfilm copy is available from the Family History Libray on film 865422 Items 3-6. Other types of records also exist for Canaan.

Adjacent towns: Canaan | New Hampshire: Coös County:  Clarksville | Pittsburg | Stewartstown | Québec: Compton-Stanstead County:  East Hereford | Saint-Herménégilde


  1. 1.0 1.1 Esther Munroe Swift, Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History (Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Greene Press, 1997), 362-63, and 370-71. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.3 E2s.
  2. Michael J. Leclerc, Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 5th ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 395. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974 D27g 2012.
  3. Land Grants That Became the Towns of Vermont - W at All Ancestors (Internet site)(accessed 3 April 2013).
  4. Land Grants That Became the Towns of Vermont - W at All Ancestors (Internet site)(accessed 3 April 2013).