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Doing Vermont genealogy can be quite easy as the restrictions on getting copies of records are very lax. There are several document sources you will need to know about.
Vermont Vital Records
Vital records in Vermont are considered to be public domain and there are no restrictions on getting copies of them. You can request a copy for anyone regardless of their relationship to you. In fact, if you get a non-certified "informational" copy, there isn't even any charge. They are given out free when you put in your application. Certified copies that can be used for legal purposes will cost $10 each.
The main Vital Records office in Burlington only holds onto birth, death and marriage registrations for 5 years. After that, they are moved to the State Archives and Records Administration (more on that below). Recent records can be ordered from the Vital Records department by mail, and you can get the request forms from the Department of Health website.
You will need to supply the names, dates and locations of the events on the certificate as well as your own contact information.
State Archives and Records Administration
Since vital records move here after only 5 years, it is fairly likely that you will be making your request from this office instead. You can visit their location in Montpelier if you are in the area, but they will also issue copies of vital records in the same way the Vital Records office does.
Their website has the proper forms (NOT the same forms as with Vital Records) and you can request a $10 certified version or a free informational one.
Besides vital records, they do also have a larger collection of material (not strictly available by mail like the vital records are though). Their holdings include naturalization papers, military records, land maps, municipal government documents and more. The vital records that they have on file can go back as far as 1760 for some areas.
Another location for good Vermont genealogy archives is the Vermont Historical Society. Their location has a number of historical materials from around the state, including many published genealogies and biographies. They also have a large collection of Civil War documentation. There is a $5 fee to use their reading room unless you are a member of the Society then it is free to access. The library is in Montpelier and is closed weekends and Mondays.
Other Vermont Genealogy Groups
As just mentioned, the Vermont Historical Society is a major group on the subject and is a worthwhile organization to join if you are doing a lot of research. But that is not the only genealogy group in the state.
For a state-wide group, you can also get in touch (or join) the Vermont Genealogy Society. There are also smaller groups (usually historical rather than genealogical) for most counties in the state. Joining a group can help you contact others who may be looking for similar material as you, and you can also sometimes have access to private document collections this way.
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