Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont Genealogy

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Brief History[edit | edit source]

The township of Shaftsbury was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of the province of New Hampshire, on the l0th day of August, 1761, on the same day upon which the other towns of Dorset, Rupert and Glastenbury were similarly granted. The first meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Shaftsbury was held in Bennington on March 9, 1762.

Many of the structures in Shaftsbury are original buildings. West on Church Street is the active Methodist Church built in the 1870's. Two miles north on Route 7A the Shaftsbury Historical Society Museum is housed in the oldest Baptist Church in Vermont, founded in 1768.

Farming was a mainstay for residents in Shaftsbury during the last century. In the 1800's, sheep farming and dairying were common. In 1880, there were 246 large and small farms. However, during the 1900's, farming declined, and today there are fewer than a half dozen working farms in town.[1][2]

Historical Data[edit | edit source]

The Vermont Historical Gazetteer is a 5 volume set of historical information by Abby Maria Hemenway with Volume I published in 1867 and Volume V completed in 1891 after her death. Also available online in PDF format at this link.

Town Histories
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Ordinary heroes : the story of Shaftsbury : with a chapter on the Vermont ghost town of Glastenbury, Ruth Levin and Tyler Resch published by the Shaftsbury Historical Society. Book Committee, 1978 --Find a copy in a library.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records
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The probate district for Shaftsbury is Bennington.
Bennington Probate Division
207 South St.
Bennington, VT 05201
Phone: (802) 447-2705

City Directories
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The Family History Library has microfilm of 1908 through 1932 Shaftsbury City Directories

Vermont City Directories in Vermont Repositories.

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1856 map of Shaftsbury

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

  • Center Shatsbury Cemetery (aka Shaftsbury Center Cemetery) - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Elwell Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Fuller Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Grandview Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Little Rhode Island Cemetery (aka Matteson Cemetery) - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Maple Hill Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Millington Burial Ground - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Shaftsbury Village Cemetery (aka South Shaftsbury Cemetery) - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
  • Waite Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.

Gravestone Records of Shaftsbury, 1908-1910, Levi H. Elwell, can be viewed online.

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1. Shaftsbury United Methodist Church
    127 Church St.
    Shaftsbury, VT 05262
    Phone: (802) 442-5893

2. Redeemer Lutheran Church
    Vermont Hwy 67
    Shaftsbury, VT 05262
    Phone: (802) 442-8423

Town Records
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The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Shaftsbury Town Clerks Office. These include Land records, 1765-1913; index to land records, 1765-1917School records, 1824-1913Records of births, marriages, and deaths, 1765-1908, and Town records, 1718-1840.

Town of Shaftsbury
61 Buck Hill Rd
Shaftsbury, VT 05262
Phone: (802) 442-4038

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Bennington Banner Newspaper

Libraries and Historical Societies
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Shaftsbury Historical Society, Inc
PO Box 401
Shaftsbury, VT 05262
Genealogical Research: Annette Jenkins, (802) 442-8736

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Shaftsbury: A Brief History, Courtesy of the Shaftsbury Historical Society,
  2. History of the Town of Shaftsbury, Lewis Cass Aldrich,

Adjacent towns: