Notes from the President - 23 November 2011

Fall Membership Meeting

GSV had a very successful fall membership meeting at the Vermont Historical Society on October 29, 2011. Those who attended can certainly attest to the fact that everyone there enjoyed themselves. A thank you is in order to all those who helped make the meeting possible, including Paul Carnahan (VHS Librarian) and Bernadette Harrington (Library Assistant), Diantha Howard and Stephanie M. O’Rourke for providing beverages, Jane Belcher for helping with publicity, Elizabeth W. Stevens for baking the coffee cakes and especially Bob Murphy, whose efforts were a tremendous help. A Certificate of Appreciation and Life Membership was presented to Mary Pat Brigham in honor of her many years of service. The three speakers—Paul G. Zeller, Scott Reilly and Russell Belding—all gave interesting presentations and everybody went away having learned something new.

Also we need to thank both Tom Record of Cornwall, our sales chairperson and Randy Brown of Rutland, our Newsletter coordinator for their continued efforts. We appreciate all that these volunteers do in order to keep the GSV ship afloat.

Tropical Storm Irene

This message would hardly be complete without a mention of Tropical Storm Irene that hit Vermont in late August. There had not been such widespread flooding since 1973 and this storm brought many comparisons to the Hurricane of 1938 and the Flood of 1927. There was devastating damage in Cavendish, Chester, Halifax, Jamaica, Killington, Ludlow, Moretown, Plymouth, Reading, Rochester, Stockbridge, Waterbury, Wardsboro, Weathersfield and Wilmington, just to name a few of the effected towns. While the state has done a stellar job in quickly repairing the highways, it will be years before all of the signs of the storm are gone from the landscape.

The website continues to expand their ever impressive amount of online information. In a previous message, I had mentioned the Vermont Vital Records Index, 1760-1954 (not complete at this point) being online. However the material that is currently online is indexed, which is always a great help to researchers. That said, keep in mind that like any index, there are errors and many items that are not included. Other recent additions on the Family Search site are the records of the Westminster District Probate Court 1781 to 1921 (Estates and Guardianships) (this  currently only covers the time period from 1881 to 1921) and Washington County Probate Court (Estates), 1862 to 1915. With both of these collections, you will have to browse the material, as presently it is not indexed. Another collection is called Vermont Town Records, 1850 to 1995. This is select vital records (at the moment very select) for towns in Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans and Washington Counties. Once again, this is a browse only collection, at the present time. The first images being placed on the site are the most current and they are working backwards from there. 

Upcoming Events

Believe it or not, Vermont History Expo is just around the corner. This coming year’s theme is “Vermont in the Civil War.” Please note that Expo will be held on June 16-17, 2012, a little earlier in June this year than previously. The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) will be returning to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H., on April 17-21, 2013. The theme is “Woven in History: The Fabric of New England.” As usual GSV will have a presence at both of these events with a wide variety of genealogical and Vermont books for sale. We hope to see you there. 

Jonathan W. Stevens, President



Page last updated 8 December 2011