At the turn of the 20th century there was a new found interest in publishing of new biographical and genealogical material. Part of this were a series of New England and New York manuscripts which focused on the genealogical history of families of the state or region.
Hiram Charlton took on the publication of the Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont for Lewis Publishing. In it, he enlisted the assistance of living residents of the state in providing biographical and genealogical details about their family, and then he published all 1104 family histories in two distinct volumes.
The history of Vermont, civil, political and military, has been written by various authors and at various times, each succeeding writer adding a new chapter of annals, or treating his subject from a different view point. Such history is, however, splendid narrative that it is, principally concerned with what has been accomplished by the people in the mass, and takes little note of individuals, except those so pre-eminent as leaders as to come under the full glare of fame.
Hence it follows that genealogical and family memoirs are of peculiar importance, including, as they do, the personal annals of those who make heroes possible – those who have marched in the ranks of progress, bearing the heat and burden of the day – portraying the spirit which actuated them, and holding up their effort for an example to those who come afterward. As was written by Martineau, “To have had forefathers renowned for honorable deeds, to belong by nature to those who have bravely borne their part in life and refreshed the world with mighty thoughts and healthy admiration, is a privilege which it were mean and self-willed to despise. It is as a security given for us of old, which it were false hearted not to redeem; and in virtues bred of a noble stock, mellowed as they are by reverence, there is often a grace and ripeness wanting to self-made and brand new excellence. Of like value to a people are heroic national traditions, giving them a determinate character to sustain among the tribes of men, making them familiar with images of great and strenuous life, and kindling them with faith in glorious possibilities.”
Use the search at the top right of each volume listed below to search for names. Once you’ve found the family history you would like to look at click on the volume link above the table. I should warn you that the quality of a few pages in the volumes is lacking, and they will be difficult if not impossible to read. However, for most of the family histories, you will have no issues, and may even find a photo or two.
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