Organized 1780
Local History and Genealogy



The first settlers in Jamaica were William Hayward and his sons Caleb and Silas. They came from Townshend, Vermont, cleared some land, and built some houses near what is now East Jamaica. They moved into them June 16, 1775. It is claimed that the next day, they heard the roar of the cannon at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The night after their arrival Elisha Hayward was born according to Hemenway's Gazetteer. However, Child's Gazetteer says the first child was Banyard, son of Paul Hayward. Benjamin Hayward, came from Mendon, Massachusetts. His six son's settled in Jamaica. This family of Haywards later was called Howard. Two of his sons were Paul and Calvin Hayward/Howard.

o        Jamaica was chartered November 17, 1780.

o        The name of Jamaica is derived from the Natick Indian word for "beaver."

o        The Baptist Church of Christ was organized on March 25, 1790. Early member's in 1801 were: Calvin and Caleb Hayward; Benjamin How; Betsey Vaile; William Taft and Isaac Hart.

o        The Congregational Church of Jamaica was organized Sept 25, 1791 by: Reuben Wellman; Mary Wellman; John Wellman; Sarah Wellman; Aaron Whitney; Mary Gage and Louney Blancher.

o        Jamaica's first Tavern Keeper was John Williams.

The center of the village today, sits on Route 30 that travels through the West River Valley going north. From the center of the village you begin to climb the mountains toward Stratton and Manchester, Vermont. Jamaica today, is a small rural mountain town.

o        The Jamaica Ginger

Vital Records

o        Jamaica Town Clerk
PO Box 173

Jamaica, VT 05343

Vital Records and Land records are kept at the Town Clerk's Office. They have a very well organized card file system of the vital record books. They also keep a large file of genealogical queries about town families so others can access them and perhaps find information or connect with others working on the same families.




South Windham




Pikes Falls

7th Day Adventist


Sage Hill

West Jamaica

South Hill

East Jamaica

Howe - East Jamaica

(Beer's Atlas)



Census Records

o        1791 Census - Jamaica

o        Windham County Census Sources



o        Jamaica in the Civil War



o        Historical Notes, Jamaica, Windham Co., VT, compiled and edited by Warrren E. Booker, DDS (Brattleboro VT: E. L. Hildreth & Co., 1940).

Historical Societies & Libraries

o        Jamaica Historical Society

o        Jamaica Memorial Library

Local Websites

o        Virtual Vermont - Jamaica

o        West River Valley

o        The Jamaica Ginger


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This page was created by Rachel Duffalo & Marge Howe
URL: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/vt/county/windham
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Page Last Updated Thursday, June 08, 2000


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