Update 4/01/02


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Cavendish, Vermont lands, lies in a beautiful section of Windsor County near the Connecticut River, and inviting to those French & Indian War soldiers who had passed through way to places west of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Then much of the land was hilly and covered with timber-- but the prospects of clearing the land and making a home did not dissuade these early pioneers.  The prospect of owning their own land and purchasing it at a cheap price which urged these families onward to the unbroken forests and the unknown. Once they decided to relocate,  meager cabins were constructed and, they had to eke out a living or their families would starve. This town now Cavendish, Vermont, was the result of  great sacrifice and struggle.  

Cavendish Town Clerk: 
P.O Box 126 - Cavendish, VT 05142 Phone: (802) 226-7292. 

 Cavendish Historical Society Museum

Vermont Route 131, Cavendish, VT
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 110, Cavendish, VT 05142
Phone: 802-484-7498

A museum of local interest in a former 19th-century town hall. The society also owns a handsome stone structure, the former Universalist Church (1844), which is used for meetings and special events. Collections are of farm tools, household utensils, costumes, weaving implements, textiles, photographs, and items used or made in Cavendish. Contact Person: Sandra Stearns, President

Hours and Admission: June to Oct, Sun, 2 5pm and by request.


The The town of Cavendish was chartered on October 12, 1761 by Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire. The proprietors met in 1762 and had the town surveyed but due to some disputes that arose it was not until 1769 before the town was settled. The main village of the town of Cavendish is Proctorsville which was named after Captain Leonard Proctor.

The first actual settlement of Cavendish was made in June, 1769, when Captain John Coffin located there. His title was gained during the Revolutionary war when he was a captain of the militia. The first settlers of Cavendish were from Massachusetts and in 1771 Noadiah Russell and Thomas Gilbert settled in the area. Among those who came later were Ebenezer and John Stone and John Russell in 1781; Isaac and Ebenezer Parker, Samuel Parker who came from Mass. in 1785; Timothy Fullam, Samuel Adams, John and David Peck, who came from Westford, Mass. in 1787; Timothy Proctor in 1788; Dr. Asaph Fletcher, from Westford, Mass. in 1787; and James Smith from Peterborough, NH in 1790.

According to Aldrich's History of Windsor County the first book of town records was lost. The first town meeting of record occurred May 26, 1781 and John Russell was chosen town clerk. In a meeting of March 13, 1782 Salmon Dutton was chosen moderator; Josiah Fletcher, town clerk; Salmon Dutton, Capt. Ephraim Foster and Josiah Fletcher, selectman; Salmon Dutton, treasurer; Thomas Baldwin, collector; Noadiah Russell, constable; Jesse Spaulding, David Wetherbee and Isaac Baldwin, listers; Capt. Ephraim Foster, leather sealer; Joseph Rice, grand juryman; John Stone and Shadrick Dodge, tithingman; Ebenezer Hardy, John Stone and Isaac Baldwin, haywards; James Hall, sealer of weights and measures; Reuben Gilbert, pound-keeper; Jesse Spaulding, Ebenezer Hardy and Capt. John Coffin, highway surveyors; John Stone, deer-keeper; David Wetherbee, Thomas Baldwin and Jesse Spaulding, fence viewers.

Prominent families of Cavendish: Alanson O. Amsden, Henry Amsden, Milo S. Buck, Abraham Dunsmore and Ebenezer Dunsmore, Dr. Asaph Fletcher,Calvin French, Fullam Family, Aaron Goddard and Arnold Goddard, John and Ezekiel Hardy, Abel Hill, John Stearns, James Smith, Willard Spaulding, Joshua Tripp, Thomas and Asa Whitcomb, Adams Family, Atherton Family, Charles F. Barrett, John F. Deane, Joseph Eaton, Richard and Francis Ely, Henry Addison Fletcher, Benoni Buck Fullam, Green Family, Henry Grout, George S. Hill, William Kendall, Proctor Family, Don C. Pollard, Leonard Piper, Nathaniel and Urial Russel, Spaulding Family, Wheeler Family, Charles Warren Whitcomb, White Family

List of Freemen residing in the town on September 3, 1782

Capt. John Coffin, Lt. Noadiah Russell, Lt. Abel Preston, Ebenezer Hardy, John Russell, John Gilbert, Salmon Dutton, Lt. Reuben Gilbert, Thomas Baldwin, Enos Gilbert, Abner Gilbert, Ely Gilbert, Thomas Gilbert, Isaac Baldwin, Captain Leonard Proctor, Abel Roby, Gideon Walker, Joseph Rice, Jonathan Atherton, David Wetherbee, capt. Joshua Parker, Shadrick Dodge, William Spaulding, John Stone, Ephraim Dutton, Jesse Spauliding, William Spaulding Jr., Josuah Fletcher, Salmon Hardy, James Hall, Samuel Chamberlain, Andrew Archibald, Asa Wheeler, Samuel Wyman.

First Events

The first deed, recorded March 21, 1781, was from Jesse Reed, of Lunenburg, Mass., one of the original patentees, to John Coffin. The first birth in town, according to the records that exist, was John, son of John and Sarah Gilbert, born July 9, 1781. The first death was John, son of John and Lucretia Russell, on May 17, 1785. The first marriage was Michael Coffin to Sarah _____ on April 14, 1778. The second marriage was John Russell and Lucretia Preston on May 10, 1778.


Comments or Questions Welcome  
This genealogy site copyrighted by
Debbie Axtman 2-01-2000


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