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Update 10/11/01


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Welcome our new Town Host, Harriet Chase.  Harriet is knowledgeable, helpful, creative, and has a background that should really assist you to find your ancestors from this area.  Harriet grew up in the Windsor and Orange County area encompassing, Randolph, Royalton, Sharon, and Norwich. We are very fortunate to have her volunteer her services.

 Norwich Historical Society
Church Street, Norwich, VT 
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 284, Norwich, VT 05055

Phone number 802-649-0124

The society owns an 1810 house that contains a collection of Norwich documents, maps, photographs, textiles, furniture, and hand tools. The society conducts genealogy and land deed research. There are excursions, Old Home Day activities, a Christmas tea, lectures, and local television panel discussions.
Contact Person: Bill Aldrich, President 
People can often be reached on this phone, other than
Wednesdays from 2:30PM to 4:30 PM.  

The Norwich Historical Society is available to help you on a volunteer basis for any reasonable ancestor search.  Also watch this page for information on the new NHS book.


Norwich Town Clerk: Bonnie J. Lynch 
Assistant: Roxanne Russell
Offices are in Tracy Hall

Telephone: (802) 649-1419 or email

The Town Clerk's Office is open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

If you are researching any recorded data such as deeds, mortgages, and liens, births, deaths, and marriages, as well as voter registration, you have come to the right place.


Research Tips:

 Obtaining information from the Town Clerk's office is desirable but you might try the Norwich Historical Society first.
The LDS Family History Centers will have complete records of Norwich. Copying from the films at the FHC  should produce better results than from the normal wear and tear of the unprotected Norwich town vaults.
At an LDS Family History Center you can also order any needed Norwich research films. 

 Index of marriage records A-Z 1857-1885 FHL US/CAN Film #2057536 Item 1
Card index to births and deaths A-Z ca. 1949-1996
Card index to marriages A-Z ca. 1961-1996 VAULT US/CAN Film #2057614

Births, deaths, marriages v. 4-5 1857-1882 FHL US/CAN Film #2057536 Items 2-3
Births and deaths v. 6-7 1883-1922 Births 1903-1927 FHL US/CAN Film #2057536 Items 5-10
Births 1927-1930 VAULT US/CAN Film #2057582 Item 1
Marriages v. 6 1883-1922 FHL US/CAN Film #2057536 Item 4
Marriages 1930-1945 VAULT US/CAN Film #2057582 Items 2-8
Marriages 1945-1951 Deaths 1930-1930 FHL US/CAN Film #2057612
Deaths 1931-1996 FHL US/CAN Film #2057613 


The following information is from History of Norwich Vermont, by Goddard & Partridge, Dartmouth Press, 1905. The town of Norwich was chartered on July 4, 1761 by Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire. The first proprietors meeting took place on August 26, 1761 in Connecticut. These men were chosen for the following offices: Eleazer Wales, clerk; Andrew Crocker, constable; Samuel Wert, Abner Barker and Joseph Storrs, selectman. 

The first settlers appeared in the spring of 1763 and they were Jacob Fenton, Ebenezer Smith and John Slafter. All three men came from Mansfield, Conn but Jacob Fenton died shortly after settling in the area and was buried Lebanon on July 15, 1763, aged sixty-five.In the summer of 1764 four more families came to the vicinity, three of them were Samuel Hutchinson, Nathan Messenger and Samuel Partridge. 

The first Town meeting was held at the house of Wm. Waterman in Mansfield,Connecticut, August 26, 1761, before there was an inhabitation in thesettlement. Meetings were held in CT until 1768, when that April the first town meeting in Norwich was held at the home of Joseph Hatch. Nathan Messenger was chosen moderator; Lt. Partridge, Capt. Johnson and Nathan Messenger, selectman; Thomas Murdock, Clerk and John Slafter, constables  Medad Benton, tithingman; Elisha Partridge, Peter Thatcher, Thomas Murdock and Jacob Burton, fence viewers. 
The following were Grantees of Norwich: (Names are entered as read to the best of my abilities, in its original format. No "educated" guesses are made as to present day usage)

Eleaz Wales, Natha Harriman, Daniel Welch, Samuel Long Abner Barker, Ebenez Smith, Ebenezr Heath, Thomas Welch William Johnson ye 3d, Joseph Storrs, Gideon Noble, Samuel Cobb, James West, Judah Heath, Daniel Baldwin, James Russell, Calvin Topliff, Hezehiah Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Hatch, Elisa Wales, Samuel Slafter, Seth Wales, Benj Whitney Amos Fellows, James Bicknell, Jedidah Brinton, Jacob Fenton, John Fowler, Moses Barnard, Nathan Strong, Aleazr West, Robert Turner, Andrew Crocker, Joseph Blanchard, Abijah Learned, Josiah Root, The Hon. Theodore Atkins Esq., Adoniram Grant, Richard Wilibird Esq,. Samuel Root Junr, Mr. Andrew Clarkson, Benja Sheapard, Elisha Carpenter, Mesheck Weare Esq., Lemuel Holmes, Rev. Mr. Samuel Haven, Abner Barker Jr,. Peter Gilman Esq.

Though the grantees of (any) town can give some clues when searching, they often were not the ones who actually removed. They often being older and had more financial assets, younger family members were they ones to be part of the settlement.

(More information can be given as to the states which the Grantees came from, Contact: Harriet M. Chase )

Those who settled to the South portion of the town are listed as Town Fathers: John Hutchinson, Nathan Messenger, Jacob Burton, Thomas Murdock, Elisha Burton, Samuel Partridge, Elisha Partridge, John Hatch, Joseph Hatch, Aaron Wright, John Wright, Samuel Brown, John Hopson, Samuel Hutchinson, Ebeneazer Ball, Joseph Lewis, Elijah Gates, Samuel Wright, Benjamin Hatch, Israel Brwon, Samuel Partridge, Jr., Samuel Brown, Jr., Simeon Carpenter, Jonas Richards.

Those who settled in Northern or Central portions of the town:
John, Slafter, Hezehiah Johnson, Daniel Waterman, Samuel Waterman, Josiah Goodrich, Timothy Bush. Peter Thatcher, Joseph Smalley, James Huntington, Medad Benton, John Burnap, David Turner, Daniel Baldwin, Jesse Geer, Gershem Bartlett, John Rogers, Elisha Crane,Isac Fellows.
The following are Families which were numerous before 1800's and since extinct (from the town) Ashley, Baldwin, Baker, Ball, Barrett, Baxter, Benton, Bissell, Bly, Branch, Braughton, Brayman, Brewster, Brownnson, Buck, Burnap, Burt, Burwash, Bush, Carpenter, Carrier, Coit, Crary, Curtis, Emerson, Fellows, Freeman, Gates, Geer, Grow, Gould, Hammond, Hayward, Hedges, Hibbard, Hopson, Hovey, Howes, Hunt, Huntington, Jaquith, Miner, Morgan, Morse, Murdock, Newton, Olcott, Percival, Pike, Potter, Richards, Roberts, Seaver, Silver, Smalley, Smith, Stoddard, Story, Thatcher, Vinson, West, White, Wilder, Woodard, Wright, Yeomans

The following are Surnames of Families of the same period still surviving in
the town: Armstrong, Bartlett, Boardman, Brigham, Brown, Burton, Cloud, Cook, Cushman, Hatch, Hazen, Hutchinson, Johnson, Lewis, Lord, Loveland, Lyman, Messenger, Nye, Partridge, Pattrell, Rogers, Sawyer, Spear, Stimson, Turner, Waterman

The following can go under "Miscellaneous"
Emigration from Norwich to Establishment of Other Towns:  Families of Seaver, Hutchinson, Parkhurst, Cushman were pioneer settlers of Royalton, Tunbridge and Randolph. (Mrs. Elis Curtis was among those captive at "The Burning of Royalton")

The original proprietors of Randolph mostly belonged to Hanover (NH) or Norwich. They include Curtis, John Slafer,  Elisha Burton, and Captain Aaron Storrs. The meetings were held in Norwich for several years.

Others (unamed) later went on to settle Brookfield, Orange, Vershire and Washington. Founding of Dartmouth Colllege, Hanover, New Hampshire

Norwich had close ties with the founding of Dartmouth College. Those contributing acreage for its development include: Jacob Burton, Ebeneazear Ball, Thomas Murdock, Elisha Crane, Philip Smith, Capt. Hezekiah Johnson, John Sargent, Timothy Bush, Peter Thatcher, Daniel Waterman, John Slafter, Samuel Hutchinson, Medad Benton, John Hatch, Samuel Partridge, Elisha Partridge, Jonas Richards, Joseph Hatch.

Monies: Josiah Burton, Israel Brwon, Daniel Baldwin, Francis Fenton, John Hutchinson, Elisha Burton, Nathan Mesenger, John Wright, Aaron Wright, Francis Smalley, Joseph Ball, Jona Ball, Samuel Brown, Samuel Waterman, Samuel Partridge, Jr., Ebenezar Jaques.

Norwich University, initially known as American Literary, Scientific, and
Military Academy,
was founded by Capt. Alden Partridge in 1819. (to make a long story short: it is now in Northfield, Vermont. For more history on Norwich University see their web page:

Harriet Chase also has "most" vital records of "any" Hatch, Blaisdell and Wood while scanning the films of early Norwich and up to 1900. There is also a web page of "Uncle" Jesse Hatch's letter written while serving in the Civil War. Some photos are included on this web site:    (Click)

For information on "any and all" Partridge, Dennis gladly shares his
information: Dennis N. Partridge

THE CEMETERIES of the NORWICH AREA...(Under Construction)  (Click)


Prominent Men of Norwich
General Peter Olcott- was a member to the Windsor Convention of June 1777 and played a major in the drafting of Vermont's constitution; In 1777 he commanded a regiment of Gloucester county militia and was ordered to march to Bennington; Lt. Governor of Vermont from 1790-93 and a judge of the Supreme Court 1782-84. He died in Norwich in September, 1808. 

Thomas Murdock- was at the Windsor Convention of June 1777; he was a judge of the Windsor County court from 1782-84. He died at Norwich in 1803. 

Paul Brigham- was born in Conn. January 17, 1745 and came to Norwich in May, 1782; during the American Revolution he held the rank of Captain and eventually advanced to the rank of general. From 1796 to 1820 he was Lt. Governor; From 1783-86 and 1790-95 was assistant judge to Windsor County court; was chief judge in 1801. He died July 15, 1824, aged seventy-nine. 

Important Events

The first male child born in town was John, son of Daniel Waterman, on July 2, 1768. The first female born in town was Lydia, daughter of John Hutchinson, on June 6, 1777. Samuel White died June 2, 1822, age 100 years. John, son of Jonathan Lord, died June 19, 1882, 42 days shy of 100 years old. Fairbanks, son of Timothy Bush, was born February 25, 1773, died February 23, 1883, missing 100 years old by twelve hours. Elihu Emerson, born in Westfield, Mass on July 20, 1771, died at Leicester, Mass., aged 102 years, three months and nineteen days. He had lived for most of his life in Norwich.

Comments or Questions Welcome  
This genealogy site Copyrighted by Harriet Chase 10-11-2001



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