Chelsea, Orange County, Vermont Genealogy

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Brief History[edit | edit source]

The town of Chelsea was chartered on August 4, 1781 by the Vermont State Legislature and was settled in 1784.  The town was originally named Turnersburgh. A Town Meeting in 1788 found most of the residents wanting to change the name to Brookline. Not having elected a representative yet, they entrusted Seth Austin (neighboring Tunbridge's representative) to tell the legislature the name they wanted. Nobody is really sure what happened, but by the time the legislative vote was finished, the name had been switched to Chelsea.

A unique feature of Chelsea is the two commons, or greens, as they were called in the early history of the town. Chelsea is located near the center of Orange County and in 1795, it was designated as the seat of the county government, thus becoming the "Shire Town." [1]  [2]

Historical Data
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Historical Chelsea Photos

Town Histories
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  • A History of Chelsea, Vermont, 1784-1984, Chelsea Historical Society - find this book in a library.
  • Chelsea centennial : proceedings of the centennial celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Chelsea, Vermont, together with the Orange County Veteran Soldier's reunion. September 4, 1884 - view this book online.
  • Chelsea : the origin of Chelsea, Vermont, and a record of its institutions and individuals - view this book online.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online.

Probate Records
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The probate district for Chelsea is Orange.
Orange Probate Court
5 Court St
Chelsea VT 05038
Phone: (802) 685-4610

City Directories
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Plat map of Chelsea, Vermont traced from proprietors pla,, August 1945 - available on microfilm at the Family History Library.

1877 map of Chelsea

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of major cemeteries in present-day Chelsea. For location of all cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Orange County, website at this link.  

Chelsea VT Cemetery map.

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Congregational Church Records, 1781-1898 - available on microfilm at the Family History Library.

Town Records.
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Town Clerk Vital and Town Records, 1761-1997, can be found on FamilySearch (browse only images).

The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Chelsea Town Clerk's Office. These include Land records, 1784-1878.

Chelsea Town Clerk
P.O. Box 266
296 VT Rte. 110
Chelsea, VT 05038
Phone: (802) 685-4460

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The Herald of Randolph

Libraries and Historical Societies
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Chelsea Public Library
296 VT Rte. 110
Chelsea, VT 05038
Phone: (802) 685-2188

Chelsea Historical Society
Mailing Address: 274 East Randolph Road
Chelsea, VT 05038
Phone: (802) 685-4447

References[edit | edit source]

Adjacent towns: