At the Courthouse

Probate courts have jurisdiction over estates and wills, guardianships, adoptions, name changes, emancipations, trusts, birth certificates, corrections of death certificates, and corrections of marriage certificates.

The probate court system is divided into districts. Each county forms a single district except for the older southern counties. Each of the southern counties is split into two separate districts. Windsor County’s northern records are located in the county seat at Woodstock while southern records are in North Springfield. For a directory of Vermont Probate Courts, go to http://www.courtreference.com/Vermont-Courts.htm.

To begin your research, see if there is an index to the records. There is a Windsor County index that covers the years 1778-1899. The index lists each case by name and includes the residence, district of court, type of case, the year, and volume(s) of docket books containing the case. Docket books (which were discontinued in 1998) contain copies of the original files located at the General Services Center in Middlesex.

After you retrieve the docket book that contains the will or inventory you want, open the book to the front pages and look up the name of your person in the index.