The Russell Collection: Vermont History and Genealogy

The Russell Collection: Vermont History and Genealogy

The Russell Collection: Vermont History and Genealogy

Dr. George Russell started his historic collection of rare books and chronicles about Vermont at the age of 12 and continued to add to it until his death in in 1968 at the age of 89. A talk at Arlington’s Canfield Library will explore the range of material in the collection and its role in local history.

Dr. George Russell started his historic collection of rare books and chronicles about Vermont at the age of 12 and continued to add to it until his death in in 1968 at the age of 89. A talk at Arlington’s Canfield Library will explore the range of material in the collection and its role in local history.

On Sunday, October 23, Bill Budde, curator of the Russell Vermontiana Collection in Arlington, will explore the history and contents of the collection. The talk will be held in the Sandgate meeting room of the Martha Canfield Library at 2 p.m. The Collection includes early original material on the founding families and early settlers of Sandgate, Arlington and Sunderland. School lists, tax assessments, deeds, military records, land surveys and other manuscripts provide valuable documentation for historians and genealogists. Recent volunteer work has indexed many of these records for family researchers. This presentation will identify the range of material in the collection, and the important role that Dr. George Russell played in preserving local history.

The three Bennington County towns have played a central role in Vermont history. Arlington was the de facto capital of the early republic – later state – of Vermont, during the time Governor Thomas Chittenden lived here. During these early days Ethan Allen, Matthew Lyon, John Fassett and other leaders lived here as well. Ethan Allen and his brother Ira, treasurer of the republic, also lived in Sunderland. Following the admission of Vermont into the United States, Captain Daniel Shay of Shay’s Rebellion fame lived in Sandgate and Arlington. The towns have also been home to well-known writers, artists, photographers and illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Don Trachte, George Hughes, Mead Schaeffer, Gene Pelham and Herbert Wheaton Congdon.

The last two programs for 2016 are family history programs. Research with census, naturalization and passenger lists on Sunday, November 13, and scrap books, both physical and online, on December 11. There is no charge to attend.

Budde is a professional genealogist and curator of the Russell Vermontiana Collection, a repository for history, family papers and documents for Arlington, Sandgate, Sunderland and Vermont. For information, visit marthacanfieldlibrary.org or call 802-375-6153. The Library is located at 528 East Arlington Road in Arlington.

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