Townshend Common FountainTown Clerk: ELLENKA WILSON
PO BOX 223
2006 ROUTE 30
PHONE: 802-365-7300 EXTENSION 1
FAX: 802-365-7309

Town Clerk Email

Elected Official. Currently the term is for one year so it expires as of Town Meeting Day in any given year. If the Town Clerk should resign or pass away during their term, the Select Board may either appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term or call a Special Town Meeting for the purpose of electing a new individual to fill the remainder of the term.

The office is in the Townshend Town Hall and the office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. The office is also open until 6:00 PM on the second and forth Tuesdays of the month (Select Board meeting days).  The Town Clerk will be happy to schedule an appointment if you cannot make it in during normal office hours. The office is closed on a variety of holidays. The office may be staffed by an assistant instead of the Town Clerk.

From the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Municipal Clerk's Handbook: Quoting,  “In many Vermont municipalities the municipal clerk is the most visible elected official and as such is expected to be informed about all aspects of town business from animals to zoning. Briefly, the municipal clerk is required by law to be the receiver and recorder of the town’s archives. The clerk records deeds related to real estate and private property transactions and files vital statistics information records relating to town business. Proceedings of the annual and special town meetings are recorded and filed by the municipal clerk. 24 V.S.A. 1151-1179.......... The responsibilities apply equally to the municipal clerk elected at town meeting and to a clerk appointed by the selectboard to fill a vacancy in the office.”
“ While many of the municipal clerk’s duties and responsibilities are clearly defined in state statutes, others are a result of custom, such as receiving telephone inquiries dealing with anything from the next selectboard meeting to landfill hours. While a municipal clerk is not legally required to perform such extra duties, it is a good idea to be courteous and helpful. A municipal clerk will probably hear many complaints and should make an effort to listen sympathetically. For example, if a citizen has a complaint about the grading of a gravel road, the clerk could notify the road commission or pass the information on to the selectboard and/or town manager.”

To clarify, the Town Clerk is only, officially, a keeper of records though, in Townshend, like many other communities in VT, they are the official that one will interact with most frequently in town. The Town Clerk is the primary local election official. (See the Secretary of State’s thank you to Town Clerks for their hard work in the 2020 election here.) The Town Clerk is also clerk for and a member of the Board of Civil Authority, and a member of the Board of Abatement. The Town Clerk does not oversee other officials or employees other than the appointed assistants. As noted in the VLCT description of job duties, the Town Clerk will pass along any information that they are given for things which are outside of their jurisdiction but, beyond that, they have no involvement or authority. They are simply the messenger. In most cases, the major positions / boards in Townshend have their own contact / extension numbers and email addresses so it is really a waste of everyone's time to contact the Town Clerk when one can contact the necessary parties individually and directly.

The Town Clerk’s Office in Townshend is small (square footage) compared to many in Vermont, as is the vault. It is not air conditioned. At times it can be a very busy and crowded place which can be inconvenient for both the clerk and people wanting to do research or conduct business. It is always best to walk into the office / call the office with a positive attitude and respect for the fact that you may not be the first person in line or that your phone call will be at the top of the priority list. Many times, you are just going to have to wait. Patience is a virtue and a smile and a pleasant attitude will serve you well.

Please note that there are fees associated with many services. Many of these are set by the State Of Vermont who takes their cut. Others are fees which are regulated by the State of Vermont such as research time fees, copying fees, etc but do not contribute money to State coffers.  See the bottom of the page for services that may be paid for with a credit card.

There are also rules regarding the conduct of business and, especially, the handling of documents, in particular, the very old ones. From the VT Secretary of State’s Office, quote: “A public agency may make reasonable rules to prevent disruption of operations, to preserve the security of public records or documents, and to protect them from damage.” Also be prepared to present proper ID as many of the services will require positive identification.

site search by freefind


    Search through the land records or do genealogy research.

    View the land maps.

    Obtain a marriage license if you are from outside of Vermont or one of the parties is a resident of Townshend. If you are Vermont residents, one of you must be a resident of Townshend. (See detailed information on obtaining a marriage license in Vermont by clicking here.) The application for a Vermont Marriage License may be filled out using an on-line form. See list of forms below.

    Register your vehicle if you have the current renewal in hand.

    Obtain a hunting or fishing license.

    Pay your property tax bill.

    Get a copy of a birth or death certificate: This may also be done using an on-line form. See the list of forms below.

    Get a copy of your marriage certificate.

    Get a copy of your property tax bill but only if you do it yourself or send in a properly registered agent.

    View the Grand List or obtain a copy of the full Grand List on cd or disk (fee charged).

    Register your dog. Must be done annually by April 1. You must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate on file or in your possession.
    Neutered / spayed, $9. Late fee, $2.
    Not neutered / spayed, $13. Late fee, $4.

    Purchase Townshend specific garbage bags, $3.50 each,  as well as get a compactor permit (free). All are necessary if you wish to use the Townshend Compactor.

    Register to vote.

    Cast an early ballot which are usually available 30 days before any election.

    Request an absentee ballot: This may also be done using an on-line form. See the list of forms below.

    Obtain a burn permit or get information on burning restrictions.

    Get a driveway access permit: This may also be done using an on-line form. See list of forms below.

    Turn in an application and pay to rent the Town Hall or the Townshend Common. The “use agreement” as well as the policies governing the rental of both is on the Policies page.

Note that none of these forms utilize an electronic signature feature. The form must be signed by hand.
Contact the Town Clerk directly if you have any questions about these forms.

Absentee Ballot Request Form: Note that this form must be sent in every year. In local elections, the only one done by Australian Ballot is the WRED (School District) ballot vote. Town elections are, once more, done only from the floor at Town Meeting. This form may be signed, scanned, and returned by email if desired.

You may pay the fee in cash, with a check, or with a credit card if filing in person. (Surcharge applies for credit card payment, see below)  If you mail the form or email the completed form, contact the Town Clerk for payment instructions.

Driveway Access Permit: $15 fee

Certified Copy of Birth or Death Certificate: $10 fee per copy requested. Note that, due to the nature of the required proof of identity, this form and identity information should only be turned in in person or mailed. For security reasons, do not email this information. A credit card may be used for payment but you should contact the Town Clerk, in advance, for instructions.

Application for a Vermont License of Civil Marriage: $80 fee plus a $10 fee if a certified copy is desired. The form may be filled out in advance but must be returned in person to the Town Clerk. Valid ID will be required if the parties are unknown to the Town Clerk. At least one of the parties must sign the marriage license in front of the Town Clerk.

You may use a credit card for payment for the following services/items. A surcharge for using a credit card will be added to the cost of the transaction. The surcharge is equal to 2.65% of the total with a minimum surcharge of $1.50. Tax bills MAY NOT be paid with a credit card.

Birth Certificates

Burial Transits

Certified Copies


Death Certificates

DMV $3 Registration Fee

Dog Registration

Green Mountain Pass

Land Posting

Liquor License

Marriage License

Trash Bags

Records Search Hours

Miscellaneous Recording Fees

Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Rent payments for renting the Town Hall or the Townshend Common


You may now search Townshend land records dating back 40 years through a 3rd party, on line provider, Record Hub. “Complimentary” is no charge and has limited access. You will have to register with them to use the site. Click here to go to their site. Again, this is a third party provider to which this site has no connection nor is this site responsible for any information they publish.

Townshend Town Common


Website Design Software NetObjects Fusion



Photo courtesy Steven Meyer