Connecticut Church Records

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Connecticut Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Connecticut Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Congregational Church was predominant in early Connecticut and was the state church until 1818. Other prominent churches in the state are the Methodist and Episcopal churches (colonial period), and the Roman Catholic and Baptist churches (19th century).

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source],, and can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

Community of Christ, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Universalist[edit | edit source]

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

The State of Connecticut is within the Ecclesiastical Province of Hartford, which has three Catholic dioceses within it: Bridgeport, Hartford, and Norwich.

The Archdiocese of Hartford (inclusive of the counties of Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven), as a private corporate repository, abides by a stricter interpretation of Canon Law 486.2 and the 1974 Document on Ecclesiastical Archives. Therefore, NO records of archival material will be made public, and the records are NOT digitized nor publicly available. Appointments for archival research may be granted upon request. As a rule of thumb, records are located at the local parish rather than a centralized location. For location information, please consult the Directory of Archival Material by Parish record, accurate as of July 2021.

The Diocese of Norwich

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah

The Family History Library has an extensive microfilm collection of records of the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, and Methodist Episcopal churches. Published histories are available for denominations, such as Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Latter-day Saint (Mormon), and Universalist.

  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of United States, Connecticut.
b. Click on Places within United States, Connecticut and a list of counties will appear.
c. Click on your county if it appears.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Click on Places within United States, Connecticut [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location. To learn about church records existing in 1942, see:

  • Guide to Vital Statistics in the Church Records of Connecticut. (New Haven, Conn.: Connecticut Historical Records Survey, 1942). FHL Collection 974.6 K23g; film 924002 item 2; fiche 6051300

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Connecticut State Library
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Telephone: 860-757-6500 or toll free: 866-886-4478

More than 600 churches have deposited their records with the Connecticut State Library.

Congregational[edit | edit source]

Connecticut Historical Society
1 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Phone: (860) 236-5621
Fax: (860) 236-2664

The Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108-3704
Phone: (617) 523-0470
Fax: (617) 523-0491

Episcopal[edit | edit source]

Requests should be sent to local parish. Only records for churches that have been closed are kept by the diocese.
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
135 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-2295
Phone: (860) 233-4481
Fax: (860) 523-1410

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Bridgeport
238 Jewett Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606
Phone: (203) 416-1354

The diocese includes the county of: Fairfield

Diocese of Norwich
201 Broadway P.O. Box 587
Norwich, CT 06360
Phone: (860) 887-9294
Fax: (860) 886-1670

The diocese includes the counties of: Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham

Diocese of Hartford
134 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: (860) 541-6491
Fax: (860) 541-6309

The diocese includes the counties of: Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven

Quakers (Society of Friends)[edit | edit source]

  • Quaker Census of 1828: Members of the New York Yearly Meeting, the Religious Society of Friends of New York, Ontario, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Quebec, at the Time of the Separation of 1828 Fay, Loren V., editor. Rhinebeck, N.Y.: Knshp, 1989 and is available in the FHL Collection. Use this to determine the monthly meeting a person attended. It includes name, age, and family group.
    • To locate a copy nearest you, use WorldCat.

Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
  • Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.

Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:

Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations

Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.