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Connecticut Colonial Records

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Sources[edit | edit source]

Earliest Church Records Earliest Land Records Earliest Court Records Earliest Newspapers
1636 1635 1636 1755

[1]

Statewide Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

  • General Court Records (1636-1818): Known as the General Assembly, the highest state court during the colonial era with civil and criminal jurisdiction. Records from these courts have been transcribed from The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut.
  • Particular Court (1638-1666): All types of cases, including appeals from town courts. These include The Public Records and abstracted in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Vol. 22. Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663 (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1928, film 0897077). See probate districts for more information.
  • Court of Assistants and Superior Court (1669-1715, 1715-): The Court of Assistants handled major civil and criminal cases. It was called the Court of Assistants, Superior Court, from 1687-1715 and was replaced by the country superior courts in 1715.
  • County Courts of Quarter Courts (1666-1855): This court handled civil, criminal, chancery, and divorce proceedings.
  • Town courts (1630s-): Justice of the Peace courts handled cases without a town court.[2]

The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776, Transcribed and Published in Accordance with a Resolution of the General Assembly. 15 Vols. (Hartford: Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Co., 1850-90, fiche 6051120). This series contains the following:

  • Vol. 1 General and Particular courts, 1636-49; General Court, 1650-65; wills and inventories, 1640-49; code of laws, General Court, 1650
  • Vol. 2 Charter of Connecticut; General Court, 1665-77; journal and correspondence of the Council, 1675-77
  • Vol. 3 Records of the colony of Connecticut, 1678-89; extracts from the records of the United Colonies of New England, 1652-84
  • Vol. 4 Colony records, 1689-1706; Council journal, 1696-98
  • Vol. 5 Colony records, 1706-16; Council Journal, 1710-17
  • Vol. 6 Colony records, 1717-25; Council Journal, 1717-26
  • Vol. 7 Colony records, 1726-35; Council Journal, 1726-28
  • Vol. 8 Colony records, 1735-43
  • Vol. 9 Colony records, 1744-50
  • Vol. 10 Colony records, 1751-57
  • Vol. 11 Colony records, 1757-62
  • Vol. 12 Colony records, 1762-67
  • Vol. 13 Colony records, 1768-72; Council Journal, 1770-72
  • Vol. 14 Colony records, 1772-75; Susquehannah case (1774): respecting the boundaries of this colony and the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania; Norwich, 1774; inhabitants in the colony, 1774; Hartford, 1774; New London, 1775
  • Vol. 15 Colony records, 1775-76; journal of the Council of Safety, 1775-76; some council proceedings, 1663-1710[3]

New Haven Colony[edit | edit source]

Before the New Haven Colony joined the Connecticut Colony, the administration records were kept separately.

Connecticut Archives[edit | edit source]

The Connecticut Archives, ca 1629-1829, is a collection of records from the General Assembly, the Governor and Council, and other colony or state officials. These records are mostly arranged chronologically and in 27 different broad topics. Indexes are available online, and Microfilm copies of the original records are available through inter-library loan. The collections are the following:

Earliest Newspapers:[edit | edit source]

  • Connecticut Gazette (1755-1812)
  • Connecticut Journal (1767-1835)
  • Hartford Courant (1764-1865)
  • New London Gazette (1765-1836)
  • New London Summary, or Weekly Advertiser (1758-1763)
  • Norwich Packet (1773-1812)[4]

Probate Districts[edit | edit source]

Probate districts comprised several towns and often crossed county boundaries. These were the only districts created before 1775:

  • Colchester District. Probate records, 1741-1922 (FHL films 7626285–7629948). Contains the records of East Haddam District, 1741-1832, and Colchester District, 1832-1922. The original records are at the Colchester Town Hall.
  • Danbury District. Probate records, 1744-1916 (FHL films 7627321–7628421). The original records are at the Danbury Town Hall.
  • Fairfield District. Probate records, 1648-1916 (FHL films 7627300–7629992). The original records are at the Fairfield Town Hall and State Library in Hartford.
  • Farmington District. Probate records, 1769-1926 (FHL films 7627285–7628612). The original records are at the Farmington Town Hall.
  • Guilford District. Probate records, 1720-1920 (FHL films 7627265–7629656). The original records are at the Guilford Town Hall.
  • Hartford District. Probate records, 1649-1917 (FHL films 7627329–7628600). The first six volumes also contain records of the county courts in Hartford County, sometimes called quarter courts, court of magistrates, particular courts, special courts, etc. The original records are at the Court of Probate in Hartford and the State Library in Hartford.
  • Litchfield District. Probate records, 1743-1917 (FHL films 7627345–7626478). The original records are at the Litchfield Town Hall.
  • Middletown District. Probate records, 1752-1917 (FHL films 7627333–7627560). The original records are at the Middletown Town Hall.
  • New Haven District. Probate records, 1647-1916 (FHL films 7626738–7627540). The original records are at the Court of Probate in New Haven.
  • New London District. Probate records, 1675-1916 (FHL films 7629909–7627387). The original records are at the New London Town Hall.
  • Norwich District. Probate records, 1748-1917 (FHL films 7627366–7629900). Records of court proceedings, 1748-1852 (FHL films 7629900–7629911). The original records are at the Norwich Town Hall.
  • Plainfield District. Probate records, 1747-1918 (FHL films 7626785–7627470). The original records are at the Plainfield Town Hall.
  • Pomfret District. Probate records, 1754-1919 (FHL films 7626776–7627434). The original records are at the Pomfret Town Hall.
  • Sharon District. Probate records, 1757-1922 (FHL films 7626830–7626457). The original records are at the Sharon Town Hall.
  • Simsbury District. Probate records, 1769-1917 (FHL films 7626821–7628606). The original records are at the Simsbury Town Hall.
  • Stafford District. Probate records, 1759-1931 (FHL films 7627122–7629607). The original records are at the Stafford Town Hall.
  • Stamford District. Probate records, 1728-1916 (FHL films 7626803–7630023). The original records are at the Stamford Town Hall.
  • Stonington District. Probate records, 1767-1933 (FHL films 7626811–7629766). The original records are at the Stonington Town Hall.
  • Windham District. Probate records, 1719-1918 (FHL films 7627148–7627459). probate records, special 1734-1917 (FHL films 7627143–7627463). The original records are at the Willimantic Town Hall.
  • Woodbury District. Probate records, 1719-1916 (FHL films 7627179–7627213). The original records are at the Woodbury Town Hall.

County Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

The following are the only county court records that have been filmed:

History[edit | edit source]

The Dutch were the first to establish a settlement in Connecticut at Hartford (Suckiaug) in 1633. British Massachusetts settlers began migrating into Connecticut in the 1630s. Settlers from Watertown, MA moved to Wethersfield (Pyquag) in 1634. Settlers from Plymouth and Dorchester, MA moved into Windsor (Mattaneaug) in 1635. In 1635, Puritans from Newtown, Cambridge, England emigrated to Hartford. In 1646, settlers independently founded New London (Nameaug).

Quinnipiac (New Haven) was founded in 1638. The New Haven Colony included several shoreline towns:

  • Guilford (Menunketuck, 1639)
  • Milford (Wepawaug, 1639)
  • Southold, Long Island (1640)
  • Stamford (Rippowam, 1641)
  • Branford (Totoket, 1644)

In 1662, an English Royal charter established Connecticut as a separate colony from Massachusetts and the New Haven Colony was absorbed into Connecticut. Long Island towns became part of New York.[5]

Additional Readings[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the counties of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 183, 192. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998
  2. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the counties of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 201-202. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998
  3. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the counties of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 202. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998
  4. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the counties of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 204. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998
  5. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the counties of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 201. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998