Connecticut History

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United States > Connecticut > Connecticut History

Brief History

The following important events in the history of Connecticut affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

  • Before 1625 the Dutch built Fort Goede Hoop, also known as Huys de Hoop as part of their New Netherland colony. It was turned over to the English in 1633 and became Hartford.
  • 1633-1636: Puritans from Massachusetts established settlements on the Connecticut River at Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford.
  • 1638:The New Haven colony was established. New London was founded soon after.
  • 1662: A British royal charter established Connecticut as a colony separate from Massachusetts.
  • 1740: By this date all of present-day Connecticut had been settled and organized into incorporated towns, the basic governing units.
  • 1786-1800: Connecticut relinquished its claims to western lands, except for the Wyoming Valley in [[Pennsylvania]] which Connecticut claimed until 1799, and the Western Reserve in [[Ohio]] which it claimed until 1800. Connecticut settlers remained in both areas.
  • 1788: Connecticut ratified the Constitution to become a state.
  • 1840s: As the factory system developed, thousands of foreign laborers began moving into Connecticut.
  • 1861-1865: Connecticut furnished 60,000 troops to the Union Army during the Civil War.

Local Histories

Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the Family History Library, public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies. Two useful guides are:

Histories of Connecticut State

  • The Story of Connecticut, is especially helpful source for studying the history of Connecticut [1]

The following sites have additional information about Connecticut history:


Histories are great sources of genealogical information. Many contain biographical information about individuals who lived in the area, including

  • Parents' names
  • Maiden names of women
  • Place of birth, death, or marriage
  • Occupation
  • Migration
  • Military service
  • Descendants

Where to find histories

To find local histories in the Family History Library, do various Place Searches in the Family History Library Catalog using your ancestor's town, county, state, or country as the search terms.
  1. Charles W. Burpee's, Burpee's The Story of Connecticut, Four Volumes. (New York: American Historical Company, 1939; Family History Library book 974.6 H2b).