Connecticut History

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United States > Connecticut > Connecticut 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: a major smallpox outbreak may have killed 80% of the native population.
  • 1633-1636: Puritans from Massachusetts established settlements on the Connecticut River at Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford, by land and sea.
  • 1636: Colonist arrive at Saybrook from Massachusetts
  • 1638:The New Haven colony was established. New London was founded soon after.
  • 1637: Pequot War
  • 1658: New Haven passes severe laws against the Quakers.
  • 1665: Connecticut (Hartford) Colony and New Haven Colony united.
  • 1662: A British royal charter established Connecticut as a colony separate from Massachusetts.
  • 1684: Boundary with New York established.
  • 1701: Yale College established.
  • 1713: Boundary with Massachusetts settled.
  • 1723: Settlers arrive at Voluntown, New London County from Scotland
  • 1729: The Quakers and Baptists exempted from ministerial taxes.
  • 1731: Boundary with New York finally settled.
  • 1740: By this date all of present-day Connecticut had been settled and organized into incorporated towns, the basic governing units.
  • 1760 and before: Settlers from SCotland arrive at Chelsea.
  • 1774 Reverand Sampson Occom, a Presbyterian minister organized a migration of Native American out of Connecticut.  They removed to Oneida Country near Waterville, New York.  They became known as the Brothertown Indian Nation.  Members from the Mohegan, Pequot, Narragansett, Montauk, Niantic and Tunxis tribes also joined them. In 1830 they sold their land in New York and moved to Wisconsin.
  • 4 July 1776: Connecticut became one of original 13 states.
  • 1780-1840: nearly 750,000 people migrated to the west from Connecticut.
  • 1786-1800
  • 1788: Connecticut ratified the Constitution to become a state.
  • 1820: The Congregationalists are the most numerous religious sect in the State, Episcopalians next, then the Baptists.
  • 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.

  • A Bibliography of American County Histories [1] [2]
  • United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress [3][4]

State Histories Useful to Genealogists

Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, especially older histories published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the laudatory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name. Some examples for the State of Connecticut are;

  • The Story of Connecticut, is especially helpful source for studying the history of Connecticut [5]

United States History

The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:

  • The Almanac of American History, [6][7]This provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
  • Dictionary of American History, Revised ed [8] [9]This includes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations. A snippet view is available at Google books.
  • Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium [10][11][12]This includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.

To find more books and articles about Connecticut 's history use the Internet Google search for phases like "Connecticut history." Family History Library Catalog Surname Search lists many more histories under topics like:


Web Sites


  1. Filby, P. William. A Bibliography of American County Histories. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1985. (FHL book 973 H23bi)
  2. Worldcat
  3. Kaminkow, Marion J. United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress. 5 vols. Baltimore: Magna Charta Book, 1975-76. (FHL book 973 A3ka.)
  4. Worldcat
  5. 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).
  6. Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Almanac of American History. Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983. (FHL book 973 H2alm)
  7. Worldcat
  8. Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. (FHL book 973 H2ad.)
  9. Worldcat
  10. Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium. Springfield, Mass.: G&C Merriam, 1971. (FHL book 973 H2v)
  11. Limited view at Google Books
  12. Worldcat
  13. Writings on American History By American Historical Association, Library of Congress, United States National Historical Publications Commission, Published by KTO Press, 1921 FHL book 973 H23w
  14. Worldcat