Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Information about Connecticut's early inhabitants is found within its "Early General Records" (EGR), which include the Records of the Colony of Connecticut (now available online as Colonial Connecticut Records), the Records of the State of Connecticut, records of the Particular Court and the Court of Assistants, and the Connecticut Archives. Proof of service during the colonial or Revolutionary wars, information on early "Susquehanna settlers", elusive probate or divorce information, or a petition on behalf of a Native American tribe are among these official Connecticut colonial and early statehood records.
Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776.
The official record books of the General Court/General Assembly, containing proceedings and other materials.
Originals: 11 volumes (EGR vols. 1-11)
Published: See #5 of Bibliography.
Microfilm: Microfilmed as part of Records of the States of the United States. See #8 of Bibliography.
On the Web: Colonial Connecticut Records, http://www.colonialct.uconn.edu/
Records of the State of Connecticut, 1776-ca. 1931.
The official record books of the General Assembly.
Originals: 39 volumes (EGR vols. 12-45E)
Published: See #6 of Bibliography.
Microfilm: 1776-1839 microfilmed as part of Records of the States of the United States. See #8 of Bibliography.
On the Web: Not yet.
Records of New Haven Colony, 1639-1649, 1653-1664.
Originals: Volumes now labeled 1A (1639-1649) and 1B (1654-1664) are in the State Archives. A volume covering ca. 1644-1653 is believed to have been lost or destroyed prior to 1698.
Published: See #7 of Bibliography.
On the Web: Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649. From the Making of America book collection, digitized by the University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor.
Connecticut Colonial Land Records, 1640-1846.
Early deeds, land records, turnpike records. EGR vols. 46, 47, and 48 also include some early vital records. Volume 51 includes some items pertaining to land in Pennsylvania and the Western Reserve.
Originals: 6 volumes (EGR vols. 46-51)
Published: Edwin Stanley Welles transcribed the vital records from EGR vols. 46, 47, and 48. See #13 of Bibliography.
Microfilm: Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, LDS films 0003656-0003658.
Records of the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, 1643-1684.
Minutes, records of acts, letters, etc. of the New England Confederation (Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven) and of the Connecticut Court of Assistants.
Originals: 3 volumes (EGR vols. 52-54)
Microfilm: Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, LDS film 0003667.
Records of the Particular Court, 1639-1665.
Originals: Records for 1635-1650 recorded in The Records of the Colony of Connecticut. Records for 1649-1663 ("The Second Book") in EGR, vol. 55; 1663-1665 ("This is the Third Book") in EGR vol. 56.
Published: Vol. 1 included in The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 1. Vol. 1 also published, along with vol. 2 in Records of the Particular Court. See #9 of Bibliography.
Microfilm: Vol. 2 microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, LDS film 0004572.
Online: Vol. 1 included as part of Colonial Connecticut Records, http://www.colonialct.uconn.edu/
Records of the Court of Assistants, 1665-1711, County Courts, 1666-1677, and Superior Courts, 1711-1715.
Originals: 3 volumes (Early General Records, vols. 56, 57, 58).
Microfilm: Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, LDS film 0004572.
Records of the Governor and Council, 1663-1774 and 1785-1818.
Records of the standing committee of Governor and Assistants that dealt with the colony's operations when the General Court/Assembly was not in session.
Originals: 5 volumes
Microfilm: Part of Records of the States of the United States. See #8 of Bibliography.
Records of the Governor and Council of Safety, 1775-1783.
Records of the standing committee that met, largely at Gov. Jonathan Trumbull's "War Office" in Lebanon, during the time of the Revolutionary War.
Originals: 4 volumes, Main Vault 974.6 C711c
Microfilm: Part of Records of the States of the United States. See # 8 of Bibliography.
"Connecticut Archives", 1629-1820.
Papers and correspondence of the General Assembly, the Governor and Council, and other colony or state officials. Arranged into 27 broad subject areas and then arranged mostly chronologically. Separate indexes provide volume numbers, document numbers, and page numbers.
Originals: 303 volumes, 66 boxes, and 55 index volumes
Microfilms: Series marked with an asterisk (*) were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Film numbers are shown in the LDS Family History Catalog. The easiest access is through an "Author" search on "Judd, Sylvester" and then selecting the appropriate "Connecticut Archives" series. The remaining series were filmed by Micro Media and are available for use at the Connecticut State Library.
1636: The General Court of Massachusetts commissions a group of eight leaders, that becomes known as the General Court, "to govern the people at Connecticut" for the year beginning March 1636.
1638: The Particular Court is established. While the General Court had overall (general) responsibility for administering the colony as a whole, the Particular Court becomes the principal tribunal for settling issues between individual (particular) parties. New Haven is founded as a separate colony.
1639: The Fundamental Orders provide for all freemen of the Connecticut Colony to elect a governor, six magistrates, and four deputies from each of the three towns (Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor). As new towns are organized, the number of deputies grows. Town courts are established.
1642: The Particular Court is required to meet every three months (called "Quarter Court" during such sessions; called "Particular Court" when meeting at irregular times).
1650: The Code of 1650 includes provisions for the recording of births and marriages, the publishing of marriage intentions, and the age at which minors could choose their guardians.
1662: Connecticut receives its new Charter, which expands its territory to encompass the New Haven Colony (and lands westward to the "South Sea"). The General Court becomes the General Assembly.
1662/3: The General Court provides that a group of Assistants may act in emergencies when the General Court is not in session. These Assistants become the Governor's Council.
1665-66: The union of the Connecticut and New Haven colonies is completed. The Particular Court is abolished and replaced with the Court of Assistants (1665) and County Courts (1666).
1698: The Governor's Council becomes the Upper House; the deputies become the Lower House. Probate courts are established to handle such matters as wills and estates.
1711: The Court of Assistants is abolished. The newly created Superior Court assumes its powers.
1741: The General Assembly directs the Secretary of the Colony "to sort, date and file in proper order, all the ancient papers that now lye in disorder and unfilled in his office."
May 1771: The General Assembly directs Gov. Jonathan Trumbull to "collect all the publick letters and papers which hereafter in any way affect the interest of this Colony and have the same bound together, that they may be preserved."
May 1772: The General Assembly directs Secretary George Wyllys to make a handwritten copy of the first book of the Records of the Colony of Connecticut and of the Records of the New Haven Colony.
1818: A new state Constitution is adopted, separating church and state and creating three separate branches of government.
1841-45: Sylvester Judd of Massachusetts is hired to acquire, organize, and index Connecticut's early colonial and state papers to the year 1820. These records become known as the "Connecticut Archives".
1849: The General Assembly provides funds to begin editing and publishing The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. James Hammond Trumbull, the first editor, publishes volume one, covering 1636-1665, in 1850.
Sources: Connecticut State Register and Manual; Time-Line of Important Dates in the History of Connecticut's Public Records and State Archives Programs; "Key Dates in the History of Connecticut's Courts", prepared by the External Affairs Division, Office of the Chief Court Administrator.
1. Hinman, Royal Ralph, ed. Letters from the English Kings and Queens...1635-1749. Hartford: John B. Eldridge, 1836. Transcriptions of correspondence between Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, George II, etc. and Connecticut's governors, and other early records.
2. Hoadley, Charles J., ed. Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven from 1638 to 1649. 2 vols. Hartford: Case, Lockwood and Co., 1857-1858.
3. Loomis, Dwight and J. Gilbert Calhoon. The Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut. Boston: Boston History Comp., 1895.
4. Manwaring, Charles William. A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records. Hartford: 1904. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1995.
5. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850-1890.
6. The Public Records of the State of Connecticut. Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1894-<2000 >.
7. Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1857.
8. Records of the States of the United States: Connecticut. Library of Congress Duplication Service. Films available for purchase from the Library of Congress and Scholarly Resources.
9. Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663. Connecticut Historical Society Collections, Volume 22. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society and the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, 1928.
10. Report of the Temporary Examiner of Public Records, 1904. Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1904.
11. T[rumbull], A[nnie] E[liot], ed. Records of the Particular Court of the Colony of Connecticut: Administration of Sir Edmund Andros, Royal Governor, 1687-1688. Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1935.
12. Turner, Sylvie J., "The Connecticut Archives," Bulletin of the Connecticut Historical Society 33:3 (July 1968), pp. 81-89.
13. Welles, Edwin Stanley, ed. Births, Marriages and Deaths Returned from Hartford, Windsor and Fairfield and Entered in the Early Land Records of the Colony of Connecticut: Volumes I and II of Land Records and no. D of Colonial Deeds. Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1898. The information in this book was transcribed from Early General Records volumes 46 and 47, otherwise known as "Connecticut Colonial Land Records" vol. 1 (1640-1653) and vol. 2 (1646-1763), and Early General Records volume 48, otherwise known as "Connecticut Colony Records of Deeds, etc.: The Publick Records of Her Majesties Colonie of Connecticut, Number D". It consists of one page of Fairfield records, two pages of Hartford records (listing 31 events), and fifty-five pages of Windsor records. (The abbreviation for this volume in the Barbour Collection is "Col".)
Prepared by Connecticut State Library staff. Revised July 2003, August 2009, ©2003.