The public records of the Colony of Connecticut cover Connecticut’s history from April 1636 – Oct 1776, the period of time in which Connecticut was not a state but was instead a colony. As a genealogist, if you were to view the basic descriptions of each volume, you would not be impressed, and would likely pass on using these records in your genealogical research. That would be a huge mistake. The following description found in FamilySearch’s catalog, doesn’t do justice to the actual genealogical content found within some of the volumes.
“Contents: v. 1. Records of the General and particular courts, Apr. 1636-Dec. 1649. Records of the General court, Feb. 1650- May 1665. Records of wills and inventories, 1640-1649. Code of laws established by the General court, May 1650. Appendix…”FamilySearch Catalog description 77969
Except for the obvious “Records of wills and inventories, 1640-1649” a researcher may not realize that volume 1 contains many biographical details for early Connecticut ancestors. I skipped to just one page of the first volume and here are some of the items I found, which reference the Particular Court for the Colony of Connecticut, held on the 5th June 1645:
 Nath: Dickenson and Tho: Coleman are to take a prticular of the estate of Mr. Parks man deceased and bring yt to the Court; and for wages due to him, it may be respited vntill we heare frō Mr. Parks, or his returne.Trumbull, Hammond J. The public records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 1, p. 127. Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850.
Baggett Egleston, for bequeathing his wife to a young man, is fyned 20s.
George Tuckye, for his misdemeanor in words to Eglestons wife, is fyned 40s., and to be bownd to his good behauior and to appeare the next Court.
Genealogy is all about the hmm in records. You know, those records which make you go hmm… because you really want to know more about the event. The first record, is a court instruction or order to two individuals, Nathaniel Dickenson and Thomas Coleman, to make a report of the estate of a slave, or more likely, indentured servant of Mr. Parks, referred to as “Mr. Parks man”. Research would have to be done to identify this “Mr. Parks” and more importantly the “man” who died. It’s possible, that this is the only record of his death! The second and third item above, however, are the ones which really make me go hmm. Here we have Baggett Egleston fine for bequeathing his own wife to another man. Directly after that is a fine of another man, George Tuckye, for his misdemeanor in words to Egleston’s wife. Likely, George is the fella that Baggett “bequeathed” his wife too. If only we had more details!
All of these volumes are easily searchable at the back. But you’ll need to get creative for how names were often spelled in those times (phonetically) when a person did not know how to properly spell the name. Example above of George Tuckye is likely George Tucker or Tooker.
There were a total of 15 volumes which cover all of the official records of the colony from it’s beginning to its designation as a state. Each of those volumes, listed below, are readily available online, in good condition, searchable, and more importantly, downloadable. While you can “search inside” each of these volumes, I highly suggest you use the name index at the back of each volume to look for specifics on your ancestors.
To give you a better idea of what is in each book, I have created a page for each volume specifying the information found within it as described in each preface, and table of contents. I then provide direct links to read each volume, from the beginning, and the sections described in the table of contents. I also provide direct links to both the name index and general index found in each volume. Finally, you have a direct link to download the full manuscript.
If your ancestors resided in the Colony of Connecticut, even briefly, then you will want to bookmark or download these free resources!
- Volume 01, 1636-1665
- Volume 02, 1665-1677
- Volume 03, 1678-1689, also 1652-1684
- Volume 04, 1689-1706
- Volume 05, 1706-1717
- Volume 06, 1717-1726
- Volume 07, 1726-1735
- Volume 08, 1735-1743
- Volume 09, 1744-1750
- Volume 10, 1751-1757
- Volume 11, 1757-1762
- Volume 12, 1762-1767
- Volume 13, 1768-1772
- Volume 14, 1772-1775
- Volume 15, 1775-1776