Books for the Connecticut Researcher


by Barbara Jean Mathews, CG

Posted: March 27, 2000

Connecticut genealogical researchers can rely on a rich and varied bibliography. There are introductory books, general guides, handbooks, registers, indexes, and specialized periodicals. There are books the novice genealogist should read carefully and books the experienced genealogist needs to consult regularly. And this is all before we even get to the rich resource of town-wide genealogies that is such a boon for colonial research in Connecticut.

In this column I will discuss the general-purpose books that have proved most helpful to me personally. These are books that address questions on locating records for different time periods, which towns and probate courts were formed from which other towns and probate courts, and now-extinct place names. I will not attempt to address specific research issues, such as African-American or Native American ancestry and resources. Such important topics, as well as town-wide genealogies, require columns of their own.

Regardless of the "who and what," you'll get nowhere without first addressing the "where and when" covered by the first four books listed below. Connecticut's towns originated in two ways: by subdividing from existing towns, and by groups of people having resettled to a new location. As you work your way back in time, you will come to the beginning of the town that interests you. Where did the first settlers come from? Where would earlier records be located?

Very Useful Books

Generally Useful Books for Colonial Connecticut

Copyright 2000, New England Historic Genealogical Society