New Horizons Genealogy

"Specializing in New England and New York Colonial American Ancestry"

Connecticut Church Records

Connecticut church records are one of the richest sources of Connecticut vital records. Church records record dates of admission, baptisms, deaths, dismissions, marriages, and a variety of other details. Connecticut church records are often more informative, complete, or accurate than the town vital records.

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Sources For Early Connecticut Church Records

The Connecticut Church Records index - More than 600 churches have deposited their records with the Connecticut State Library. The Connecticut Church Records index covers about one-quarter of the church records held by the Connecticut State Library, mostly Congregational. There is not a specific cutoff date for the index; most entries date before 1850, but some records date to the early 1900s. Each slip gives a complete abstract of an event, e.g., a baptism, marriage, or burial. At the bottom of the slip is a citation to the original record from which the fact was taken, including town, church, volume, and page. In most cases, there is no more information in the original record than what is shown in the transcription, so that unless there is a question regarding the accuracy of the transcription, it is not necessary to go to the original record. As with the Barbour Collection, alphabetized volumes were created for most (but not all) churches covered in the Church Records Index. The reference on the slip or in the bound volume is to the original record which for the most part is on microfilm. This index does not include Catholic or Jewish records.

Early Connecticut marriages as found on ancient church records prior to 1800 by Bailey, Frederic William - The most complete collection extant of printed Connecticut church marriage records to 1800. A seven-volume work solely of Connecticut church records. Each volume contains a surname index.

Connecticut Church History

Early Connecticut settlers established the Congregational Church as the tax-supported state church. In 1818 the state constitution was accepted, the state of Connecticut abolished the connection between church and state. Sometimes, when one parish started to get too large, a second church was formed, becoming a precursor to a new town. Other denominations eventually followed, particularly the Baptists from Rhode Island on the eastern border with Connecticut, Episcopalians, and Quakers. Connecticut church records are often more informative, complete, or accurate than the town vital records.

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