New Horizons Genealogy

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

The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records

The Barbour Collection is a transcribed collection of the Connecticut vital records (birth, marriage and death) covering the years from 1630 to 1850, arranged in alphabetical order for the state. Named after Lucius Barnes Barbour, State Examiner of Public Records from 1911-1934, under whose direction the project was begun. Barbour had directed the publication of the Bolton and Vernon vital records by the Connecticut Historical Society in 1909. He hired several individuals to transcribe the vital records of most other Connecticut towns. Most well-known was James N. Arnold, who had previously published the Rhode Island vital records.

Lucius Barbour presented the "Arnold" transcripts to the Connecticut State Library, where the information was typed onto printed forms. These form sheets were then cut, producing 12 small slips from each sheet. The slips for most towns were then alphabetized and the information was typed a second time on large sheets of rag paper, which were bound into a separate volume for each town. The slips for all towns were then interfiled, forming a statewide alphabetized slip index/abstract of most surviving town vital records to ca. 1850. Thus, there are two parts of the Barbour Collection: the slip index, and bound volumes for individual towns.

Statewide Slip Index/abstract
The statewide alphabetical file, consisting of more than a million slips in index drawers, is arranged alphabetically by name of individual and within that, chronologically. Each slip contains a complete abstract of an event, generally a birth, marriage, or death. Where parentage, residence, or relationship is found in the original entry, it is included in the Barbour abstract. At the bottom of each slip there is a citation to the original source from which the information was obtained: town, volume, and page. A list of abbreviations used may be found at in the front of each Barbour Collection bound volume. Although there is normally no more information in the original records than what appears in the abstract on the slip, researchers desiring to see the original context or verify the accuracy of the transcription may consult the original records on microfilms which are available for use at the Connecticut State Library or through LDS Family History Centers.

Yellow slips in the same file have similar entries from private sources and institutions such as diaries, letters, account books, and sextons' records are abstracted on yellow slips, interfiled in part with the Barbour Collection and in part with the Church Records Index.

Index Volumes
Since the bound Barbour volumes were prepared from the slips, they contain essentially the same information and the same references to the original records. However, there are some important distinctions:

The Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut

Based on the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records and Other Statistical Sources.

The Ricker Compilation of Connecticut Vital RecordsThe Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut, compiled and edited by Jacquelyn Ladd Ricker, and published by Genealogical Publishing Company, consists of an alphabetized and edited list of vital statistics and other information bearing on the inhabitants of the towns of early Connecticut. Based extensively on the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, the chief resource in Connecticut genealogy, it covers the period from approximately 1633, when these statistics were first recorded, to around 1850.

Containing 1.2 million records of births, marriages, and deaths from over 135 Connecticut towns, plus another 300,000 records from cemeteries, probate records, tax records, and family Bibles, the Barbour Collection is by far the largest collection of Connecticut town records ever assembled in one place. The amount of information in these records varies from town to town, but besides name, date, and nature of event (birth, baptism, marriage, or death), there is often a wealth of supporting detailónames of parents, motherís maiden name, ages of parents, birthplace and occupation of parents, and cause and place of death.

In addition to the celebrated Barbour Collection, this compilation also includes vital statistics from several Connecticut towns not included by Barbour, as well as information gleaned from lists of source records, Bibles, and church records held in the Connecticut State Library in Hartford. Also, it includes tombstone transcriptions from over 400 cemeteries which were originally published in The Connecticut Nutmegger, a publication of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists formerly edited by Jacquelyn Ricker. The search engine, based on the popular Adobe Acrobat Reader platform, allows you to search the records by name or keyword.

The Ricker Compilation of Connecticut Vital Recordsis available on CD ROM and can be purchesed online:

The Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut