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Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off local fisheries and the farming of maize. The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in the area.
New Haven was founded in 1638 by English puritans.
New Haven Probate District covers East Haven, Hamden, New Haven, North Haven, Orange, Seymour and Woodbridge. Constituted May session, 1666, as a County Court, soon after the union of the Connecticut and New Haven colonies. Probate proceedings fo the towns comprising the New Haven Colony before the union with Connecticut, are to be found with that Colony's records or with the records of the town where the deceased resided.
Several Probate Districts were set off from New Haven Probate District:
- Bethany, 4 July 1854
- Derby, 4 July 1858
- East Haven Aug 1868, annexed back with New Haven 3 Jan 1883. Records with New Haven.
- Guilford, Oct 1719
- Milford, 22 May 1832
- Oxford, 4 June 1846