Connecticut Vital Records
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Connecticut Vital Records State Department of Health or the Town Clerk's office where the event occurred.
Vital Records Reference Dates
Connecticut's vital records start the following years:
Connecticut Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online
The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Connecticut Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for Connecticut Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.
- Barbour Collection by Jane Devlin, hosted by Rootsweb - Free (see also the Wiki article Barbour Collection)
- Connecticut Databases listed on Rootsweb.com- Free
- Connecticut Collections on FamilySearch.org - Free. This is a growing database.
- Online Connecticut Death Indexes and Records - Free
Vital Records Collections
There are several collections and other sources which contain vital records:
Barbour Collection. This collection consists of abstracts of town, church, and other original records from the earliest time to the 1850s. Most towns are included. The index is incomplete, however, and is known to contain errors. On 98 microfilms FHL films starting with film 002887and the births are indexed in the IGI.
Charles R. Hale Collection. This collection includes newspaper notices of marriages, deaths and cemetery inscriptions. On 360 rolls of film. See the Cemeteries page.
Bowman Collection. This is a card index to Connecticut vital records in Massachusetts, 1800 to 1900. FHL films 002884-885.
Clarence Torrey Collection.This includes New England marriage records prior to 1700. It is at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and also on microfilm at the Family History Library. FHL films 929494-500. A published index of this collection is Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700. FHL book 974 V2t; film 1320548 item 14. Third Supplement to Torrey's New England marriages prior to 1700 was published in 2003. FHL book974 V2t supp.
Index to the Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin, Vols 1-8.This is an index at the Connecticut State Library and is on microfilm at the Family History Library. FHL film 002886. It indexes the names found in the Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin. FHL book 974.6 H25c.
Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
Town Records, early to present
Birth, marriage, and death records were kept by each town clerk. These are described further in Connecticut Town Records.
Many of the births, marriages, and deaths recorded in town records have been extracted and are part of the database that can be searched by name on the home page of FamilySearch. The former International Genealogical Index (IGI) is part of this.
Early to 1870 - Recording of vital records by the town clerk began about 1650. Following the Revolutionary War to about 1870, records were not always recorded.
1870 to 1897 - In 1870, the State Board of Health established. Record keeping in towns improved.
State Records, 1897 to present
State registration of vital statistics began in 1897 and was generally complied with by 1915. For copies of state records, you can contact:
Department of Public Health
Vital Records Section
410 Capitol Avenue, 1st Floor
Hartford, CT 06134
CT Department of Public Health State Office of Vital Records 410 Capitol Ave. MS#11VRS P.O. Box 340308 Hartford, CT 06134-0308
Their Web site gives complete information for ordering births, marriages, and deaths. There is also a link to the town Web sites for information in ordering town vital records.
To find current fees, any restrictions, and where to write:
- CDC.gov, Where to Write for Vital Records, Connecticut has information for births, deaths, marriages, and adoptions.
- VitalRec.com ($). Select a state to see the fees for birth, marriages, and deaths. There is also a link for divorces and adoptions.
Town Birth Records
- Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906 is a name index to town birth, baptism and christening records. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch centers. Description of records.
State Birth Records
These records are considered confidential and can only be searched by:
- The individual, his mother, or father
- An attorney
- A member of a genealogical society in Connecticut.
You may wish to write to the Connecticut Society of Genealogists for help in searching birth records. There will be a fee for this service.
Delayed Birth Records
Delayed registrations of births were kept by the town clerk and have the same restrictions as other vital records.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway, Access to Adoption Records: Summary of State Laws, explains laws about accessing adoption records. This seems to be general rather than specific to a state.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway, National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search can be searched by state for various types of adoption organizations.
- Connecticut Adoption Registry is a worldwide adoptee and birth parent search database.
Some marriages were recorded as early as 1640 by town clerks and can be found in town records. Many town records have been filmed and are available at the Family History Library, family history centers, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
- Connecticut, Marriage Index, 1959-2001 is an index of marriages from the Connecticut Department of Public Health in Hartford. This free index is provided by Ancestry.co. Description of records.
Marriage- Eloping Couples
(Greta Green Locations)
Groton, New London County, Connecticut was a city many eloping couples went to to be married. There was no waiting period between the time of issuing a license and the performance of the marriage. Other such marriage places include Niagara Falls NY (or Ontario), or Cecil County, MD, or Prince William County, VA.
Divorce proceedings are usually kept by the clerk of the superior court where the divorce was granted.
The Connecticut State Library has some early divorce records. This library also has a Research Guide to Divorce Records in Connecticut, A Brief History and Summary of Sources.
- Connecticut Divorce Index, 1968-1997 is an index of divorces from the Connecticut Department of Public Health in Hartford. Index provided by Ancestry.com.
- Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934 is a name index to records available on film and at town clerks' offices. This set contains 2,010,979 records. Description of records.
- Connecticut, Death Index, 1949-2001 is an index of deaths from the Connecticut Department of Health in Hartford. This free index is provided by Ancestry.com. [of records]
- Information listed on vital records is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record. The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
- If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to births, marriages, death or burial.
- Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records. Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 50 years may be unavailable to anyone except direct descendants and / or ancestors.
- If the survival of a baby was in question, the birth may not have been recorded.
- Search for Vital Records in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records. Search for Connecticut to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by that county.
These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage and death records.
Connecticut Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
Connecticut Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
Connecticut Probate Records: If no death record exists, probate records may be helpful in estimating when an individual has died. Probate records in the 20th Century often contain the exact death date.
Connecticut Census Records: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
Connecticut History: Local histories, family histories and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage and death information. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.
Connecticut Military: Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information, In addtion, soldiers' homes records can included this same information.
Connecticut Newspaper: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information.
Connecticut Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
More Online Links
These websites contain links to statewide and county vital record online pages. Some of these links may be duplicates of those already listed on this wiki page.
- USGenWeb.org Connecticut Site - Free
- The Vital Records Search and Information Directory for Connecticut - Free/$
- German Roots (formally known as Wee Monster Links) for Connecticut Online Birth & Marriage and Online Death Records - Free/$ Scroll down to Connecticut once you are on the site to choose the links you want to explore.
- Linkpendium Links for Connecticut Genealogy and History, including individual Counties - Free/$
- Progenealogists Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for Connecticut or CT - Free/$
- Search the Connecticut Birth, Marriage & Death Records at Ancestry.com - $
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Connecticut Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Connecticut Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Connecticut Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Connecticut,Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" in Genealogy Blog (accessed 8 January 2011).