Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles (26 km) south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653.
The land on the western bank of the Connecticut River where Middletown now lies was home to the Mattabesett Native Americans (also spelled Mattabesec, Mattabeseck, and Mattabesek); the area they inhabited—now Middletown and the surrounding area—was named after them. At the time the first European settlers arrived in the region, the Mattabesetts were a part of the group of tribes in the Connecticut Valley, under a single chief named Sowheag
In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town.
In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits of the city quite extensive. Originally a busy sailing port and then an industrial center, it is now largely residential with its downtown serving as a college town for Wesleyan University. Middletown was the county seat of Middlesex County from its creation in 1785 until the elimination of county government in 1960.
Archives and Libraries
Middlesex County Historical Society (accessed 12 February 2012): Although it has resources for all of Middlesex County, the Middlesex County Historical Society Collection focused on Middletown.
Russell Library(accessed 12 February 2012): The public library for Middletown, Russell Library has a significant local history collection.
Wesleyan University Special Collections & Archives (accessed 19 April 2012): Wesleyan University's Archives also stores local records.
Godfrey Memorial Library - Genealogy and History Library. Site has databases for a subscription fee.
The Hartford Courant (accessed 12 February 2012): The statewide newspaper, The Courant is the most widely read local newspaper.
Middletown Patch (accessed 12 February 2012): A branch of Patch.com, the Middletown Patch has a regular Middletown history column.
The Middletown Press (accessed 12 February 2012): The major local newspaper, the Press is also available on microfilm at the Russell Library.
Middletown Probate Court (accessed 12 February 2012): The court is located at 94 Court St., Middletown.
Middletown Probate District covers Towns of Cromwell, Durham, Middlefield and Middletown. Constituted May session 1752, from Hartford, Guilford and East Haddam. Part of Town of Berlin was set off to form the Town of Berlin and subsequently Berlin Probate District 2 June 1824.
Department of Public Health, City of Middletown (accessed 12 February 2012): In Connecticut, birth records are sealed for 100 years.
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