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Winter 2003
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 3   No. 1

THEY CAME FROM Connecticut!
They Came From…highlights dates in Connecticut history of which may prove of interest to the genealogist.

A Timeline of events from 1683-1978


1614 Adrian Block, representing the Dutch, sails up the Connecticut River.
1633 A Dutch fort is erected on the future site of Hartford. Plymouth Colony sends William Holmes to found a trading post at Windsor.
1634 Wethersfield is founded by John Oldham.
1635 Saybrook is founded by John Winthrop, Jr.
1636 Thomas Hooker & company journey from Newtown (Cambridge), Massachusetts, to found Hartford.
1637 The Pequot War is fought with American Indians native to the colony who wish to drive out European settlers.
1639 The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut are adopted by the Freemen of Hartford, Wethersfield & Windsor.
1643 Connecticut joins in forming the New England Confederation.
1646 New London is founded by John Winthrop, Jr.
1650 Code of Laws is drawn up by Roger Ludlow & adopted by colonial legislature.
1662 John Winthrop, Jr., obtains a royal charter for Connecticut.
1665 Union of New Haven & Connecticut Colony is completed.
1675-76 Connecticut participates in King Philip’s War, which was fought in Rhode Island & Massachusetts.
1698 Fitz-John Winthrop is elected governor of Connecticut.
1717 Collegiate School, which was first authorized by General Assembly in 1701, moves to New Haven. It changes its name to Yale in 1718.
1731 A disputed Connecticut/New York boundary line is settled (and confirmed in 1891).
1745 King George’s War (French & Indian War); Connecticut troops under Roger Wolcott help capture Louisburg.
1754-1763 The French & Indian War sees Great Britain & France involved in a struggle for ownership of North America.
1755 Connecticut Gazette of New Haven, the Colony’s first newspaper, is printed by James Parker at New Haven. Nathan Hale is born in Coventry.
1763 Brick State House is erected on New Haven Green.
1764 Connecticut Courant, the oldest American newspaper in continuous existence to this day, is launched by Thomas Green in Hartford.
1766 Governor Thomas Fitch, who refused to reject the Stamp Act, is defeated by William Pitkin.
1767 Thomas & Samuel Green launch a newspaper, which after many changes, becomes The New Haven Journal-Courier.
1774 Silas Deane, Eliphiat Dyer & Roger Sherman represent Connecticut at the First Continental Congress.
1775 Several thousand militia rush to Massachusetts in "Lexington Alarm."
1775-1783 The American colonists engage in a struggle for independence from Great Britain & King George III. Connecticut men volunteer for service in both local militias & in the Army of the Continental Congress.
1776 Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams & Oliver Wolcott sign the Declaration of Independence. Majorities of Connecticut people under the leadership of Governor Jonathan Trumbull support the Declaration.
1792 Connecticut awards land in its Western Reserve (the Fire Lands) to residents who lost property in raids by British soldiers & sailors during the Revolution.
1812-1815 The United States & Great Britain engage in a war caused in part by British impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy.
1841-45 Sylvester Judd of Massachusetts is hired to acquire, to organize & index early colonial & state records of Connecticut. This collection of records becomes known as the Connecticut Archives.
1846-1848 The United States is involved in a war with Mexico over disputed territory & alleged violations of the rights of some American settlers in areas bordering Mexico. Some Connecticut men volunteer to serve in the 10 volunteer regiments raised by the federal government.
1849 The State General Assembly provides money to publish The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut.
1861-1865 Approximately 55,000 Connecticut men volunteer to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. Connecticut raises two regiments of African-American soldiers.
1870 The State General Assembly directs all town clerks to make copies of town records produced prior to 1700 on blank books. These transcriptions of early town records are to be forwarded to the Connecticut State Library prior to July 4, 1871.
1888 An estate dealer finds original muster rolls of 235 Connecticut men who served in the French & Indian War in old trunks & boxes. The dealer sells them to Judge Sherman Adams, who offers them for sale to the Connecticut State Library. The State Librarian refuses to purchase them, stating that they are state property & must be turned over to state custody immediately or he will file suit. In a compromise, Judge Adams is paid $50 for the muster rolls, much less than his asking price. The collection becomes known as the Sherman Adams Collection.
1888-92 The State Library secures from Robert Winthrop papers from the Winthrop Papers Collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society that pertain to the colonial history of Connecticut.
1895 The State General Assembly directs all town clerks to make handwritten transcriptions of all town records that pertain to the Revolutionary War period (1774-1784) in blank books. Sixty-three town clerks comply. The books are forwarded to the State Library.
1897 The State General Assembly decrees that as of July 1897 a copy of birth, death & marriage records will be sent by town clerks to the Connecticut Department of Public Health office in Hartford (divorce records are maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the divorce occurred).
1898 Connecticut men serving in the 1st Connecticut National Guard Regiment are sent to fight in the Spanish-American War.
1901 General Lucius A. Barbour, former Connecticut state legislator and Adjutant General, hires James Arnold of Rhode Island to transcribe Connecticut town records & vital records up to the year 1850. Barbour’s son, Lucius B. Barbour, extends the program to include additional records & donates the transcriptions to the Connecticut State Library. This collection of transcriptions becomes known as the Barbour Collection of Vital Records.
1917-1918 Thousands of Connecticut men & women serve as soldiers, nurses, etc., in the First World War.
1919 The State General Assembly creates the post of State Military Necrologist, the only such position in the nation. Appointee Charles L. Hale directs the transcription of information on veterans from Connecticut tombstones.
1941-1945 During WWII, 210,000 Connecticut men & 3,300 Connecticut women serve in the Armed Forces; 75,000 are volunteers; 2,600 Connecticut soldiers, sailors & airmen die; nine receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1947 A State General Assembly committee endorses the plan of the Genealogical Society of Utah to microfilm all Connecticut land & probate records through 1850. The project scope is later extended to include vital records to 1900 & land & probate records to the early 20th century.

The Genealogical Society of Utah gets to keep a copy of the microfilm in exchange for performing the filming.

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