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Connecticut: Local History & Genealogy Resource Guide

Compiled by reference specialists at the Library of Congress, this guide identifies key print and online resources for pursuing family history, as well as state, county and municipal historical research, for the State of Connecticut.


D. F. Sotzmann. Connecticut. 1796. Library of Congress Geography and Maps Division.

One of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut is New England's second smallest and southernmost state. Native peoples, including Pequots, Mohegans, Paugussets, and Schaghticokes, have lived on the land now called Connecticut for more than 12,000 years. Their place names still appear across the state, including Shetucket, Quinnebaug, Housatonic, Quinnipiac, Noank, Mystic, and, of course, Connecticut.

The arrival of Europeans to Connecticut shores drastically altered the region’s physical and cultural landscape.

In 1639, founders of the Connecticut Colony drafted the Fundamental Orders, which established civil government in the colony. This document is considered by many to be the first written constitution of a democratic government. That’s why Connecticut is nicknamed "The Constitution State." It is also popularly known as the Nutmeg State, and also the Provisions State for its role in supplying the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

The Industrial Revolution brought growing ethnic populations--Italians, Poles, French-Canadians, and African Americans in the 19th century; Puerto Ricans and Asians in the 20th century. Since 1970, the state's population has continued to grow at a fairly steady rate, to the roughly 3.6 million estimated today.

This guide offers a selection of resources and strategies for Connecticut local history and genealogy research. These include the print and digital collections of the Library of Congress, as well as external repositories and web sites key to finding forebears in the Nutmeg State.

About Local History & Genealogy Reference Services

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.