Connecticut Cemetery Records
This entry was originally written by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG, in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Centralization is the norm for Connecticut’s cemetery records. The Connecticut State Library holds the Hale Collection containing over one million gravestone inscriptions. The project to collect these began in 1916 by Charles R. Hale but was continued by act of the General Assembly and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) through the 1930s. While clearly many gravestones had been lost or destroyed by that time, over 2,000 cemeteries were located statewide and included in the collection. Each town’s inscriptions are bound in separate volumes, but an alphabetical index across towns is available. Volumes for both the town and statewide indexes have been microfilmed and are available through The Family History Library (FHL).
Cemeteries might have been church, family, town, or private ones. Only twentieth-century death records have place of burial indicated, but most administrators operating cemeteries in the state have records of their own, and many historical societies in the state have collections of town cemeteries not included in the Hale Collection. The DAR’s volumes of Bible, cemetery, and family records are deposited at the Connecticut State Library and the DAR Library in Washington, D.C.
Town clerks usually keep “Burial Books,” generally beginning in the late nineteenth century, which indicate place of burial in that town for those who died outside of town.