The Connecticut State Library is home to a large collection of church records dating back to the 17th century. Alphabetized volumes of details abstracted from these records have been created and bound by town/church, then surname. This collection includes those bound compilations. They record dates of admission, baptisms, deaths, dismissions, marriages, and a variety of other details.
The abstracts use the following abbreviations:
- adm.ch. — admitted to church
- adm.com — communicants
- bp. — baptisms
- d. — deaths
- dism. & recom. — dismissed and recommended
- m. — marriages
- mem.ch. — members of church
- mem.com. — member of committee
- o.c. — owned the covenant (a pledge that bound one to adhere to the doctrine of the church)
- recom. — recommended
Where members were dismissed and recommended to another congregation, the name and location of the new church is typically listed.
Browse to the first page of the index for each church to find additional abbreviations and the provenance of the original church registers.
Early Connecticut settlers established the Congregational Church as the tax-supported state church until 1818 when the state constitution was accepted, abolishing the connection between church and state. Sometimes, if one parish was getting too large, a second was formed that became a precursor to a new town with the permission of the general assembly. Other denominations followed eventually, particularly the Baptists from Rhode Island on the eastern border with Connecticut, Episcopalians, and Quakers. Information in Connecticut’s church records has often been found to be more informative, complete, or accurate than the town vital records.
Excerpt from Alice G. Eichholz, “Connecticut Family History Research.” Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. Third edition. Provo, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2004.