Connecticut Trails to the past is requesting donations of any genealogy material that you may have such as old obituaries, death information or marriages, news clippings, births, and wills. If you have any of this information, and would like to donate it please email it to Marie Miller, State Administrator for Connecticut. Please include the source of your information, if at all possible.
Connecticut began as three distinct settlements, referred to at the time as "Colonies" or "Plantations". These ventures were eventually combined under a single royal charter in 1662. Connecticut was the only one of the 13 colonies involved in the American Revolution that did not have an internal revolution of its own. It had been largely self-governing since its beginnings. Governor Jonathan Trumbull was elected every year from 1769 to 1784. Connecticut's government continued unchanged even after the revolution, until the United States Constitution was adopted in 1789.
Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. Its capital city is Hartford. Much of southern and western Connecticut (along with the majority of the state's population) is part of the New York metropolitan area; three of Connecticut's eight counties are statistically included in the New York City combined statistical area, the same area is widely referred to as the Tri-State area. Connecticut's center of population is in Cheshire, New Haven County, which is also located within the Tri-State area.
Connecticut is the 3rd least extensive, the 29th most populous, and 4th most densely populated of the 50 United States. Called the Constitution State, Nutmeg State, and "The Land of Steady Habits", Connecticut was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States.
Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch and established a small, short-lived settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut rivers, called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, half of Connecticut was a part of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers.
The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become the Connecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. Both the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.
Historically important colonial settlements included:
New Haven (1638)
New London (1646)