Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Please Note: Due to recent changes
in the probate court districts, we no longer have the most up-to-date
information about locations and hours for Connecticut's probate courts
available in this research guide.
Please consult the Probate Court Directory for court locations and contact information. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause & thank you for your patience as we revise our research guide. (March 2011)
The extensive system of probate courts in Connecticut often presents a challenge for Connecticut genealogical and historical researchers. Unlike other New England states where one probate court per county, often located in the county seat, is typical, the probate courts in Connecticut historically catered to much smaller geographic areas. Connecticut's probate courts evolved, both in number and in area of coverage, over the past 350 plus years. Currently 130 different probate courts serve Connecticut's 169 cities and towns.
Connecticut probate records appear in two forms: estate paper packets, which are the original records submitted to the court, and probate court record books, which are the official record of the court.
This research guide identifies which probate court (or district) covered a given Connecticut city or town at a given time; what probate materials (estate papers or record books) of a specific court are available; and in what format (original or microfilm) the materials are available for use at the Connecticut State Library.
The guide will familiarize researchers with the Connecticut probate courts but is not a searchable database of individual names. For individual names, please see the "Probate Estate Papers Index" located in the History & Genealogy Reading Room at the Connecticut State Library.
The alphabetical listings linked below show the chronological progression of Connecticut cities and towns within the Probate Court systems. The listing for each city or town shows when it was established; its parent town(s); the location, hours, and contact information for its current probate court; and a chronological progression of what probate courts served the town in the past. If a town was covered by several different districts over its history, follow the links to obtain information on the other jurisdictions.
To use the guide, click below on the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the first letter of the city or town about which you need information (or on "Miscellaneous & Massachusetts"). Scroll down until you reach the town in question.