Some of the earliest Connecticut marriage records date back to 1640. However, recording births, deaths and marriages was not the responsibility of the town clerk for each town until 1650. Some of the town clerks kept excellent records, especially since fines could be incurred for not recording vital information properly. Although, some town clerks didn’t keep records that were as accurate. Records from the Revolution through the middle of the 1800s are not all complete or well organized. However, the State Board of Health was created in 1870 and records in each town were kept in a much more accurate fashion after that point.
Until July 1, 1897, the town clerk recorded vital records. After that, the Department of Public Health took over all of the vital records.
Connecticut vital records for around 1850-1897 are not indexed statewide. In other words, researchers wanting information on an event that took place within that span of time need to know exactly which town the event occurred in. If the town cannot be determined right away, information in censuses and city directories may point the researcher in the right direction. The vital records from each town’s establishment through around 1900 are available on microfilm at local Family History Centers or at the Connecticut State Library.
Official records are, of course, quite helpful. However, there are many cemetery and church records that predate the time when vital record recording was mandatory. So, it’s important to consult those records and other genealogical resources as well.
Even though divorces in modern-day Connecticut are handled by superior court, they weren’t always handled that way. The Connecticut State Library holds most of the divorce records for up until the mid 1900s. That includes record books from the superior court, as well as original document packets. Divorce record packets that are more current are still held in the offices of the court.