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Connecticut Genealogy

Timeline of Connecticut History

The following Timeline of Connecticut History represents selected dates and events from the early discovery by the Dutch through the current day.   (Updated June 2005)

DATEEvent Description
1614Adriaen Block, representing the Dutch, sails up the Connecticut River.
1633The Dutch erect a fort, the House of (Good) Hope, on the future site of Hartford.
1633John Oldham and others explore and trade along the Connecticut River.
1633Plymouth Colony sends William Holmes to found a trading post at Windsor.
1634Wethersfield founded by people from Massachusetts.
1634First English arrive in Windsor.
1635Fort erected at Saybrook by Lion Gardiner.
1635Group from Dorchester, Massachusetts join Windsor settlement.
1636Thomas Hooker and company journey from Newtown (Cambridge), Massachusetts to found Hartford.
1637Pequot War. Captain John Mason leads colonists to decisive victory.
1638New Haven Colony established by John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton.
1639Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted by Freemen of Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor; John Haynes chosen first Governor.
1643Connecticut joins in forming the New England Confederation.
1646New London founded by John Winthrop, Jr.
1650Code of laws drawn up by Roger Ludlow and adopted by legislature.
1662John Winthrop, Jr. obtains a charter for Connecticut.
1665Union of New Haven and Connecticut Colonies completed.
1665The first division of any Connecticut town--Lyme's separation from Saybrook.
1675-76Connecticut participates in King Philip's War which was fought in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
1687Andros assumes rule over Connecticut; Charter Oak episode occurs.
1689Connecticut resumes government under charter.
1701Collegiate School authorized by General Assembly.
1708Saybrook Platform permits churches to join regional consociations.
1717New Haven State House erected on the Green.
1717Collegiate School moves to New Haven; called Yale the next year.
1740Manufacture of tinware begun at Berlin by Edward and William Pattison.
1740sHeight of religious "Great Awakening".
1745Connecticut troops under Roger Wolcott help capture Louisburg.
1755Connecticut Gazette of New Haven, the Colony's first newspaper, printed by James Parker at New Haven.
1763Brick State House erected on New Haven Green.
1764Connecticut Courant, the oldest American newspaper in continuous existence to the present, launched at Hartford by Thomas Green.
1765Sharp opposition to Stamp Act.
1766Governor Thomas Fitch who refused to reject the Stamp Act defeated by William Pitkin.
1767Thomas and Samuel Green launch newspaper which after many changes becomes New Haven Journal-Courier.
1774Connecticut officially extends jurisdiction over Susquehanna Company area in Northern Pennsylvania.
1774Silas Deane, Eliphalet Dyer, and Roger Sherman represent Connecticut at First Continental Congress.
1775Several thousand militia rush to Massachusetts in "Lexington Alarm."
1775Connecticut men help plan and carry out seizure of Ft. Ticonderoga.
1775First gun powder mill in Connecticut started in East Hartford.
1776Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams and Oliver Wolcott sign the Declaration of Independence; large majority of Connecticut people under Governor Jonathan Trumbull support the Declaration.
1777British troops under General Tryon raid Danbury.
1779British troops under General Tryon raid New Haven, Fairfield and Norwalk.
1781Benedict Arnold's attack upon New London and Groton involves massacre at Fort Griswold.
1781Washington and Rochambeau confer at Webb House in Wethersfield.
1783Meeting of 10 Anglican clergy at Glebe House, Woodbury, leads to consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury and beginning of Protestant Episcopal Church in United States.
1784Tapping Reeve established the first law school in the United States in Litchfield.
1784Earliest Connecticut cities incorporated--Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, New London and Norwich.
1784Governor Trumbull retires from governorship.
1784Connecticut relinquishes Westmoreland area to Pennsylvania.
1784Act passed providing for emancipation at age of twenty-five of all Negroes born after March 1784.
1785First Register and Manual published.
1787Oliver Ellsworth, William Samuel Johnson and Roger Sherman serve as Connecticut's representatives at Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.
1788Convention at Hartford approves Federal Constitution by 128-40 vote.
1789Oliver Ellsworth and William Samuel Johnson begin service as first United States Senators from Connecticut.
1792First turnpike road company, New London to Norwich, incorporated.
1792First banks established at Hartford, New London and New Haven.
1793-96Old State House, Hartford, erected; designed by Charles Bulfinch.
1795Connecticut Western Reserve lands (now Northeastern Ohio) sold for $1,200,000 and the proceeds were used to establish the School Fund.
1795First insurance company incorporated as the Mutual Assurance Company of the City of Norwich.
1796Thomas Hubbard starts Courier at Norwich. In 1860 paper merges with the Morning Bulletin and continues as Norwich Bulletin to present.
1799Eli Whitney procures his first Federal musket contract; within next decade develops a system of interchangable parts, applicable to industries.
1802Brass industry begun at Waterbury by Abel Porter and associates.
1806First important English dictionary in United States published by Noah Webster.
1810Hartford Fire Insurance Company incorporated.
1812Joseph Barber starts Columbian Register at New Haven. In 1911 combined with New Haven Register and continues as Register to present.
1812-14War of 1812 unpopular in Connecticut; new manufactures, especially textiles, boom.
1814Hartford Convention held in Old State House.
1815First steamboat voyage up the Connecticut River to Hartford.
1817Federalists defeated by reformers in political revolution.
1817Thomas Gallaudet found school for the deaf in Hartford.
1817Hartford Times founded by Frederick D. Bolles and John M. Niles.
1818New Constitution adopted by convention in Hartford and approved by voters; ends system of established church.
1820Captain Nathaniel Palmer of Stonington discovers the continent of Antarctica.
1822Captain John Davis of New Haven becomes first man to set foot on the Antarctic Continent.
1823Washington College (now Trinity) founded in Hartford.
1827"New" State House erected in New Haven; Ithiel Town, architect.
1828Farmington Canal opened.
1831Wesleyan University founded in Middletown.
1831Mutual Insurance Company of Hartford founded.
1832First Connecticut railroad incorporated as the Boston, Norwich and New London.
1835Revolver patented by Colt.
1835Music Vale Seminary, first American music school, founded at Salem by Oramel Whittlesey.
1838Railroad completed between New Haven and Hartford.
1839-41The Amistad affair.
1840s-50sPeak of whaling from Connecticut ports and especially from New London.
1842Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, first public art museum, established.
1843Charles Goodyear develops vulcanizing process for rubber.
1843Civil rights of Jews protected through act guaranteeing equal privileges with Christians in forming religious societies.
1844Dr. Horace Wells uses anesthesia at Hartford.
1846Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, the first life insurance company, chartered in Connecticut.
1847First American agricultural experiment station--at Yale.
1848Slavery abolished in Connecticut.
1849First teachers' college founded at New Britain (now Central Connecticut State University).
1851Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company started (under another name) in Hartford.
1853Aetna Life Insurance Company started in Hartford.
1858Famous Charter Oak tree felled in a storm.
1860Lincoln speaks in several Connecticut cities.
1861-65Approximately 55,000 men serve in Union Army; William Buckingham wartime governor.
1864Travelers Insurance issues its first policy.
1865Connecticut General Life Insurance Company founded.
1868Land at Groton given by Connecticut to U.S. Navy for a naval station; in April.
1875Hartford made sole capital city.
1877First telephone exchange in world opened in New Haven.
1879New Capitol building in Hartford completed; Richard Upjohn, architect.
1881Storrs Agricultural College founded (became University of Connecticut in 1939).
1890Disputed election causes Morgan Bulkeley to continue two extra years as governor (1891-93).
1897Manufacture of automobiles begun by Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford.
1900First United States Navy submarine, Holland, constructed by Electric Boat Co.
1901First American state law regulating automobile speeds.
1902Constitutional Convention held; proposed new constitution defeated in a statewide referendum.
1905General Assembly adopted public accommodations act ordering full and equal service in all places of public accommodation.
1907The first Boy Scout Troop in Connecticut (Troop 1) was established in East Hartford.
1910U.S. Coast Guard Academy moves to New London.
1911Connecticut College for Women founded at New London.
1917U.S. Navy Submarine School formally established at New London Naval Base, Groton.
1917-18Approximately 67,000 Connecticut men serve in World War 1.
1920University of New Haven founded.
1927University of Bridgeport founded.
1932St. Joseph College founded in West Hartford.
1936Floods cause enormous damage in Connecticut River Valley.
1938Hurricane and floods produce heavy loss of life and property.
1938First section of Merritt Parkway opened.
1939First section of Wilbur Cross Parkway opened.
1941-45Approximately 210,000 Connecticut men serve in World War II.
1943General Assembly established Inter-Racial Commission, recognized as the nation's first statutory civil rights agency.
1944Ringling Brothers Circus tent fire in Hartford took 168 lives.
1947Fair Employment Practices Act adopted Outlawing job discrimination.
1950-52Approximately 52,000 Connecticut men serve in Korean War,
1954Nautilus, world's first atomic-Powered submarine, launched at Groton.
1955Serious floods cause heavy damage and loss of life.
1955Shakespeare Memorial Theater opened at Stratford.
1957University of Hartford founded.
1957Ground broken for first building in New Haven's Oak Street redevelopment area.
1958129-mile Connecticut Turnpike opened.
1959General Assembly votes to abolish county government (effective 1960); also to abolish local justice courts and establish district courts.
1960Ground broken for first building in Hartford's Front Street redevelopment area; now known as Constitution plaza.
1961New state circuit court system goes into effect.
1962-75Approximately 104,000 Connecticut men and women served in the armed forces during the Vietnam War era.
1964General Assembly creates six Congressional districts reasonably equal in population.
1965Constitutional Convention held. New Constitution approved by voters.
1966First elections held for reapportioned General Assembly under new Constitution.
1968Connecticut Society of Genealogists established to preserve the rich genealogical heritage of Connecticut and surrounding states.
1972Under constitutional amendment adopted in 1970, General Assembly held first annual session since 1886.
1974Ella Grasso, first woman elected Governor in Connecticut.
1978Common pleas and juvenile courts become part of the superior court.
1982Appellate Court created by Constitutional Amendment (Effective July 1, 1983).
1990Eunice S. Groark, first woman elected lieutenant governor in Connecticut.
2001Reapportionment Commission creates five Congressional districts due to national population shifts identified in the 2000 census.

Source: Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism

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