Researching Your Branford Ancestor

Many of the indexes and abstracts noted below were compiled by Jane Peterson Bouley, Town Historian.

Births

  • Branford Town Hall has vital records from the mid-1600’s. Early records are not fully indexed; full certificates with indexes from 1890 – present. Please note that there are state restrictions on access to birth certificates less than 100 years old.
  • Blackstone Library and Branford Town Hall have the Barbour Collection for Branford (index to births, deaths, and marriages covering the years 1644 – 1850).
  • Blackstone Library has vital records index 1646 – 1895 and 1895 – 1910.
  • Blackstone Library has many published genealogies for Branford families.
  • See also the Branford Review at the Blackstone Library.
  • See also assorted local church records indexes at the Blackstone Library.
  • See also births and baptisms abstracted from Branford newspapers at the Blackstone Library.
  • For additional notes by Jane Bouley, click here.

Burials

  • Branford Town Hall has books kept by the sexton for burials in Branford from 1884.
  • Blackstone Library has an index to the sexton books.
  • Blackstone Library has a cemetery index known as the Hale Collection as well as books listing all headstones, with photographs, of Damascus Cemetery and Mill Plain Cemetery by Jane Bouley.

Census Records

  • Blackstone Library has a copy of the 1670 Branford census.
  • Blackstone Library has microfilmed copies of the Branford census for 1790 – 1940, except for 1890 (the census that was destroyed in a fire in 1921).
  • Blackstone Library has abstracts of the Branford censuses of 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, an 1890 census substitute, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930, with information on heads of household.
  • Blackstone Library has an index to the 1790 Connecticut census; indexes for other years can be found at the New Haven Colony Historical Society and the Connecticut State Library.
  • Online access for all CT residents (with a valid library card) through Heritage Quest.

Church Records

  • Baptist Church minutes, 1838 – 1954 (Blackstone Library).
  • Congregational Church has original records; these records are compiled and available at the Connecticut State Library. Blackstone Library has church manuals and a database of records for baptisms, deaths and marriages.
  • Episcopal Church records are available on microfilm at the Connecticut State Library.
  • North Branford Congregational Church Records, 1769 – 1858 (Blackstone Library).
  • North Branford Episcopal Church Records, 1812 – 1899 (Blackstone Library).
  • Other records may exist at the individual churches.
  • St. Mary’s database of church records (Blackstone Library).
  • Trinity Church database of records 1784 –1895 (Blackstone Library).

Deaths

  • Branford Town Hall has vital records from the mid-1600’s. Early records are not fully indexed; full certificates with indexes from 1890 – present.
  • Blackstone Library and Branford Town Hall have the Barbour Collection for Branford (index to births, deaths, and  marriages covering the years 1644 –1850).
  • Blackstone Library has vital records index 1646 – 1895 and 1895 – 1910.
  • See also the Branford Review at the Blackstone Library.
  • See also Branford City Directories at the Blackstone Library. There are some notations of deaths in the city directories.
  • See also deaths abstracted from Branford newspapers at the Blackstone Library.
  • See also Mortality Schedules abstracts, 1850 – 1880 at the Blackstone Library.

Houses and Land Records

  • Branford Town Hall has Land Record volumes indexed by grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer) from the colonial period.
  • Blackstone Library and Branford Town Hall have a variety of maps.
  • Blackstone Library has abstracts of records with genealogical interest in land records Volumes 1 – 25 (1800’s).
  • Blackstone Library has a multi-volume set of the architectural survey taken in the 1980s.
  • Blackstone Library has a collection of real estate cards from the 1970’s.

Marriages

  • Branford Town Hall has vital records from the mid-1600’s. Early records are not fully indexed; full certificates with indexes from 1890 – present.
  • Blackstone Library and Branford Town Hall have the Barbour Collection for Branford (index to births, deaths, and marriages covering the years 1644 –1850).
  • Blackstone Library has vital records index 1646 – 1895 and 1895 – 1910.
  • Blackstone Library has Early Connecticut Marriages Prior to 1800 edited by Frederic W. Bailey and New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey.
  • See also the Branford Review at the Blackstone Library.
  • See also marriages abstracted from Branford newspapers at the Blackstone Library.

 Military Records

  • Blackstone Library has a list, by regiment, of Branford soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War.
  • Blackstone Library has a number of Civil War regimental histories and a list of Branford Civil War soldiers.
  • Blackstone Library has a list of veterans buried in Branford.
  • Blackstone Library has WWI Service Records for Connecticut.
  • Branford Town Hall has some 20th century military records

Newspapers

  • Blackstone Library has the Branford Review on microfilm – Branford News, February 1878 – August 1878; Branford Gleaner, February 1878 – September 1879 and October 1879 – March 1880; Branford Opinion, January 1896 – March 1913; Branford Review, April 1928 – December 2008, when it ceased publication.
  • There are a number of years of the New Haven Journal Courier that are a part of the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America collection.

People

  • Blackstone Library has a large collection of biographies and obituaries of local people. In addition there is an extensive index to Branford people in town histories and in the library’s and historical society’s archives.

Probate Records

  • Branford Town Hall has probate records from 1850, indexed in a card file. Earlier probate records can be found in the Guilford and New Haven probate offices.
  • The Connecticut State Library has microfilmed copies of probate records.

Other sources are available, including our digital scrapbooks, access to Ancestrylibrary.com from any of the library computers, and a number of databases compiled by library staff and the town historian. Please contact the Reference Department for additional assistance at 203.488.1441, ext. 318 or by email.