Links to Early Families of Redding, Connecticut:
requests come in regarding the names that appear on this website.
In most cases I am able to provide information and direction
for individuals in need of Genealogy assistance. And though
I'd like to take full credit, I do have help. What I do when
conducting a search for an individual is as follows:
I take into account what timeframe the individual was alive.
This is very important, for obvious reasons...those being:
It determines where to look and what source(s) to look in.
If an individual
was living in Redding before 1767 (for example)
you will need
to look in Fairfield, Connecticut records because prior
to 1767, 1729-1767 to be exact, Redding was a parish of
Fairfield, CT. This is true for most towns in Southwestern
Connecticut, Weston was also a parish of Fairfield, Easton,
was too. Wilton is another example, it was once a parish
of Norwalk, CT so the timeframe is very important in determining
where to look.
Collection of Connecticut Town
Vital Records is helpful for Redding from 1767
up to 1852. This volume in the Barbour series, which
covers the towns of Portland, Prospect, Redding, and
Ridgefield encompasses 30,200 persons!
records are sometimes helpful but keep in mind that
from 1790-1840 only the head of household is listed,
the number of household members in different age groups
is noted but that's it. Ancestry.com
allows you to search them. I'd suggest an initial
search on the name you're looking for to see if it's
in their database.
Land, Probate Records and Miltary Records can be helpful
in this timeframe as well, again, Ancestry.com
allows you to search these types of records, however,
Land and Probate Records should be searched for at
the Town House of the town they lived in. Footnote.com
has Military documentation available online.
searches on early to mid 1700's data, a trip to the
town is necessary. Libraries and Historical Societies
are the places to start at, a call or e-mail to each
prior to arrival helps. Libraries and Historical Societies
contain a wealth of information for those seeking
Genealogical information...the key to success is coming
prepared and being respectful to the staff, remember
that in most cases they are volunteers.
have a town historian which is helpful too. Town historians
are very knowledgeable on all periods of town history.
And they usually author or have knowledge of historical
reports filed in town, these reports contain very
good and up-to-date historical information on: Churches,
Housing, Landscape, Parks, Businesses, etc....These
reports are rarely "readily" available to
the public, but can be obtained.
- For Individuals
living between 1850 and 1900, there is a probability they
will show up on Township maps listing property owners, Beers
was a common map-makers name for towns in Connecticut, New
York and Massachusetts. In addition to the maps, I'll also
War records, the U.S. census, Immigration
& Naturalization Records, Birth, Marriage, Death records
too. Census records allow you to both confirm information,
and to learn a lot more. Beginning with the 1850 Census,
details are provided for all individuals in households which
is very cool. I've used several online tools and have had
the best luck with Ancestry.com.
The annual membership saves $17 a month. It's a wonderful
tool, they also have Family Tree builders to help you sort
out what you find.
upon finding a match I'll start looking for details on the
individual. In most cases, the details (if any) will show
up in a book or historical report on the town the individual
lived in. Searching Amazon.com is a good start, I usually
search the town name. "Redding, Connecticut" under
books to bring up a listing of Books relating to Redding,
if the list is too long I add "history" to the search
term: "Redding, Connecticut + History". For those
interested Redding, Connecticut, books about it can be found
here: Books on Redding, Connecticut.
In some towns, books and reports can be tough to find online
and require some legwork...your own or someone you hire to
do it for you. Also be sure to try typing your names into
Google's new book search database to see if anything shows
the town the individual lived in will contain books on
the history of the town. They sometimes have history rooms
where you can view reports, histories, newspapers, family
collections, microfilms, etc... Wilton, Connecticut's
library has an amazing history room, well staffed and
packed with history information. New:
is available at the Mark Twain Library
at town history books, a quick flip to the index to search
for your name(s) speeds up the process. Don't limit your
search to just the town, get familiar with the towns around
it and view their town histories too. Sometimes an individual
living on or near the border of another town will be included
in that town's history. For example: In Georgetown CT,
residents come from several towns: Redding, Wilton and
Weston...confusing as it sounds it makes sense to Georgetowners.
If your individual
happens to be listed in a church history section of a
town history book, a follow up with the church can be
helpful. Christ Church on Redding Ridge, for example,
put out a 250 yr. history booklet in 1982 that is not
all that common...rare as they call it. Without a call
to the church I wouldn't have known it existed. View Books
on Redding, Connecticut for a book on the Congregational
Church by Lawrence Banks, this one is available online.
Guides and Histories. For example: "The Connecticut
Guide" released by the State Planning Board in 1935
contains tid-bits on all the towns in Connecticut and
is peppered with names of early settlers, preachers, businessmen,
etc.. Who knows, you may find the name your looking for.
If your lucky
enough to learn where the individual worked, there's a
chance that a history has been written about the company
and details can be found there. Gilbert and Bennett Manufacturing
Co. in Georgetown, CT had two books and several booklets
written about it, they all contain a wealth of information
on not only the executives but employees as well. Rare
book sellers and Ebay are places I search when looking
for these type of books.
Third, I'll post
an information request at several online Genealogy forums.
This can be helpful whether or not I have located the individual...sometimes
I have a decent amount of information and a post results in
even more OR I have nothing, I post a request, receive nothing
in response and at that point it's much easier to end the
search knowing I've exhausted all resources.
So as you can see,
this isn't rocket science...you just need the right tools,
a little patience, and a lot of luck. And keep in mind that
you don't have to go it alone, Genealogy experts do exist
and there are plenty of them ready to assist you. Contact
the Historical Society in the area you are searching in for
a list of Top Guns.
Want to earn commissions
selling Revolutionary War and Civil War products online? It's
easy, I do it and have had quite a few sales. I use Aurora
Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records.
Volume 36: Portland (1841-1850), Prospect (1827-1853),
Redding (1767-1852), and Ridgefield (1709-1850)