TABLE OF CONTENTS
RG 004:015, Bridgeport Probate Court
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Copyright © 2011 by the Connecticut State Library
Bridgeport, Fairfield County, Town established in May 1821, City incorporated May 1836, Parent Towns: Fairfield and Stratford
Bridgeport Probate District was constituted June 4, 1840, from the Stratford Probate District. At one time it also served the towns of Easton, March 5, 1878 - January 6, 1959; Huntington, now Shelton, June 1840 - May 1889; Monroe, June 1840 - January 6, 1859; and Trumbull, June 1840 - January 6, 1959. It currently serves the City of Bridgeport.
City of Bridgeport, Probate District chronology:
May 1821 - June 3, 1840, Stratford District
For Probate Court contact information and hours of operation see, Probate Court Directory.
Probate record books, 1840-1955. Contact the probate court for access to record books after Volume 193. See Alternative Form Available note below.
Probate files, 1790-1963. Probate files may consist of estates, conservatorships, guardianships, commitments, and insolvencies. See Alternative Form Available note below.
Inventory control book, 1790-1940 (coverage). Also known as the Godard Digest, it is a list of probate files transferred to the Connecticut State Library. It was compiled at the Connecticut State Library under the direction of State Librarian George S. Godard.
The Bridgeport probate record books start with Volume 10. At the time the Bridgeport Probate District was created in 1840, the Stratford Probate District, of which it had been a part, was on Volume 10 of their record books. The Bridgeport Probate District began numbering with Volume 10.
From 1854 to 1860, the "Records and Orders" are included in the same volume.
The last volume to be titled "Records" is Volume 98. Beginning with Volume 99 the title became "Deceased Persons".
From 1860 to 1882, "Order Books" were numbered consecutively from Volume 12 through Volume 21, repeating volume numbers also used for "Records". These order books are listed after sequence of Volumes 10-193. From 1882 forward, "Order Books" are numbered within the same sequence as Records. Volume 33 is the first of these.
From 1870 to 1889, "Guardians, Conservators, etc." are in volumes lettered A, B, C, and D. These are listed after "Order Books", Volume 12-21. From 1889 forward, "Guardians, Conservators, etc." are numbered within the same sequence as "Records". Volume 48 is the first of these. Beginning in 1902 with Volume 105, the title of these volumes became "Minors, Incompetents, Insane, etc."
"Bonds" are in the same sequence as "Records", beginning in 1881 with Volume 30.
There is one volume of "Wills and Testaments" numbered Volume 1 that covers 1847-1866. This is listed after "Guardians, Conservators, etc.", Volume A-D.
The 3 index volumes are at the end.
Accessions 1916-001 and T003013 are arranged alphabetically.
Accession 2011-031 is arranged first by starting letter of surname, then year, then alphabetically. For example, all of the A surnames are before all of the B surnames. Within the A surnames, all of the 1916 files are before the 1917 files. Within 1916 the files are alphabetical.
Restrictions on Access
Researchers should first consult use copies when available. See Alternate Form Available Section below.
Probate files from 1921-1976 are RESTRICTED as they may contain confidential documents. Tax returns (succession, transfer and estate tax returns and all attachments) from January 1, 1921 and later are confidential per Connecticut General Statutes §12-15. Adoptions (all documents) from January 1, 1944 and later are confidential per Connecticut General Statutes §45a-754. Removals of parent as guardian of minor (all documents) and terminations of parental rights (all documents) from October 1, 1975 and later are confidential per Connecticut General Statutes §45a-754. Contact State Archives staff for assistance.
All Bridgeport record books and files are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Bridgeport
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Easton
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Huntington
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Monroe
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Shelton
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Trumbull
Record books, volumes 11-162*, 1840-1916; probate files 1790-1940 (Accession 1916-001 only); and inventory control book (Godard Digest) have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available for use in the History and Genealogy reading room or through the LDS Family History Centers.
*The following volumes are not on microfilm: 14, 30, 36-37, 41, 43, 45, 47-48, 50, 52, 55-56, 58, 60, 62, 65, 67-68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 80-81, 84-87, 90-91, 94-96, 100-101, 104-107, 109, 111, 113, 115-116, 118-119, 121-122, 125-126, 128, 130-131, 133, 135, 137, 139, 141, 143, 145, 147-151, 153, 155, 157, 159, 161.
The record books in accession 2011-005 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library on July 26, 2010.
The probate files in accession 1916-001 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library on the following dates (with date span of files): March 22, 1916 (1836-1898); January 14, 1938 (1790, 1833-1915); February 3, 1941 (1851-1940). They were interfiled into one alphabetic sequence.
It is not known when the probate files in accession T003013 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library.
The probate files in accession 2011-031 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library on September 16, 2010. The Bridgeport Probate Court is in the process of transferring all probate files to 1976 to the Connecticut State Library.
Record Books: Index cards for the record books are at the Bridgeport Probate Court.
Probate Files: The Probate Estate Papers Index, located in the index corridor adjacent to the History and Genealogy Reading Room, has two parts, a general index covering most of the state, and a Hartford Probate District index covering Hartford and some surrounding towns, 1820-1920. The index cards are arranged alphabetically by individual's last name and first names. The cards have the individual's name, town of residence, probate district, and list of items contained in the estate packet. To request retrieval of an estate packet, copy at least the estate name, file date, and probate district name from the index card. The probate files in accession 1916-001 are represented in this index.
Probate Files: The History and Genealogy reference staff has access to an index for the probate files in accession 2011-031.