Glastonbury, Town of, 1720-1909 (RG 062:054)

RG 062:054, Town of Glastonbury Inventory of Records


Overview of the Collection

Historical Note

Scope and Content



Index Terms

Related Material

Container List

Series 1. Administrative Records 1762-1904

Series 2. Poor Relief Records 1771-1896

Series 3. Land Records 1720-1901

Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records 1730-1891

Series 5. Law Enforcement Records 1783-1816

Series 6. Military Records 1813-1895

Series 7. Vital Records 1820-1855

Series 8. School Records 1806-1909

Series 9. Voting Records 1784-1890

Series 10. Tax Records 1779-1895

RG 062:054, Town of Glastonbury

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Bruce P. Stark.

Copyright 2007 by the Connecticut State Library

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Glastonbury (Conn.)
Title: Town of Glastonbury records
Dates: 1720-1909
Quantity: 27.5 cubic feet
Abstract: Administrative, poor relief, land, court and justice of hte peace, law enforcement, military, vital, school, voting, and tax records.
Identification: RG062_054
Accession: T000317
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

The area of Connecticut known as Glastonbury was settled by members of a church from Watertown, Massachusetts, and originally formed part of Wethersfield. In 1690, Glastonbury petitioned the General Assembly to establish a separate community and a separate church Society. Incorporation occurred three years later, when the community settled a minister.

In the 18th century, Glastonbury was noted for its shipbuilding and its trade in lumber. Three streams-Salmon, Hubbard and Roaring Brook-powered saw mills that produced clapboards and pipe staves for export to New York, the southern colonies and the West Indies. Other industries located along those streams included iron foundries run by the Hunt, Hodge and Stevens families; brick manufactories; a glass works; a powder mill; and textile mills. The Hartford Manufacturing Company and Wassuc Co. produced cotton goods while Roaring Brook and Eagle Mills produced woolens. In the 1850s, the Curtis family established the Curtisville Company that produced silver-plated hollow ware. The majority of the 18th and 19th century residents made their living from farming. Between 1850 to 1900, Glastonbury's growth slowed considerably and it became a semi-rural agricultural community with a few sizeable industries. In the 21st century, the town is home to individuals who commute to Hartford and surrounding businesses. It is also noted for its variety of orchards and fruit farms.

In 1870, the residents voted to change the spelling of their town from Glastenbury to Glastonbury to emulate the English town of the same name.

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Scope and Content

Two people employed under the W.P.A. program arranged the records in groups of like material organized by date. The archivist has retained that rough organization and divided the materials into ten Series. Administrative records, 1762-1904, include minutes of town meetings, 1804-1818, 1822, 1829; petitions for town meetings, for building roads, and against a "taverner", 1824-1896; appointments of overseers, 1782-1842 who helped failing farmers become self-sustaining; contracts for building roads, 1825-1841, 1891-1904; and bills, receipts and accounts, 1806-1896. Selectmen's correspondence, 1824-1896, contains some letters regarding a ferry across the Connecticut River and some relating to care of the poor. Of particular note among the administrative records are votes relating to the State Constitutional Convention in 1818, and a contract for building a new Town House in 1840. Apprenticeship indentures, 1779-1822, include those in which the town bound out poor boys and girls, some to learn a trade and others to work as servants. Among the bills of sale are two documents, 1753, 1860, relating to the sale of interests in sailing vessels. There are also accounts of timber found or "taken afloat", 1818-1841.

From earliest settlement into the 19th century, New England towns refused to provide care for poor individuals who came from other municipalities. Travelers often carried a certificate indicating their residence. Poor individuals were auctioned to the lowest bidder who then contracted to care for these people, usually for a year at a time. These practices are documented in Series 2, Poor Relief Records, 1771-1791, 1839. In addition to the certificates and contracts, this series encompasses inventories of bedding and clothing of the poor, 1821-1838; correspondence with neighboring town governments, 1822-1829; and bills and accounts for keeping the poor, 1816-1824, 1896, including bills from the Hartford Manufacturing Company for fabric. Of note in these records are bills for digging a grave and building a coffin for Cato Ward, "Negro", in 1822.

Series 3 consists of land records, namely deeds, 1720-1901; boundary and road surveys, 1722-1826; and a ca. 1878 grantor index for land transactions between 1695-1878. Records of the county, state and local courts and of Justices of the Peace in Series 4 include General Assembly appointments of Justices, 1842-1847; and probate records from several estates handled by Attorney William Goslee. The bulk of the court records consist of justice files, which include writs that order the sheriff to attach an individual's goods or estate and/or summon a defendant to court, and "confest" judgments, 1730-1887. In a confessed judgment, a defendant agreed to the charge against him and made restitution without attending court. These documents are arranged by date of the judgment. The writs

were primarily issued in cases involving unpaid debts, but also include cases of assault, defamation, trespass, breach of contract, theft, shooting a hog, and support for a bastard child. A note about the hearing and the judgment for each case is usually found on the verso of the writ. For cases involving unpaid debts, the writs are often accompanied by the original promissory note signed by the defendant. Justice files are arranged by the date on the original writ or complaint with later documents following.

Law enforcement records in Series 5 consist of records of loose livestock, 1783-1816, which were reported to the constable. Men who served in the militia were often given an abatement on their taxes. Series 6 encompasses certificates proving military service that were sent to the tax assessor, lists of enlisted men, and certificates awarding a leave of absence, 1813-1825, 1841; an account for supplies, n.d.; lists of volunteers for 1863; and Caroline Wright's war claim, 1892. Certificates of military service can also be found among the tax records.

Marriage certificates written by the minister who conducted the ceremony, 1820-1855, are arranged in Series 7. Series 8, School Records, 1806-1909, includes financial records, calls for meetings, minutes, Board of School visitors' certifications, and bills for the South Glastonbury School Society, the Fourth School District, Sixth School District, and School District No. 2.

Voting Records, 1784-1890, in Series 9, include reports to the Secretary of the State on electors' votes for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Assistants, Jurymen, and members of Congress. Local elections documented in this series consist of Inspectors of Fish, Lumber and Flour; and nominations for men considered suitable to keep houses of entertainment. Results of the town's voting in the Presidential election of 1820 are included in these records. Several volumes listing the town's electors apparently maintained by attorney William S. Goslee, contained loose papers inside the front and back covers. These relate to his private law practice and to the activities of the town treasurer. They have been arranged in folders following the volumes in which they were found.

The final Series is comprised of tax records, the bulk of which are individual lists. These lists came bundled together and tied with string. The bundles did not appear to represent a different tax assessor or a different section of town, so for ease of use they were arranged by year and then alphabetically. The spelling of the last names changed. For example, Wier was also spelled Wire, but by 1865, it was consistently spelled Weir. A note of caution to researchers-sometimes an assessor used the same form for several years, particularly if a person's personal and real estate did not change. The latest year found on the form, often on the verso, was used as the date of record.

Additional records in this Series include lists of polls and minors, 1813-1818; rate books and assessors' lists, 1829-1885; abatements; and assessments for particular items such as carriages and on specific occupations including mechanics, physicians and attorneys, 1779-1838. Of particular interest are certificates obtained by members of "dissenting" churches to release them from having to pay taxes to support the Congregational minister, 1817-1819.

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Series 1. Administrative Records (1762-1904) contain selectmen's records, including minutes of town meetings, petitions, contracts, indentures, financial records and correspondence.

Series 2. Poor Relief Records (1771-1896) contain residency certificates, inventories of bedding and clothing of the poor, correspondence with neighboring town governments, and bills and accounts.

Series 3. Land Records (1720-1901) contain deeds, boundary and road surveys, and grantor index.

Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records (1730-1891) contain appointments of justices, writs, summonses, confessed judgments, and probate records for estates handled by attorney William S. Goslee.

Series 5. Law Enforcement Records (1783-1816) contain records of lost livestock.

Series 6. Military Records (1813-1895) contain certificates of service, lists of enlisted men, leaves of absence certificates, an account for supplies, a list of volunteers for 1863, and widow's war claim.

Series 7. Vital Records (1820-1855) contain marriage certificates.

Series 8. School Records (1806-1909) contain financial records, calls for meetings, minutes, and Board of School Visitors' certifications.

Series 9. Voting Records (1784-1890) lists of electors, freemen's oaths, vote returns and votes related to the State Constitution.

Series 10. Tax Records (1779-1895) contain lists of polls and minors, certificates of church membership, rate books, abatements, special assessments, and individual tax lists. See container list.

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Restrictions on Access

Some records are restricted because of their fragile condition. Copies of these documents replace the originals, which are housed separately. In addition, an apprenticeship indenture naming a "mulatto or Indian boy" has been copied and the original housed separately.

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

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Related Material

Additional primary materials relating to Glastonbury can be found in the classified archives 974.62 G46, and in Record Group 69, in Series 24, the Papers of William S. Goslee, 1815-1892, and in Series 83, Goslee Collection, 1795-1905. Specific records from these collections that complement those described in the container list are noted under the appropriate Series. The classified archives include church and school records, and account books kept by Glastonbury citizens. William Goslee's papers include court and estate papers, church records, materials concerning the boundary dispute between Wethersfield and Glastonbury, and records from his legal practice. The Goslee Collection contains financial records, deeds, court and estate papers, and correspondence. Descriptions of these materials can also be found in the collection file for Glastonbury.

The library of the Glastonbury Historical Society also holds a sizeable collection of primary documents including business ledgers related to shipbuilding and the merchant trade, whaling logs, diaries, poll and tax records, a large collection of photographs, and maps, including a 1776 map of New England.

Researchers may also wish to consult two published histories of the town: Glastonbury: From Settlement to Suburb, by Marjorie G. McNulty (Historical Society of Glastonbury, 1975), and Glastenbury for Two Hundred Years: a Centennial Discourse, May 18th 1853, by Alonzo B. Chapin (Hartford: Case, Tiffany & Co., 1853).

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Index Terms

Alternate Creators:

Connecticut. Justice of the Peace (Glastonbury)


Deeds -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury
Elections -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Statistics
Justices of the peace -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury
Local taxation -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Registers
Property tax -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Registers
Public welfare -- Connecticut -- Glastonbury
Schools -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- History -- Sources
Soldiers -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury
Tax assessment -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Registers
Taxation -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Registers
Voting -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury -- Statistics
Voting registers -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury
Writs -- Connecticut -- Glasontonbury


Glastonbury (Conn.) -- Records and correspondence
Glastonbury (Conn.) -- Statistics, Vital

Document Types:

Administrative records
Civil court records
Election returns
Military records
Probate records
School records
Tax records
Vital records
Voters' lists

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Container List

Series 1. Administrative Records, 1762-1904
Related material
Additional bills, receipts and accounts with the town, 1799-1809, can be found in the classified archives.
Box Folder
Minutes of town meetings, 1804-1818, 1822, 1829 1 1-2
Town votes relating to the state constitutional convention, 1818 3
Petitions, 1824-1896 4-5
Apprenticeship indentures, 1779-1822 6-7
Contract for building the Town House, 1840 8
Town officers' bonds, 1842, 1896 9
Appointments of overseers, 1782-1842 10
Copy of resolution from the General Assembly, 1762 11
Petition to the General Assembly, 1816 11
Contracts, 1833 11
Bills of sale, 1807, 1821, 1860, 1873 12
Bonds and agreements, 1762, 1860, 1866 13
Accounts of timber found or "taken afloat", 1818-1841 14
Selectmen's correspondence regarding a ferry, 1824, 1829 15
Selectmen's correspondence, some relating to care of the poor, 1891-1896 16
Contracts for building roads, 1825-1841, 1891-1904 17-23
Notices to treasurer of interest accrued on town accounts, 1895-1896 24
Bills, receipts and accounts, 1806-1815 25-35
Bills, receipts and accounts, 1815-1896 2 36-82
Series 2. Poor Relief Records, 1771-1896
Box Folder
Certificates of residency, 1771-1791, 1839 3 1-4
Contracts for keeping the poor, 1820-1848 5-7
Affidavit of birth and residence, 1822 8
List of poor, undated 8
Inventories of bedding and clothing of poor, 1821-1838 9-10
Correspondence, 1822-1829 11-12
Town accounts for keeping poor, 1821-1824 13
Bills for digging grave and building coffin for Cato Ward, "Negro", 1822 14
Bills from other towns and from Glastonbury residents for keeping poor, 1816-1824, 1896 15-19
Series 3. Land Records, 1720-1901
Related material
Additional Glastonbury deeds can be found in Record Group 69, Series 83, Goslee Collection. Material concerning the Wethersfield-Glastonbury boundary dispute is in Record Group 69, Series 24.
Box Folder
Deeds, 1720-1759 3 1-13
Deeds, 1760-1802 4 14-33
Deeds, 1803-1815 5 34-55
Deeds, 1816-1829 6 56-76
Deeds, 1830-1901 7 77-84
Boundary and road surveys, 1722-1826 85-89
Grantor index for deeds executed between 1695-1878, circa 1878, 9 volumes 52
Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records, 1730-1891
Related material
Additional court and estate records maintained by William Goslee, 1865-1892, are contained in Record Group 69, Series 24. Other Goslee family material is contained in Record Group 69, Series 83, Goslee Collection.
Box Folder
General Assembly appointments of Justices of the Peace, 1842-1847 7 1
Justice files, 1730-1787 2-15
Justice files and "confest" judgments, 1788-1795 8 16-37
Justice files and "confest" judgments, 1796-1801 9 38-62
Justice files and "confest" judgments, 1802-1808 10 63-86
Justice files and "confest" judgments, 1814-1839 11 87-116
Probate records, 1754-1771, 1878-1890 12 117
Andrews Estate records, William Goslee, attorney, 1891 118
Sarah Morley Estate, settled by the town, 1822 119
Phelps Estate records, William Goslee, attorney, 1890-1891 120-121
Julia Smith et al. vs. Andrews & Hardin, William Goslee, Attorney, 1874-1880 122-124
Deposition, 1783 125
Series 5. Law Enforcement Records, 1783-1816
Box Folder
Constable's records concerning loose livestock, 1783, 1800, 1816 12 1
Series 6. Military Records, 1813-1895
Box Folder
Certificates of service and leaves of absence, lists of enlisted men, 1813-1825, 1841, undated 12 1-6
Account for supplies, amounts due to individual soldiers, undated 7
List of volunteers, 1863 8
Form for listing children of deceased soldiers, circa 1895 8
Caroline Wright's war claim, 1892 9
Series 7. Vital Records, 1820-1855
Box Folder
Marriage certificates, 1820-1855 12 1-14
Series 8. School Records, 1806-1909
Related material
Note: Additional school records, including a return of scholars from the 5th District, August 1830, minutes of the First School Society, 1819-1844, and records from the 16th District, 1866-1909, can be found in the classified archives. Records from the Glastonbury Academy, 1870-1885, are contained in Record Group 69, Series 24, Papers of William S. Goslee.
Box Folder
South Glastonbury School Society financial records and calls for meetings, 1846-1854 12 1
Minutes of 16th School District meetings, 1856-1909, 1 volume
School District No. 2 bills, 1876-1877 13 2-3
Board of School Visitors certifications, 1895-1896 4-7
Assorted bills, 1806, 1895-1896, undated 8
Series 9. Voting Records, 1784-1890
Box Folder
Votes of the Civil Authority for jurymen and inspectors, 1784-1830 13 1-6
Freemen's Oaths, 1792-1818 7
Votes of freemen's meetings, 1804-1818, undated 8-12
Votes related to the State Constitution, 1818, 1838-1847 13
Vote reports of electors, 1819-1844 14-23
Vote reports of electors, 1845-1864 14 24-27
Vote reports found unopened, 1828-1845 28-29
Blank vote reports, undated 30
"Canvass" of voters, volume 1, 1868
List of electors (kept by William Goslee), volume 2 , 1879 October 6
List of electors, volume 3, 1879 November 4
List of electors, volume 4, 1880 October 4
List of electors, volume 5, 1880 November 2
Items removed from volume 5 31
List of electors, volume 6, 1881 November 8
List of electors, volume 7, 1882
List of electors, volume 8, 1883
List of electors, volume 9, 1885
Items removed from volume 9 32
List of electors, volume 10, 1889
Items removed from volume 10 33-34
List of electors, volume 11, 1890 15
Items removed from volume 11 35
Series 10. Tax Records, 1779-1895
Note: Rate books for 1730, 1768, 1801 and 1817 can be found in classified archives.
Box Folder
Lists of polls and minors, 1813-1818 15 1-2
Certificates of church membership, 1817-1819 3-5
Collector's account, 1815-1819 6
Assorted documents, including list of districts, information about bank stock holders, and a military commutation tax notice, 1817-1895 7
Rate book, volume 1, 1829
Rate book, assessors' lists, 1833, 1837, undated 8
Rate book, volume 2, 1871-1874
Rate book, volume 3, 1881
Rate book, volume 4, 1885
Abatements and assessments, 1779-1838 16 9-33
List of liens, undated 34
Individual tax lists
A-F, 1820 35-44
G-V, 1820 17 45-69
W, non-resident, 1820 18 70-76
1821 77-101
Related material
Additional tax lists for 1821 can be found in the classified archives.
1824 102-104
A-C, 1830 105-106
D-W, 1830 19 107-130
A-Har, 1831 131-137
Hol-Wr, 1831 20 138-151
1832 152-166
1833 21 167-172
1834 173-183
1835 184-191
B-H, 1836 192-195
L-W, 1836 22 195-198
A-W, 1837 199-217
A-Hollister, L, 1838 218-223
Hollister, N-W, 1838 23 224-231
A-Se, 1839 232-252
Sh-W, 1839 24 253-259
A-W, 1840 260-280
A-W, 1841 25 281-296
1841 list for 1842 School Tax, 1841 297-299
A-W, 1842 300-304
A-F, 1843 305-308
G-W, 1843 26 309-322
A-W, 1844 323-327
A-W, 1846 328-330
School District list, A-W, 1846 331-333
A-Ca, 1847 334-335
Ch-W, 1847 27 336-351
Fourth School District, Second School Society, 1847 352
Letters to assessors, 1848 353
B-W, 1848 354-356
A-W, 1849 28 357-373
A-C, 1850 374-383
D-Po, 1850 29 384-411
Pr-W, 1850 30 412-430
A-L, 1851 431-439
M-W, 1851 31 440-446
A-Hubbard, 1852 447-470
Hunt-W, 1852 32 471-493
A-Cor, 1853 494-500
Cov-Risley, 1853 33 501-528
Ro-W, 1853 34 529-544
A-Ma, 1854 545-562
Me-W, 1854 35 562-573
A-L, 1855 574-597
M-W, 1855 36 598-613
A-Hale, 1856 614-629
Hali-W, 1856 37 630-629
A-H, 1857 652-660
J-W, 1857 38 661-668
A-Hills, 1858 669-689
Hod-Wick, 1858 39 690-721
Wier-Wy, 1858 40 722-724
A-Me, 1859 725-755
Mi-W, 1859 41 756-776
A-Cha, 1860 777-783
Chi-Sa, 1860 42 784-812
Se-W, 1860 43 813-826
Individual tax lists, non-residents, 1860 827
A-Ga, 1861 828-841
Gi-Tay, 1861 44 842-875
Th-W, 1861 45 876-884
Non-residents, 1861 885-886
A-Ste, 1862 887-904
Sto-W, 1862 46 905-909
Non-resident, 1862 910
A-W, 1863 911-937
A-House, 1864 47 938-968
How-Whe, 1864 48 969-997
Wi-Wr, 1864 49 998-999
Non-resident, 1864 1000
A-Hodge, 1865 1001-1023
Holl-Stri, 1865 50 1024-1048
Stro-W, 1865 51 1049-1059
Non-resident, 1865 1060-1062
1866 1063
Oversize materials
Oversize materials 53
Restricted materials
Restricted materials 54