Hartland, Town of, 1759-1979 (RG 062:065)

RG 062:065, Town of Hartland Inventory of Records


Overview of the Collection

Historical Note

Scope and Content



Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Container List

Series 1. Administrative records 1777-1979

Series 2. Poor Relief Records 1787-1911

Series 3. Land records 1759-1901

Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records 1767-1911

Series 5. Military Records 1779-1910

Series 6. Vital Records 1837-1901

Series 7. School Records 1864, 1937-1969

Series 8. Church Records 1869

Series 9. Election Records 1801-1918

Series 10. Tax Records 1779-1911

Oversize items

RG 062:065, Town of Hartland

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Barbara Austen and Bruce P. Stark.

Copyright © 2007 by the Connecticut State Library

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Hartland (Conn.)
Title: Town of Hartland records
Dates: 1759-1979
Quantity: 15.25 cubic feet
Abstract: Administrative, poor relief, land, court and justice of the peace, military, vital, school, church, election and tax records.
Identification: RG062_065
Accession: T000395 (except where noted)
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

In 1687, the General Assembly granted Hartford and Windsor additional land in the northern section of the colony, part of which became Hartland. The town is located on the northern border of the state between Granby and Colebrook. The first permanent settler was Thomas Giddings of Lyme who arrived in June 1757. Residents petitioned the General Assembly and the legislature incorporated the town in May 1761.

A deep valley through the middle of the town divides the area into two halves. The East or First Society was established in 1768, and the West or Second Society was established in 1780. For a number of years, town meetings alternated between the meetinghouses of the two until a town hall was built in the geographic center.

Residents earned their living primarily through agriculture although the land was hilly and of poor quality. The main crops were tobacco, grain, and livestock. Hartland also had its share of mills, including grist, saw and fulling mills, supplemented by tanneries and wagon making. An early 19th century print works was converted to a paper mill in 1874. Agriculture remains the primary industry in the 21st century along with the manufacture of wooden products.

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Scope and Content

The collection appears to have been inventoried in 1932 and in 1936. 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 general organization and divided the materials into ten Series.

The first Series, Administrative Records, 1777-1979, includes one folder of records of the proprietors' division of land, 1780, 1787; notices and minutes of town meetings, 1796-1911; town votes related to proposed amendments to the state constitution, 1818-1911; town officers' oaths of office, resignation and appointments, 1837-1911; appointments of overseers who advised, directed and ordered individuals in the "management of their concerns", 1807-1852; and apprenticeship agreements, 1824-1861. In the latter group of documents is an indenture for a resident of the Hartford Orphan Asylum, 1844. These records are arranged by subject and then chronologically.

Of particular note among the administrative records are documents that illustrate the selectmen's powers in managing land. They designated parcels of land for a pound in 1869 and for a cemetery. They also established the boundaries of the school districts between 1861-1870 and in 1901. Records of roads and highways, 1782-1911, consist of assessments for road repairs, complaints about poorly maintained roads, surveys, and a notice of the discontinuation of a highway.

The most recent records in this collection relate to the application for and administration of a federal grant program, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). These records, dating from 1975-1979, consist of memoranda and correspondence with the State Labor Department, grant approvals and agreements, audits, invoices from the town, quarterly earnings reports, and final reports.

Three folders of Poor Relief Records, 1787-1911, comprise Series 2. They consist of residency certificates, notices of Board of Relief meetings, a receipt to the town for paying to support a pauper in prison, 1821, and several documents directing the constable to warn non-residents out of town. One of those warned out was a black man and his wife.

Surveys of property, highways, fence lines and town borders and a large selection of deeds constitute the Land Records in Series 3. The deeds date from 1759-1901. Among the deeds is what has been previously labeled "selectmen's deeds". These are deeds between residents and the town, usually for small portions of land needed for laying out a highway. They range in date from 1783-1788.

The largest group of records is organized in Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records, 1767-1911. Included are appointments of Justices of the Peace, 1832-1850, and 1897; lists of Justices, 1883-97; and the appointment or election of jurors, 1818-93. Justice Files, 1770-1911, comprise the bulk of the remaining records. These files have been chronologically, although for some years beginning in 1800 the files are alphabetically and then chronologically arranged. The justice files include cases brought before the town or justice court, the Court of Common Pleas or the County Court, and the Superior Court for Hartford County. They provide a fascinating insight into interpersonal relationships among the residents of Hartland and are of interest to anyone studying local history. They are useful to genealogists and those studying such subjects as crime, economic history, family history, legal practices, social history, and women's history.

The justice court records consist of writs or summonses that name plaintiff and defendant, describe the offense, specify the date the two parties are to appear, and the name of the justice of the peace trying the case. The files also often include depositions by third parties or testimonies by parties in the case, short reports on pleading, information on the settlement of cases, and a total of court expenses.

Most of the cases involve the settlement of debts by note or by book. Debts by note revolve around promissory notes by which one party agrees to pay money or provide a service to the other party, while book debts consist of debts of money owed to plaintiffs for good purchased but not paid for. A wide variety of other subjects are dealt with in justice court records, from adultery and fornication to theft and trespass. The first case in the justice files concerns an assault made in 1770 on the body of Cato, "A Negro man Servant," by James Welden of Windsor. A sampling of other cases follows. On September 8, 1794, Jeremiah Wilcox was charged with adultery. Specifically, Wilcox, "being a married Man, did unlawfully get into Bed with Elisabeth, Wife of O[w]en Ruick of said Hartland in a lasivious & unlawfull & indecent Manner." ." In 1798, the State sued seven prominent citizens of Litchfield County and Hartland to collect $120,000. . In 1808, Louis Standly was charged with profane swearing for called, "Earl Standly a god damed Lyar." ." The files also contain a number of cases of trespass. In a typical one in 1796, Isaac Meacham accused Uriah Church and Uriah Church, Jr. of tearing down and carrying away the plaintiff's fence. The papers also include several cases of breach of Sabbath. In 1826, eight years after the adoption of the Constitution of 1818 that separated church and state, three young men were accused of that crime for laughing, playing with a pair of broken glasses, and in so behaving "willfully disturbed the Congregation." Justice court records fill seven and one half boxes of Hartland Town Records and are a rich source of documentation for anyone study local history."

Series 5. Military Records, 1779-1910; Series 6, Vital Records, 1837-1901; Series 7. School Records, 1864, 1937-1969; and Series 8. Church Records, 1869 fill less than one half of one box of the records and contain little of substance. Probably the most important grouping is two folders of sexton reports of burials, removals, and disinterment, covering some of the years between 1885 and 1901.

Election Records, 1801-1918, in Series 9 include admission of freemen, admission of voters, lists and certificates of electors, and election returns. Election Returns, 1801-1911, primarily consist of returns of votes for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of the state, comptroller, treasurer, U. S. Congress, presidential electors, state senator, and county sheriff. They demonstrate that Hartland was a Federalist town until after the end of the War of 1812, a Democratic town for most of the 19th century, and a Republican town by the beginning of the 20th century.

The final Series is Tax Records, 1779-1911 and includes tax abstracts, military exemptions, abatement records, rate books, grand lists, and individual tax lists. The largest series in the collection, researchers will find tax abstracts for the First (East) Society, 1802-49, and Second (West) Society, 1805-50, and five and one half boxes of individual tax lists, 1856-1909, particularly useful. The tax abstracts and individual tax lists provide a great deal of information on the real and personal property owned by heads of households. The tax abstracts, for example, list polls (males aged 16-70 per household); totals for oxen, cows, horses, and sheep; the amount of plow land, mowing land, pasture, and wild land, and information on such other taxable items as watches, brass clocks, wooden clocks, and quality of housing. Individual tax lists provide even more detail. In addition to listings for dwelling houses, land, horses, oxen, cows, sheep, swine and poultry, individuals could be taxed for owning stores, mills, manufactories, plus for owning stock in a variety of ventures, investment in manufacturing operations and

commerce, and money loaned at interest. For those interested in economic trends and in family genealogy, individual tax lists are an invaluable resource. The records for the town of Hartland conclude with three boxes of Oversize materials and one of Restricted records.

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Series 1. Administrative Records (1777-1979)include selectmen's records, including minutes of town meetings, indentures, financial records, correspondence and CETA grant files.

Series 2. Poor Relief Records (1787-1911) include residency certificates, notices of Board of Relief meetings, warning non-residents out of town.

Series 3. Land Records (1759-1911) include deeds and boundary and road surveys.

Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records (1767-1911) include appointments of justices, writs, summonses, confessed judgments, and probate records.

Series 5. Military Records (1779-1910) include lists of enlisted men, lists of families, and medical exemptions.

Series 6. Vital Records (1837-1901) include sextons' monthly reports of burials, removals and disinterments.

Series 7. School Records (1864, 1937-1969) include school returns, 1864, and attendance registers, 1937-1969.

Series 8. Church Records (1869) include minutes of meeting of Methodist Episcopal Church.

Series 9. Election Records (1801-1911) include lists of electors, freemen's oaths, vote returns and votes related to the State Constitution. 1.2 cf.

Series 10. Tax Records (1779-1911) include rate books, abstracts, abatements, and individual tax lists.

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Restrictions on Access

Some records are restricted because they mention African-Americans. Copies of these documents replace the originals, which are housed separately. Copies also mark the location of oversized items.

Series 7. School Records, attendance registers, 1937-1969, accession 2016-013, are restricted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). Educational records continue to be made available to students themselves upon reliable proof of identification which may be a current copy of a Connecticut driver's license with a photograph or current credit card with the student's name on it. Contact State Archives staff for assistance.

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 Hartland can be found in the classified archives 974.62 H26. Specific records from this collection that complement those described in the container list are noted under the appropriate Series. The classified archives include church and school records, a sermon, vital records, maps, and account books kept by Hartland citizens. A volume of extracts from Hartland Revolutionary War records, 1774-1784, is cataloged at 973.3 R326h.

The library of the Hartland Historical Society also holds a sizeable collection of primary documents including business ledgers and daybooks, diaries, correspondence between residents some of whom were part of the movement to Ohio, scrapbooks, photographs and maps.

Researchers may also wish to consult volume 2 of the Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, edited by J. Hammond Trumbull (Boston: Edward L. Osgood, 1886).

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Index Terms

Alternate Creators:

Connecticut. Justice of the Peace (Hartland)


Deeds -- Connecticut -- Hartland
Elections -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Statistics
Justices of the peace -- Connecticut -- Hartland
Local taxation -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Registers
Probate records -- Connecticut -- Hartland
Property tax -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Registers
Public welfare -- Connecticut -- Hartland
School enrollment -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Statistics
Soldiers -- Connecticut -- Hartland
Tax assessment -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Registers
Taxation -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Registers
Voting -- Connecticut -- Hartland -- Statistics
Voting registers -- Connecticut -- Hartland
Writs -- Connecticut -- Hartland


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

Document Types:

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

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Administrative Information


David N. Gaines gave these records to the Connecticut State Library between 1910 and 1930. The CETA records were donated in 1985. The school attendance registers in accession 2016-013 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library from the Town of Hartland on December 10, 2015.

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Container List

Series 1. Administrative records, 1777-1979, 0.75 cubic feet
Separated material
In 1835, Town Clerk Phelps Humphrey made a manuscript copy of the town proceedings covering the period between 1761-1797. This copy can be found in the Classified Archives.
Box Folder
Proprietors records, 1780, 1787 1 1
Notices of town meetings, 1836, 1873-1911 2-4
Minutes of town meetings, 1781-1909, undated 5-6
Votes on state constitution and amendments, 1818-1911 7-8
Oaths, 1884-1911, undated 9
Resignations, 1901-1907 10
Appointments of town officers, 1837-1910, undated 11-12
Appointments of overseers, 1807-1881 13-16
Apprenticeship and indenture agreements, 1805-1877 17
Liquor sales, 1838-1879 18
Legal papers, 1797-1894 19
Designation of land for town use, 1869, undated 20
School districts, 1797-1901 21
Roads and highways, 1907-1911 22-23
See also Land Records
Strays, 1777-1846 24-25
Correspondence, 1805-1891 26-27
Financial papers, 1886, undated 28
Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) grant files
1975-1976 29-30
1977-1979 2 1-6
Miscellaneous records, 1803-1893 7
Series 2. Poor Relief Records, 1787-1911
Box Folder
Certificates of residency, 1790, 1792 2 8
Warn out transients, 1787-1887 9
Meeting notices for Board of Relief, 1901-1911 10
Series 3. Land records, 1759-1901, 1 cubic foot
Separated material
Additional deeds for Hartland, 1845-1864, are located in the Classified Archives at 974.6 C7624.
Box Folder
Surveys, 1783-1849, undated 2 11-13
Deeds, 1759-1791 14-22
See also Box 24 Oversize
Deeds, 1792-1901 3 1-22
Selectmen's deeds, 1783-1788 23-25
Series 4. Court and Justice of the Peace Records, 1767-1911, 5.5 cubic feet
Box Folder
Justice of the Peace appointments, 1832-1850, 1897 3 26-27
Justice of the Peace lists, 1883-1897 28
Jurymen, 1848-1893 29
Justice files, 1770-1791 4 1-28
Justice files, 1772-1797 5 1-25
Justice files, 1798-1804 6 1-20
Justice files, 1804-1808 7 1-17
Justice files, 1808-1810 8 1-17
Justice files, 1811-1817 9 1-20
Justice files, 1818-1833 10 1-19
Justice files, 1834-1869 11 1-22
Justice files, 1870-1911 12 1-11
Bounty for crows, 1836 12
Lists of dogs, 1855, 1883 13
Evidence and deposition, 1833 14
Deposition and arbitration, 1833 15
Financial records, 1787-1835, undated 16
Bills and receipts, 1794-1805 17
Miscellaneous documents, 1804-1810 18
Liens, 1897-1899 19
Wills, 1774, undated 20
Probate records, 1767-1890 21-22
Series 5. Military Records, 1779-1910
Box Folder
Military enrollment list, 1882 12 23
Lists of men subject to military duty, 1897-1910 24
Printed materials, 1880-1898 25
Medical exemptions, 1862 26
Tax exemptions, 1779-1910 27
Miscellaneous papers, 1791-1864 28
Series 6. Vital Records, 1837-1901
Separated material
Vital records extracted from town and church records can be found in the Classified Archives. The extract from the town records is cataloged as 920 G12b.
Box Folder
Sexton reports of burials, removals and disinterments, 1885-1901 13 1-2
Marriage record, 1837 3
Series 7. School Records, 1864, 1937-1969
Separated material
Additional school records for the First School Society, 1797-1855, Center School District, 1900-1908, the North East School District, 1823-1908, and the South West School District, 1856-1897, can be found in the Classified Archives.
Box Folder
School returns, 1864 13 4
Accession: 2016-013
School attendance registers, 1937-1958 1
School attendance registers, 1958-1969 2
Series 8. Church Records, 1869
Separated material
Additional church records for the Congregational Church, 1768-1899, East Hartland First Congregational Church, 1768-1931, and the West Hartland Congregational Church, 1779-1899, 1828-1930, can be found in the Classified Archives.
Box Folder
Methodist Episcopal Church meeting, 1869 13 5
Series 9. Election Records, 1801-1918, 1.2 cubic feet
Box Folder
Admission of freemen, 1803-1818 13 6-7
Admission of voters, 1835-1910, undated 8-13
Admission of voters, notices for, 1872-1911 14
"Lists of voters to be made", 1902-1918, undated 1-15
Lists and certificates of electors, 1835-1876
Registrars meetings, notices for, 1885-1911 16
Lists of electors, 1838-1879 17-23
Tally sheets, undated 24
Circulars, 1895 25
Blank ballots, 1826-1901, undated 26
Election returns, 1801-1858 14 1-32
Election returns, 1859-1911, undated 15 1-15
Lists of electors, 1880-1910, undated 16-22
Series 10. Tax Records, 1779-1911, 4 cubic feet
Box Folder
Tax abstracts, 1799-1804 16 1-4
Rate books, 1820-1836, undated 5-6
Tax abstracts (First or East Society), 1802-1849 16 1-11
See also Box 25, Oversize
Tax abstracts (Second or West Society), 1805-1850 17 1-10
See also Box 25, Oversize
Abatements, 1803-1877 9-11
Military lists, exemptions, 1863-1907 12
Tax notices, 1902-1909 13
Assessors' papers, 1822-1909, undated 14-15
Board of Equalization, 1853-1911 16
Collector, 1859, 1870 17
Notices of tax sales, 1906-1911 18
Stockholders, lists of, 1856-1894 19-21
Miscellaneous papers, 1827-1881 22
Tax lists, individuals 18
1856-1890 1-7
See also Box 26, Oversize
1891-1895 19 1-5
1896-1900 20 1-7
1900-1904 21 1-7
1905-1908 22 1-7
1908-1909 23 1-3
Grand lists, 1779-1784, circa 1850-1908 4-7
Oversize items
Box Folder
Drawing of highway route, 1801 24 1
Deeds, 1764, 1800, 1801, 1817, 1832 (for land in Canada), 1867, 1871, 1875 2
Writ, 1789 April 23 3
Blank voting return form, undated 4
Proposed constitutional amendments, 1838, 1839 5
Electors, 1843 6
State Board of Health: monthly bulletins, 1893-1895 7
Auction poster for residence of Della Green, undated 8
Tax abstracts, First (East) Society, 1797, 1799, 1802, 1830, 1831, undated 25 1
Tax abstracts, Second (West) Society, 1797, 1800, 1801, 1804 2
Individual tax lists, 1886, 1887, 1903 26 1-4
Tax abstract, 1850 5
Restricted materials 27