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Connecticut Genealogy

One of the original 13 colonies of America, it was the 5th state to join the new nation in 1788. The earliest settlers to Connecticut were in 1636, coming from the Massachusetts colonies to start fresh. Native Indians, African-Americans and white Europeans have lived in this small land region for centuries.

The Dutch first settled in the area which would later become Hartford. By the 1630s an English colony was established and two addition colonies started, all coming from the Massachusetts Colony. By 1654, the Dutch abandoned their small settlement after being outnumbered by the English.

The land for the settlers was rich farmland and mostly along the Connecticut River. Many times additional farmlands were directly purchased from the Indians. Not until the French and Indian Wars of the 1740s did relationships with the Indians deteriorate.

At the end of the American Revolutionary War, the population within Connecticut had soared.

In 1790 the state’s population was 237,900 citizens. With a new nation, many families left Connecticut for new frontiers further north, west and into the southern states. By 1830 it was increasing again with now 297,000 and in 1860 the state had 460,000 people. Less agriculture was done in the early 1800s as the machine age with the Industrial Revolution developed a strong hold in Connecticut. The small state became more an urban area with Hartford, New Haven and New London.

The make-up of the population as it relates in Connecticut genealogy has changed due to more foreign-born coming to settler in Connecticut. Today’s citizens are mostly Italian at nearly 20 percent of the population, followed by Irish, English and German. The town of New Britain has a large Polish-American population. The most recent immigrates come from Southeast Asian counties, the Caribbean Islands, Central and South American countries.

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