Danbury, the American Revolution, and missing Connecticut records…

If you go to review the Danbury, Connecticut records on FamilySearch , you’ll note that many of the records seem to begin in the late 18th century even though the town was settled by Europeans in 1685. There is records loss in records typically held by the town clerk. Why? According to the town clerk’s office, there was a fire in 1777.

That fire was the result of the American Revolution. In April 1777, the British marched on Danbury in hopes of attacking the military supplies stored there. When they realized they could not remove the supplies, they set them on fire – along with twenty four homes. In colonial Connecticut, the town clerk’s records were stored in the clerk’s home, which apparently was one of those burned.

So, what can you do if your ancestors were among those whose records burned? You may be able to draw some conclusions from records that did survive, but you’ll need to act as you would with a burned county in the American South. Use every available source and every available bit of evidence.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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