History and Genealogy Contacts Stratford, Connecticut When grass grew on Main Street, wineglass elms shaded downtown Stratford. When the trolley line arrived in 1894 the town’s long sleep was about to end. Barbara Blosveren Director of Stratford Library Association compiled by Mary–Ellen Mohring Assistant Reference Department Head Jim Duffy Illustration and layout design Revised Oct. 15, 2007 2203 Main Street, Stratford, CT 06615, (203) 385-4164, http://www.stratfordlibrary.org The town of Stratford, Connecticut was organized in 1639 and lies along the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound. Stratford is the easternmost town in Fairfield County and formerly encompassed Shelton, Trumbull and parts of Bridgeport. Woodbury, Connecticut was also originally settled by people from Stratford. Libraries, Museums & Archives in Stratford Stratford Historical Society (Judson House) Captain David Judson & Catherine B. Mitchell Museum 967 Academy Hill P.O. Box 382 Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 378-0630 www.stratfordhistoricalsociety.com Library & Office hours: Tue & Th 9-2:30 Museum hours (Jun-Oct): Wed, Sun Noon - 4PM 18th century house museum, Stratford history & genealogy, manuscripts, photographs, town government archives, land records, Barbour Index, alphabetical index to Christ Episcopal Church and more. Answers correspondence. The Stratford Historical Society maintains the 18th-century Captain David Judson House and Catherine B. Mitchell Museum on Academy Hill, the site of one of the earliest house lots in Stratford. Founded in 1925, the society continues to preserve and share artifacts and history of the town of Stratford. The Stratford Library Association acknowledges with thanks, the use of photographs and/or text by: •Lewis G. Knapp •Teresa Neville •Lynne Perrigo •Stratford Historical Society Boothe Memorial Park Museum Main Street, Putney Mailing address: Friends of Boothe Park, Inc. P.O. Box 902 Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 381-2046 Museum hours (June-Nov): Tue-Fri 11am-1pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-4pm Boothe Family homestead 1663-1955. Letters, bills, receipts, family Bibles and books originally owned by the Boothe family, genealogies. Call for appointment to use the library. Probate Office Birdseye Municipal Complex 468 Birdseye Street Stratford, CT 06615 Phone (203) 385-4023 Probate records 1840 - present. For 1800 - 1840 contact Probate Office in City of Bridgeport. For 1700 - 1800 contact Fairfield Probate Court. Mon–Fri, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Stratford Library Association Historical Reference Collection 2203 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 385-4164 Website: www.stratfordlibrary.org Stratford history & genealogy, city directories, high school yearbooks, Stratford newspapers 1873-present, Stratford newspaper clipping file, local authors collection, town reports, census microfilm loan program, genealogy databases, Sanborn fire insurance maps, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest.com. Birdseye Blakeman, a descendant of Rev. Adam Blakeman, the first minister of Stratford (1639), and of Deacon Birdseye, was a publisher of school books and the president of the American Book Company in New York City. He never forgot his native town and his generosity made possible a magnificent library in 1896. Vital Records Information The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records at the Connecticut State Library (see “Other Contacts”) is a major source of vital records for all of Connecticut. It abstracts births, marriages & deaths in Connecticut towns 1639-circa 1850 and is arranged alphabetically by surname within each town. The Stratford Library owns many volumes. The Town Clerk’s office and the Stratford Historical Society (see “Libraries, Museums & Archives in Stratford”) both own the Barbour Index, citation of which is usually acceptable proof that a record exists. The Stratford Town Clerk’s office has Stratford’s vital records 1639-present. Connecticut vital records July 1, 1897-present are also available at the Connecticut Department of Public Health - see “Other Contacts”. This early view of the Sterling House shows plantings done by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, designers of Central Park in New York City. In 1932 the Sterling House Community Center, left to the town by Miss Cordelia Sterling in her will, began to fill a need. Land, birth, marriage & death records 1639 to present. For the policy regarding birth certificates, please call the office. Connecticut vital records July 1, 1897-present are also available at the Connecticut Department of Public Health (see “Other Contacts”) Photographic history of the helicopter, illustrated by many models. Stratford probate records 1800 - June 4, 1840. Library open to the public. Membership benefits include full access to town clerk vital records. Town Clerk’s Office Stratford Town Hall 2725 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615 Mon. – Fri., 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Phone: (203) 385-4020 National Helicopter Museum 2480 Main Street (eastbound railroad station) Mailing address: Ruth Lebowitz 490 Sherwood Place, Apt. C12 Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 375-5766 Hours: Wed-Sun 1pm-4pm (Memorial Day through Oct) Free Admission/Special Tours Arranged Probate Court City of Bridgeport 202 State Street Bridgeport, CT 06604 Phone: (203) 576-3945 Fax: (203) 576-7898 Connecticut Society of Genealogists 175 Maple Street East Hartford, CT 06118 Mailing address: P.O. Box 435 Glastonbury, CT 06033-0435 Phone (860) 569-0002 Website: www. csginc.org Connecticut Historical Society 1 Elizabeth Street Hartford, CT 06105 Phone: (860) 236-5621 Website: www.chs.org New Haven Museum and Historical Society 114 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: (203) 562-4183 Fairfield Museum and History Center 636 Old Post Road Fairfield, CT 06430 Phone: (203) 259-1598 Genealogies available for loan to members. Answers correspondence for a fee. Fee charged for research services. Answers correspondence for a fee. Other Contacts Stratford United Methodist Church Historical Committee 2600 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 375-5851 Local and regional Methodist history, including church records. Access to historical collection by appointment. Correspondence is answered. Connecticut State Library History and Genealogy Unit 231 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 Phone: (860) 757-6580 Website: www.cslib.org/handg.htm On September 14, 1939, a new age in flight began when Igor Sikorsky lifted off his VS-300. It flew for only seconds and it shook and wavered, but it ushered in the age of the helicopter. Major genealogy resource for the state. Barbour Collection of Vital Records, Hale Collections of Cemetery Inscriptions and Marriage & Death Notices, church records, family Bibles, land records, genealogies, court records, etc. CSL offers a limited genealogical index search for a fee. State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Vital Records Section 410 Capitol Avenue P.O. Box 340308 MS#, 11VRS Hartford, CT 06134-0308 Phone (860) 509-7700 509-7897 Website: www.dph.state.ct.us/ pb/hisr/vital_records.htm David and Steven Boothe spent years adding structures to their 30-acre homestead. Their “technocratic cathedral,” built in 1933, was a monument to the Great Depression according to David. It was built with flat timbers (like Depression finances) and redwood (like Depression ledgers). The multi-sided blacksmith shop has been operable since 1935. The clock tower was added to the carriage house in 1913 and has recently been refurbished. Connecticut vital records July 1, 1897present, available for a fee. The 1859 Congregational church at the Center was the work of architect Leopold Eidlitz, one of the architects of the New York state capitol building. Like the Episcopal church, this picture shows it painted in the natural colors intended to match its Gothic architecture. In the twentieth century it was altered and painted white. Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collections 925 Broad Street Bridgeport, CT 06603 Phone: (203) 576-7417 Website: www.bridgeportpubliclibrary. org/hc/default.php Strong historical collection. Owns Bridgeport/Connecticut Post (the daily newspaper for Stratford area) 1899-present, city directories 1855-1990, and more. Stratford History Specialists Lewis G. Knapp 88 Notch Hill Rd, Unit 131 N. Branford, CT 06471 Phone: (203) 488-8939 Peter A. Tarasovich 831 Milford Point Road Milford, CT 06460-5123 Phone: (203) 878-3967 Stratford Town Historian. Author of In Pursuit Chairman of committee researching the “Holof Paradise: History of the Town of Stratford, Connecti- lister Heights” area of Stratford. Answers cut. Answers correspondence. correspondence. Saint Joseph’s Polish National Catholic Church Cemetery 1300 Stratford Road Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 377-9901 Established in 1907. The name of the deceased and the approximate year of death is needed to obtain headstone inscriptions. Cemetery Information and Stratford Cemeteries The Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions at the Connecticut State Library (see “Other Contacts”) has data from about 2000 Connecticut cemeteries 1640s-circa 1934. It has an alphabetical name index to locate graves and includes dates of birth & death and sometimes ages, relationships and war data. www.cslib.org/halecol.htm History of Stratford, Connecticut, by William Howard Wilcoxson has general information about many Stratford cemeteries in Chapter 16: “Ancient Burying Grounds in Stratford.” Stratford cemeteries will release information from their records when provided with specific names and death dates. “Old Congregational Burying Ground” (behind Stratford Library and Sterling House) Mailing Address #1: First Congregational Church 2301 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 375-3569 Mailing Address #2: Carol W. Lovell Cemetery Secretary 5364 Main Street Putney Stratford, CT 06614 Established in 1678. The cemetery secretary has a finding list that is alphabetical by surname. A numerical list by headstone with corresponding map, updated in 1991 by John S. Richardson, is available at the Stratford Historical Society and the Stratford Library Association. An original map hangs in the church. The inscriptions list is in A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, by Samuel Orcutt. St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Cemetery 2205 Stratford Ave. Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 378-0404 Headstones from 1885, records 1906present. Name of deceased and approximate date of death is needed to obtain a map to the grave site. Union Cemetery Association 23 Temple Court Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 375-4932 Stones date from circa 1820. File card system by name for finding lot numbers of grave sites. Putney Cemetery Association 5936 Main Street Mailing address: P.O. Box 902 Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 381-2046 Established in the early 1800s as the Boothe family cemetery. From 1850, residents of the Oronoque & Putney sections of Stratford have been buried here. Saint John the Baptist Greek Catholic Cemetery Association 2610 Nichols Avenue Mailing address; 50 Paradise Green Place Stratford, CT 06614 Phone: (203) 375-4410 Established in 1914. Call or write for information about research services. Christ Church Episcopal Burying Ground - Monument Place (Rear of Saint James Catholic Church) Mailing address: Christ Episcopal Church 2000 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615 Phone: (203) 375-4447 Established in 1723. Last burial,1913. Volunteers answer correspondence about the cemetery and other records. The inscriptions list is in A History of the old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, by Samuel Orcutt.
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