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Order item B572
FORMAT: ELECTRONIC ONLY (CD ROM)
Three books with a total of 1,952 pages, have been converted to PDF files and burned on a CD-ROM disk, viewable using the software program Acrobat Reader which is included on the disk. The text is NOT searchable, however each book is fully indexed with names and locations. The disk is available for $24.95 + $3.99 shipping & packing charge (Add $1.00 S&P for each additional volume ordered).
PREFACE TO THE VITAL RECORDS OF NORWICHThese volumes have been prepared and published by a Committee of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut appointed at a Special Court of the Society held in Hartford on May 6, 1912. By that Court the Committee was ordered "to consider the matter of recording the cemetery inscriptions of Connecticut, not already published, and any other work of preserving records as they may recommend."
As directed by this vote the Committee reported to the General Court of the Society held in New Haven on May 28, 1912, proposing to print the vital records of the Town of Norwich as those of one of the most ancient and important of the civic communities of the State. The recommendation was approved by the Society, an appropriation for its prosecution was made, and the Committee entrusted with the task.
In the execution of its work the Committee has endeavored to secure the utmost accuracy of reproduction in spelling, punctuation and completeness of record, so as to put the reader in complete possession of all that the vital records contain.
A beginning of similar publication has already been made by the Connecticut Historical Society through its printing of the records of Bolton and Vernon. Counting that volume as Number One of the series, the Society is glad to link this publication with it as a second in what it trusts may speedily become an extensive issue of Connecticut vital statistics. It is the hope of the Society that the success of these volumes, if their reception shall prove favorable, will induce other patriotic societies to undertake a similar work for other Connecticut towns, and that the task may ultimately be assumed by the commonwealth itself.
The scope of these volumes is to present everything contained in the town records of Norwich in the way of vital statistics previous to the time when these records began to be kept under the more careful and elaborate system now in force. The vital records of Norwich are contained in seven volumes, an of which are in good condition except the first. An excellent copy of that volume has been made for ordinary use. In the transcriptions here published, the original has been followed. The early Probate Records of Norwich may be found in New London.
The Committee desires to express its gratitude to Mr. Charles S. Holbrook, Town Clerk of Norwich, for his helpfulness, courtesy, and constant assistance in the prosecution of its task.
The town of Norwich has been fortunate in the possession of a historian of unusual ability, fidelity and accuracy. The reader is therefore referred for all details concerning its story to Miss F. M. Caulkins's admirable History of Norwich, (Hartford, 1866). It may here be noted that Norwich was settled in 1659, under the name of Mohegan, and received its present name in 1662. The original township was much larger than its present extent. Beside the portion now known as Norwich, it embraced a part of Preston, including the present township of Griswold, till set off in 1687. Till 1786, it embraced the present townships of Bozrah, Franklin, and Lisbon; and, till 1861, the present township of Sprague. Till the times of these separate incorporations the vital statistics of these towns will be found in these volumes. The population of Norwich at the several censuses during the last century and a half has been as follows:
1756 5840 1774 7327 1790 abt 3353 1800 abt 3533 1810 abt 3528 1820 3634 1830 5109 1840 7239 1850 10261 1860 14048 1870 16653 1880 21141 1890 23048 1900 24637 1910 28219
Ecclesiastically the First Society was that of Norwich Town which was the earliest portion of the territory to be settled. The Second Society was in the district known as West Farms or Franklin. The Third Society was in what was successively known as Newent and Lisbon. The Fourth Society was approximately in the territory called New Concord and afterwards Bozrah. The Fifth Society was that denominated the "Long" or "East" Society in Preston. The Sixth Society was in that part of Norwich known as Chelsea and is now called the Second Society. The Seventh Society, formerly known as Pautipaug, is now extinct. The Eighth Society was formerly called Hanover, now the town of Sprague. The Church Records of all these societies, where extant, have been copied by the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames of America and these copies are in the possession of that Society.
PREFACE TO THE HISTORY OF NORWICHThe History of Norwich, published in 1845, having been for several years out of print, it seems desirable that the public should be furnished with a new and more complete work, --one that shall not only bring the course of events to the present time, but shall glean over again the records of the past, and be more exhaustive in regard to memorials of former days. The first edition may be regarded as a preliminary foray into a district so rich in resources, that the invader could not leave it without a deep-seated determination to return and more thoroughly explore the field.
The History has been entirely re-written, and is, in fact, a new work. The author has considered it an imperative duty to review all the sources of information, and to make it as complete a town history as the materials would permit. This led to a considerable delay in the original purpose which was to have it appear in 1860, as an offering to the two hundredth year. But had it been issued then, it would have closed with the Bicentennial festival of the town, without any warning of that mighty convulsion which was about to upheave the country, and the closing chapters which display the patriotism, energy, and sacrifices of the town in the war for the Union, would have been wanting.
The author is now enabled to speak with more certainty than in the former history upon many points, and particularly concerning the ancestors of families. Yet the work is designed to be strictly a History, not a collection of Genealogies. The field was too opulent in narrative materials to leave space for following out the family branches of so large a surface, and to map out the descendants of a few of the fathers of the town and not of all, would make the work a failure.
It has been the aim of the writer to avoid profuse laudation, yet to bestow praise where it was due, and invariably to speak of men and measures historically, without straining the records, or ranking probabilities as certainties. Mistakes are made and errors propagated in history till they become current, and truth is lost by a loose and thoughtless way of paraphrasing the original annals, and giving the transcriber's impressions of the scene, rather than the strict features of the scene itself. The idea thus conveyed is often at variance with the facts. We look at the picture through another man's mind and see it colored with the hue of his prejudices.
This history has not been written as a task, but rather for the pleasure it gave; flowers grew and fragrance filled the air, all along the path of research. The author can but hope that some few readers -- aged and lonely people, or those among the stirring and ardent, who turn reverently toward the past, the youth perchance whose curiosity is excited to know what has been done on this spot in other times, and the far-off wanderer that cherishes Norwich as his own early home, or the seat of his ancestors, -- will experience in the perusal some portion of that satisfying interest which was felt in the preparation.
The work is larger than the author had forecasted; there is more of it perhaps than is desirable; yet the original manuscript has been much abridged and condensed to bring it within this compass.
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