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David N. Gaines genealogical papers

Identifier: RG074_003

Scope and Content

The bulk of the papers consist of photostatic copies of Gaines' notebooks. The house survey notes trace the ownership of Hartland area homes from 1749 to 1916. The container list indicates the names identified in the key to each "set" as provided by Gaines. Vital statistics notes include information on births, marriages and deaths in Hartland. Other notes cover the East Hartland Cemetery and a number of Hartland families. Also present is one of Gaines' original notebooks containing news clippings and vital statistics, along with a photostatic copy. Finally, name and address cards are arranged by town. Respondents were asked to indicated if they had any Hartland ancestors.


  • 1891-1940

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

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.

Biographical Note

David Gaines was born in Hartland, Conn. in 1854 and lived there until his death in 1941. Gaines served the community in several capacities: postmaster for the east section (East Hartland) for over thirty-five years; town clerk; judge of probate; secretary and treasurer of the First Ecclesiastical Society for sixty years; and sexton of the East Hartland Cemetery for more that fifty years, being responsible for much of the rebuilding and beautification of the grounds. A lifelong Republican, Gaines served as a representative in the General Assembly in 1899 and in 1921.

While town clerk, Gaines became interested in land records and genealogies of the early settlers of Hartland. He also gathered data on the First Ecclesiastical Society, its earliest ministers and various changes made to the church building. He spent many years researching the connections of Hartland men who served in the Revolutionary War and other wars.

Gaines compiled a map in 1916 of all the homes still standing, as well as abandoned homes. He marked bridle paths and discontinued roads. This map along with the map compiled by Cornell Tiffany of West Hartland helped explain the land divisions and lots drawn up in the early 1700s and given to the early proprietors

Known as the "Sage of East Hartland", Gaines was considered a living legend in the town. A recording of his voice has been preserved as an outstanding example of typical New England speech.


Bartlett, Sally. "Residents Can Consult 'Gaines Notes'." Hartford Courant, 1976 August 27, 27C.

"David Gaines 'Seer,' Dies in Hartland." Hartford Courant, 1941 September 27, 4.

"History and Map of Hartland Homes." Hartford Courant, 1917 February 13, 5.

"The Sage of East Hartland." Hartford Courant, 1941 September 28, A2.

"Sage of East Hartland." Hartford Courant, 1940 January 28, SM3.

"The Sage of East Mountain." Hartford Courant, 1932 January 31, E3.


3 cubic feet


David N. Gaines (1854-1941) served as the town clerk, judge of probate, postmaster, and secretary and treasurer of the First Ecclesiastical Society in Hartland. His genealogical papers consist of notes on old houses, vital statistics, East Hartland Cemetery and various Hartland families.


Arranged into eight series as follows: House survey notes, Vital statistics notes, East Hartland Cemetery notes, Notes on families, Notebook, News clippings, Miscellaneous, and Name and address cards. The majority of the notes are arranged by set: A-Z, AA-ZZ, AAA-DDD, followed by unlettered sets.


David Gaines' diary along with Barkhamsted Church record were received from David N. Gaines on May 14, 1941.

Related Material

Gaines, David N., compiler. Birth, marriage, death records, 1850-1933, taken from Hartland town records; Cemetery records from East Hartland Cemetery, 1770-1933; Genealogical notes of Bushnell, Gaines & Tillotson Families, 1617-1927 [CSL call number StLib Archives 920 G12].

Gaines, David N., compiler. Hartland church records. Photostat of manuscript copy [CSL call number StLib Archives 974.62 fH261c J].

Gaines, David N., compiler. Key to East Hartland homesteads [CSL call number StLib Archives 974.62 J26:Eg K].

Gaines, David N., compiler. Key numbers to old house places in East Hartland [as per map drawn by C.H. Tiffany and D.N. Gaines] [CSL call number StLib Archives 974.62 H26:Eg KE].

Gaines, David H. and Correl H. Tiffany. Map of Hartland, both East Hartland and West Hartland, showing location of homesteads, mills, highways, etc. from earliest times to 1911. Photostat of original loaned by David N. Gaines [CSL call number StLib Archives 912.7462 H26t map case].

Record made by David N. Gaines to record his voice [CSL Call Number StLib Archives 920 G12].

Tiffany, Correll H., compiler. Key to West Hartland Homesteads [CSL call number 974.62 fH26:Wti K].

Tiffany, Correll H., compiler. West Hartland Homesteads, circa 1913-1914 [CSL call number 974.62 H26:Wti d].

RG 074:003, David N. Gaines Genealogical Papers
Finding aid prepared by Damon M. Munz.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository