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Department of Veterans' Affairs records

Identifier: RG073

Scope and Content

Records generated by both Fitch's Home for Soldiers and the Veterans Home and Hospital are organized in six separate series.

Series 1. Patient Files (1930-1962) contain two types of records, traditional patient files that contain medical information and correspondence relating to the individual patient, and administrative files that contain application forms and death notices.

Series 2. Deceased Veterans Discharge Files (1882-1936) consist of approximately 2300 files of veterans who died while cared for at Fitch's Home for Soldiers. Although the veterans listed served primarily in the Civil War, a few Spanish American veterans may be included. The files are arranged by file number. The folders contain the veteran's name, unit, and town of residence, date of admission and pension certificate number. Other information, if known, include death date, burial information, and pension payments to the Home. A majority of the folders contain an admission permit and a signed receipt for personal effects. A limited number of files also include correspondence, personal history information, discharge papers, application forms, and other records concerning the veteran. Veteran name access is available by using the Fitch's Home for Soldiers database, a listing of which is available at the History and Genealogy reference desk.

Series 3. Administrative Files (1886-1990) contain records generated by the hospitals in the course of providing medical services to Connecticut veterans. They include records of the Veterans Home and Hospital Commission, the Hospital Commandant, financial records, personnel files, and maintenance reports.

Series 4. Death Records (1884-1971) are record books, maintained by both Fitch's and the Veterans Home, listing the name of the person who died and the date. No volumes exist between 1928 and 1950.

Series 5. Historical Subject Files (1866-1990) were created by the staff of the Veterans Home and Hospital to assist them with research into the institutions past and to document present day events. All original order was lost. The materials, grouped loosely by subject, include newspaper clippings, photographs, publications and subject files on a variety of topics.

Series 6. Miscellaneous Records (1878-1951), despite being limited in number, contain interesting and invaluable information. Although mostly related to Fitch's Home, there are also records here pertaining to New Haven Hospital, Hartford Hospital, and the Connecticut State Soldiers' Home. Included are records of invalid soldiers, necrological records, and historical rosters, as well as a superb collection of photos of Fitch's Home. The dates of these records span from 1878 to 1951, exhibiting a large and varied epoch in the history of Connecticut soldiers. These materials were removed from a larger accession due to their historic value.


  • 1866-1990

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

Some of these records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

Patient records are protected under Connecticut General Statute 17a-548 and 19a-550. Only the patient or his/her immediate family can access the records. Please contact the State Archives staff to discuss access procedures. Some materials may be partially restricted (i.e. medical records mixed with general correspondence). In these cases, a member of the State Archives staff will remove all protected material before the researcher can access it. As a result, the material will not be available on a same day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Historical Note

The General Assembly created the Department of Veterans' Affairs in 1987 to assist the State's nearly 400,000 veterans in obtaining benefits or privileges entitled to them under state and federal law. In its first year, the Department of Veterans' Affairs had only one division, the Office of Advocacy and Assistance. In July 1988, the Veterans Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill merged with the Department, making the department's new mission to provide comprehensive health, social and rehabilitative services to all resident veterans in Connecticut. Today the agency consists of the Office of the Commission, the Office of Advocacy and Assistance, and the Veterans Home and Hospital (VHH).

While the Department of Veterans' Affairs conducts a wide variety of services, the State Archives only has those records relating to the Veterans' Home and Hospital (VHH) and its predecessor, Fitch's Home for Soldiers. While the majority of records in the State Archives were created before the establishment of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, it seemed logical to keep of the Veterans' Home materials together in this record group.

Fitch's Home for Soldiers and Orphans (1863 - 1940), also known as the Noroton Home, located in Darien, Connecticut, was first erected by private means for Soldiers and the children of Soldiers and was dedicated July 4, 1864. It was incorporated by an Act of Connecticut Legislation in 1874 and until 1883 receiving limited aid from the State of Connecticut. In 1887 the State assumed control and it was thereafter known as the Fitch's Home for Soldiers, deriving its name from the original founder Benjamin Fitch.

At the Fitch's Home, many of the State's Civil War Veterans were cared for as well as the Veterans of the Spanish American War and the World War I. Due to its limited facilities and the increase of returning veterans, the Veterans Home and Hospital Commission sought to relocate the Home. The new Veterans Home and Hospital was opened in Rocky Hill on August 28, 1940.

The Veterans Home and Hospital (1940 - present) was established for treatment and rehabilitation of Connecticut Veterans who served in or with the Armed Forces of the United States of America in time of war. The Hospital, which is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, has a capacity of 350 beds. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is available with Physical Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Audiology. Clinics include, but are not limited to, Cardiac, Dental, Diabetic, Orthopedic, Podiatry, Psychiatry, and Respiratory. A separate building, Fellowship House, is a long-term residence for recovering alcoholics. A 14 day program for substance abusers was opened in 1988.

Eligible veterans must have served during one of the following: Spanish American War; Philippine Insurrection; Moro Province; Boxer Rebellion; Cuban Pacification; Nicaraguan Campaign; Haitian Campaign; Mexican Border Service; World War I; World War II; Korean Campaign; Vietnam; Lebanon; Grenada; Operation Ernest Will; Panama Invasion; Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

See also the Department of Veterans' Affairs Agency History.


256.5 cubic feet


The Department of Veterans' Affairs assists the State's veterans in obtaining benefits or privileges entitled to them under state and federal law. This record group includes records of the Fitch's Home for Soldiers and the Veterans Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill.


Arranged in six series: Series 1. Patient Files, 1930-1962; Series 2. Deceased Veterans Discharge Files, 1882-1936; Series 3. Administrative Files, 1886-1990; Series 4. Death Records, 1884-1971; Series 5. Historical Subject Files, 1866-1990; and Series 6. Miscellaneous Records, 1878-1951.


When the Veterans' Home and Hospital (VHH) opened its doors, many records created and maintained by its predecessor, Fitch's Home for Soldiers, were transferred to VHH. Eventually, VHH transferred their records, and materials they received from Fitch's, to the State Archives. Since the records were created, or maintained, by the Veterans' Home and Hospital, the State Archives has not divided the material into separate record groups or series. Researchers, however, must remember two important dates. The first, Veterans Home and Hospital opened and Fitch's closed in August 1940. Fitch's Home created any records created prior to that date; Veterans Home and Hospital, Rocky Hill created anything after. Second, VHH merged with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1988. At that time, the Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs assumed the statutory powers and duties formerly vested in the Veterans Home and Hospital Commission. An appointed six member Board of Trustees advises the commissioner on policy and operation matters at VHH.

RG 073, Department of Veterans' Affairs
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository