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Canterbury Probate Court records

Identifier: RG004_022

Scope and Content

Probate record books, None. Contact the probate court to access original record books. See Alternative Form Available note below.

Probate files, 1878-1944. Probate files may consist of estates, conservatorships, guardianships, commitments, and insolvencies. Accession T003285 includes conservator records that pre-date the creation of the Canterbury District.

Inventory control book, 1878-1944 (coverage). Also known as the Godard Digest, it is a list of probate files transferred to the Connecticut State Library. It was compiled at the Connecticut State Library under the direction of State Librarian George S. Godard.


  • Creation: circa 1790-1944

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

Researchers should first consult use copies when available. See Alternate Form Available Section below.

Probate files from 1921-1944 are RESTRICTED as they may contain confidential documents. Tax returns (succession, transfer and estate tax returns and all attachments) from January 1, 1921 and later are confidential per Connecticut General Statutes §12-15. Adoptions (all documents) from January 1, 1944 and later are confidential per Connecticut General Statutes §45a-754. Contact State Archives staff for assistance.

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

Historical Note

Canterbury, Windham County, Town established in October 1703, Parent Town: Plainfield

The Canterbury Probate District was constituted May 27, 1835, from the Plainfield Probate District. The Canterbury Probate District Probate District merged with the Plainfield and Sterling Probate Districts on January 8, 2003 to form a single Plainfield Probate District. The Plainfield Probate District merged with the Killingly Probate District on January 5, 2011 to create the Plainfield - Killingly Probate District which serves the municipalities of Canterbury, Killingly, Plainfield, and Sterling.

Town of Canterbury, Probate District chronology:

October 1703 - October 1719, New London District

October 1719 - May 1747, Windham District

May 1747 - May 26, 1835, Plainfield District

May 27, 1835 - January 7, 2003, Canterbury District

January 8, 2003 - January 4, 2011, Plainfield District

January 5, 2011 - Present, Plainfield - Killingly District

For Probate Court contact information and hours of operation see, Probate Court Directory.


5.5 cubic feet


Probate record books, none; Probate files, 1878-1944.


Probate Files are arranged by accession. Each accession is arranged alphabetically.

Other Finding Aid

Record Books: Index cards for the record books have been scanned. Ask History and Genealogy staff for assistance. Note: CSL does not hold any original record books. See Alternate Form Available section for volumes available on microfilm.

Probate Files: The Probate Estate Papers Index, located in the index corridor adjacent to the History and Genealogy Reading Room, has two parts, a general index covering most of the state, and a Hartford Probate District index covering Hartford and some surrounding towns, 1820-1920. The index cards are arranged alphabetically by individual's last name and first names. The cards have the individual's name, town of residence, probate district, and list of items contained in the estate packet. To request retrieval of an estate packet, copy at least the estate name, file date, and probate district name from the index card. The probate files in Accession 1923-002 are represented in this index.

Probate Files: There is no index for the probate files in Accession T003285.


The probate files in accession 1920-002 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library on the following dates (with date span of files): October 23, 1923 (1878-1922); February 11, 1925 (to 1923); February 8, 1933 (to 1932); February 18, 1936 (1928-1935); March 24, 1939 (to 1939); October 3, 1945 (1922-1944). They were interfiled into one alphabetic sequence.

It is not known when the probate files in accession T003285 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library.

Alternative Form Available

Record books, Volumes 1, 3-7, 1835-1918; probate files 1878-1944 (Accession 1920-002); and inventory control book (Godard Digest) were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available for use in the History and Genealogy reading room or through the LDS Family History Centers.

RG 004:022, Canterbury Probate Court
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