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Saybrook Probate Court records

Identifier: RG004_026

Scope and Content

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

Probate files, 1780-1940. Probate files may consist of estates, conservatorships, guardianships, commitments, and insolvencies.

Inventory control book, 1780-1940 (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.


  • 1780-1940

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 1921-1940 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.

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

Historical Note

Town of Chester, Middlesex County, Town established in May 1836, Parent Town: Saybrook

The Saybrook Probate District was constituted during the May 1780 session, from the Guilford Probate District. From January 5, 1949 to January 4, 2011 it served only the municipality of Chester. It also served the municipalities of Deep River to January 4, 1949; Essex, September 1852 - July 3, 1853; Killingworth, May 1780 - June 1834; and Westbook, May 1840 - July 1853. The Saybrook Probate District also included the area that became Old Saybrook until July 3, 1853. On January 5, 2011 the Saybrook District merged with the Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook districts to create the Saybrook Probate District.

Town of Chester, Probate District chronology:

May 1836 - January 4, 2011 Saybrook District

January 5, 2011 - Present, Saybrook District (merged)

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


23.5 cubic feet


Probate record books, None; Probate files, 1780-1940


Probate files are arranged alphabetically in one series.

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 1914-009 are represented in this index.


The probate files in accession 1914-009 were transferred to the Connecticut State Library on the following dates (with date span of files): January 21, 1914 (1780-1902); January 28, 1924 ( ); August 20, 1931 ( - 1930); March 15, 1938 (1903-1923); and June 4, 1941 (1903-1940). They were interfiled into one alphabetic sequence.

Alternative Form Available

Record books, Volumes 1-16, 18-19, 21, 23-24, 1780-1919; probate files 1780-1880 (Accession 1914-009); 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 004:026, Saybrook 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