Connecticut is divided into 169 separate towns, which are the basis of all local government. As is the case in much of New England, the entire state of Connecticut is incorporated into one of these towns; there is no unincorporated land.
Some towns have subdivisions, usually called boroughs or cities, that have some additional taxation and governmental powers. These subdivisions were more common in the 19th century when the needs of new industrial villages began to outstrip what their rural towns could provide. Most of Connecticut's cities, such as Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury, are now coextensive with their towns.
See additional research guides linked below.
Cities and towns - A list of cities and towns with links to their official government websites.
List of towns and counties including year established - This list includes historical information on the founding or incorporation of each town, including "parent" towns.
List of unique place names - Villages, boroughs, and districts without a post office of the same name as their town. A helpful resource for locating villages and neighborhoods.
Regional planning in Connecticut - Information about regional cooperation between towns
Map of Connecticut - Highlights current town boundaries
Connecticut Town Documents - Town documents are any kind of material published by a town, city, or borough, including annual government reports, school reports, financial records, and more. The collection spans the 1840s to the present day, and is located on the fourth floor for researchers to use. This guide includes information on using town documents for genealogy research.
Charters and Ordinances - Charters, ordinances, regulations, and by-laws published by cities, towns, boroughs, and other local subdivisions from the early 1800s to the present are located on the second floor. We do not have a complete collection, and those looking only for current information should check the municipal government's website, but we have many historic charters and ordinances for researchers to use. Includes a listing of zoning maps.
Town Guides for Genealogy Research - Town-by-town guides to vital records, probate records, church records, and cemetery records held by the Connecticut State Library, compiled by History & Genealogy reference librarian Jeannie Sherman. This collection includes material from the mid-1600s through the beginning of the 20th century, and is available on microfilm in the History & Genealogy reading room or online at FamilySearch.org.
Connecticut State Archives - Local Government Finding Aids - A wide variety of municipal government records from some 133 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns. The finding aids listed here include only records that are part of RG 062, Town and Borough Governments. Additional town records can be found among the Classified Archives. Researchers should check the card catalog in the History and Genealogy reading room. Also included here are various records of the county governments abolished in Connecticut effective October 1, 1960.
Local History Collection - The Connecticut State Library has an extensive collection of local historical materials in print. Most of these can be found on the first floor of the library in call number F104. Use our online catalog, Primo, to search for material. Ask a librarian for assistance if you are unable to find what you need.
Town and City Directories - The library has city and town directories in print from 1960 to the present on the first floor of the library. Older directories are on microfilm in the History & Genealogy reading room. Directories are also available online through some of our genealogy databases.
Regional Planning in Connecticut - A guide to Connecticut's nine planning regions and the regional planning organizations that serve them. Regional planning organizations help towns in their regions pool resources to achieve common goals and save money.
Additional list of guides, generated from assigned subjects.