Inquest Index Updated 2021

Records of the Judicial Department Papers by Subject. 
Index to Inquests of Connecticut Deaths, 1711-1892

Starting in 1639, the General Court of Connecticut requested the Deputy “to consider of some orders concerning an inquiry into the death of any that happen either accidently or by violence” (Connecticut Colonial Record, Vol. 48, Pg. 42). Later in 1650 a Code of Laws was adopted in Connecticut which also included a provision that in case of a “very sudden, untimely or unnatural death , some Magistrate or the Constable of that Town shall forthwith summon a Jury of six or twelve discreet men to inquire of the cause and manner of their death” (Connecticut Colonial Record, Vol. 48, Pg. 523).

For more than two hundred years, inquests into untimely accidental or violent deaths was the prevue of the Connecticut court system until the Connecticut General Assembly established the Office of the Coroner on May 1, 1883.  Records of pre-1883 untimely deaths were generally handled via the county or superior courts found in each Connecticut county.

This index covers the years 1711-1892 and references 2,120 Inquests into untimely accidental or violent deaths files from various County & Superior Courts for Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham counties.  In some cases, particularly for Tolland and Windham counties, coroner or medical examiner reports for the 1883-1892 time period were filed with the court.  Please keep in mind that this index is not comprehensive and additional information may be found within the un-separated files and records of each court. 

This index includes the surname and given name of the individual, death year, town of death, cause of death, remarks of note taken from the document as well as the court and location of the original document.

People may request a copy of a file by contacting the staff of the History & Genealogy Unit by telephone (860) 757-6580 or email.  When requesting a copy of a record, please include the name of the individual, date, and the specific court.  Please understand that some files are extremely fragile and may not be able to be reproduced and/or read with ease.

For more information about the judicial records stored at the Connecticut State Library, please see the on-line guide to Connecticut State Archives Record Group 003, Judicial Records.

Index to Inquests of Connecticut Deaths, 1711-1892

Inquest Index Updated 2021

ID Surname Given Name Title Death year Death location Cause of death Court Remarks Source
wdt_ID ID Surname Given Name Title Death year Death location Cause of death Court Remarks Source
1 1 Smith Daniel 1730 Norwalk Unnatural and untimely death Fairfield County Superior Court Infant son of Eliakim Smith Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
2 2 Vaughan Joseph 1731 New Fairfield Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
3 3 Burton Bothiah 1730 Stratford Accident with large stone Fairfield County Superior Court Daughter of Benjamin Burton Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
4 4 Willcockson Ruth 1731 Stratford Accident with large stone Fairfield County Superior Court Daughter of John Willcockson Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
5 5 Mocarta Morris 1732 Stratford Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
6 6 Knowles Eleazer 1730/31 Woodbury Violent [force] Fairfield County Superior Court Son of Samuel Knowles Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
7 7 Burchard Joseph, Jr. 1733/34 Norwalk Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
8 8 Stoddard Thomas 1734 Stratford Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
9 9 Bennett Samuel 1731 Stratford Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Son of Jeremiah Bennett Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026
10 10 Webber George 1735 Fairfield Drowning Fairfield County Superior Court Body found on Fairfield Beach Papers by subject, Box 6, acc# 1919-026