An inventory of surviving records for Lebanon
(Robert Charles Anderson. “Genealogy and social history: the early settlement of Lebanon, Connecticut, as a case study.” Thesis submitted to the University of Massachusetts, 1983.)
“1. Vital Records – The originals of the town vital records are not now extant. That which is available is a nineteenth century copy, apparently made by James Arnold at the time he was making transcripts of the vital records of many eastern Connecticut towns. These records have been alphabetized and are included in the Barbour collection at the Connecticut State Library.”
Note: There are handwritten transcriptions of early Lebanon Vital Records by Walter Kingsley who was Lebanon Town Clerk from 1875 to 1892 and Charles J. Abell who was Lebanon Town Clerk from 1892 until 1929. These, rather than notes by James Arnold, may be the source of the Barbour index. Microfilms of the Kingsley and Abell notes are available at Lebanon Historical Society.
“2. Church records – the First Congregational Church in Lebanon was organized late in 1700 and the records of the church date from that year. A microfilm copy of the church records may be found in the Connecticut State Library. The usual categories of entries are included (baptisms, admissions to communion, death and marriages), but, unfortunately, in the earlier years the year of event is often all one finds…”
Note: Similar records are available for the Third Society in Lebanon (called Goshen Society). Any surviving records for Lebanon’s Second Society (called Lebanon Crank, now the town of Columbia) not in Lebanon, but may be in Columbia or in the Columbia Congregational Church.
“3. Land record – Throughout Connecticut, land records are kept by the town rather than by the counties as in most other American jurisdictions. The Lebanon Land records are on microfilm at the Connecticut State Library… In many New England towns, the proprietors’ records were maintained separately from the later land transactions not involving the proprietors, but in Lebanon both types of records are thrown together in one volume. There are indications that the records as they are now bound are not in their original order.”
Note: Lebanon land records are available for research at the Lebanon Town Hall in the Town Clerk’s Office. This office is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 to 4:00 and Tuesday from 8:00 to 6:00. The Town Hall is closed on Wednesday. The town clerk and her assistant will provide substantial assistance to researchers as time permits. Microfilm copies of the indexes and volumes of deeds are available at the Lebanon Historical Society.
“4. Probate records – In Connecticut probate districts are different from, and now smaller than, counties.”
Note: From 1700 to 1726, Lebanon was part of New London County. In 1726, Lebanon was moved to Windham County where it stayed until 1824 when it was moved back to New London County where it remains today. Early probate records were consolidated in county court houses in the late 20th century and have since been moved to State Library storage areas. Microfilms of both Windham and New London County probate dockets are available at the Lebanon Historical Society.