History and Facts of Connecticut Counties
Today’s Connecticut counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years.
Connecticut Colony Counties
The Connecticut Colony (aka Colony of Connecticut, Connecticut River Colony or River Colony), was established on March 3, 1636.
Two other English settlements were merged into the Colony of Connecticut:
- 1644 – Saybrook Colony
- 1662 – New Haven Colony
Connecticutwas one of the 13 original colonies. The State of Connecticut entered the union as the 5th state on January 9, 1788.
Connecticut Counties Today
there is no county government in Connecticut,
Although Connecticut is divided into counties, almost all functions of county government were abolished in 1960. The remaining county offices / departments were abolished by an act of the state legislature effective in December of 2000.
All local government consists solely on the municipality level.
The manes of Connecticut’s counties remain for geographical purposes only. Boundaries of the former CT counties are still used by the state to organize its judicial and state marshal system.
Connecticut’s court jurisdictions still adhere to the county boundaries, and Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven Counties have been further subdivided into several smaller jurisdictions.
Fun Facts about Connecticut Counties
Six of the counties are named for locations in England, where many early Connecticut settlers originated.
Counties by Year
- Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven and New London Counties was the original 4 counties created on May 10, 1866.
- Tolland County was the last county created on November 10, 1785.
County Size Facts
- Litchfield County (920 sq mi) is the largest county in Connecticut.
- Middlesex County (369 sq mi) is the smallest county in Connecticut.
County Population Facts
- Windham County (18,428) is the least populated county in Connecticut.
- Fairfield County (916,829) is the most populated county in Connecticut.
Connecticut City Facts
Connecticut’s 10 largest cities (2010) are:
- Bridgeport (144,229) is in Fairfield County
- New Haven (129,779) is in New Haven County
- Hartford (124,775) is in Hartford County
- Stamford (122,643) is in Fairfield County
- Waterbury (110,366) is in New Haven County
- Norwalk (85,603) is in Fairfield County
- Danbury (80,893) is in Fairfield County
- New Britain (71,254) is in Hartford County
- Bristol (61,353) is in Hartford County
- Meriden (59,653) is in New Haven County
Boundary Changes of Connecticut Counties from 1687 to 1960
This Interactive Map of Connecticut Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of Connecticut in 1687-1960.
List of Connecticut Counties
|County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Notes|
|Fairfield County||10 May 1666||Original county created from Colonial Lands||From the hundreds of acres of salt marsh that bordered the coast.||Bridgeport|
|Hartford County||10 May 1666||Original county created from Colonial Lands||After the county of Hertfordshire in the UK||Hartford|
|Litchfield County||14 Oct 1751||Fairfield and Hartford counties||City of Lichfield in the UK||Litchfield|
|Middlesex County||02 May 1785||Hartford and New London counties||Former county of Middlesex in the UK||Middletown|
|New Haven County||10 May 1666||Original county created from Colonial Lands||After New Haven Colony, founded as a haven in which Puritans could be free from persecution.||New Haven|
|New London County||10 May 1666||Original county created from Colonial Lands||After London, UK||New London|
|Tolland County||13 Oct 1785||Hartford and Windham counties||Hamlet of Tolland, Somerset, UK||Rockville|
|Windham County||12 May 1726||Hartford and New London counties||After Windham (now Wineham) in Sussex, England||Willimantic & Putnam|
|_Westmoreland County||10 Oct 1776||Litchfield County||ceded to Pennsylvania in 1784. It briefly seceded to become the State of Westmoreland|
List of Old Former / Extinct Connecticut Counties
There are some Connecticut counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county. These are important for genealogy research purposes.
The below Connecticut counties no longer exist:
Westmoreland County, Connecticut
Created on October 10, 1776 from Litchfield County when Connecticut removed the town of Westmoreland from Litchfield County and made it “a distinct County” (the present day area of Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania).
Westmoreland County was located entirely within Pennsylvania and a narrow strip of New York about 3 miles wide.
Much conflict with Pennsylvania resulted over the land claimed by Connecticut as Westmoreland County.
Within a few weeks Pennsylvania was exercising full jurisdiction in the area. In return, Connecticut received a territory of 3,300,000 acres named the Western Reserve (in the future northeast of Ohio).
If any records from this time exist they may be found in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania