Families of Ancient New Haven

With an Index Vol. by Helen L. Scranton. 9 vols. in 3


Author: Jacobus, Donald Lines
Publication Date: 1922-32; Cross-Index 1939
Reprint Date: 1997
Pages: 2,068 pp. total; cross-index 301 pp.


Families of Ancient New Haven is a work of such incredible detail that it is thought to have elevated genealogy to an exact science. It is the definitive statement on the ancestry and relationships of 35,000 residents of eighteenth-century New Haven, Connecticut, and it is the only known publication which succeeds in treating every family of an entire New England region.

All eight volumes deal with the families of the ancient town of New Haven and the towns set off from it: Hamden, Bethany, Woodbridge, East Haven, North Haven, and West Haven. Lines are brought down to the heads of families cited in the 1790 Census and include the generation born between 1790 and 1800, the aim being to provide every record of birth or baptism up to the year 1800, every record of marriage to 1810, and every record of death of individuals born before 1800. Apart from the data gathered from church records and court records, this work also draws on the records of towns and districts outside the New Haven area. The early Wallingford and Cheshire families, for example, which for the most part were of New Haven origin, are given completely to 1780, and in many instances to 1800.

Readers should note that Families of Ancient New Haven was originally published as the New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Vols. I-VIII, which, after a brief period as the American Genealogist and New Haven Genealogical Magazine (Vols. IX-XIII), became The American Genealogist (TAG). Families of Ancient New Haven, therefore, comprises the first eight volumes of The American Genealogist and ought to be owned by everyone holding a run of that periodical.

“The present publisher . . . Has now given us what we have desired, superior even to the original form, in that Mrs. Scranton’s index is now for the first time issued with the pages of text it pertains to….The virtue of [Families of Ancient New Haven] lies in two points that cannot be overemphasized: the marvelous accuracy of the great mind that conceived and carried out the project and the great care in which he undertook to state the evidence for every bit of information. It is highly improbable that any reworking of the material…would add anything of much value.”–The American Genealogist (July 1974)

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