The city of Waterbury, in New Haven County, Connecticut, was incorporated in 1686. The establishment of Waterbury, or Mattatuck, as the town was originally known, grew out of the efforts of a number of inhabitants of Farmington, Connecticut, who, in 1673, petitioned the General Court in Hartford for permission to launch a settlement “at a place called by the Indians Matitacocke.” The volume at hand, which was transcribed and edited by Katharine Prichard from original sources, makes available the records of the Proprietors of Waterbury from 1677 to 1761. Ms. Prichard’s transcription is divided into the following key elements: orders and letters, 1673-1687; first proprietors’ book, 1677-1722; later records, 1722-1761; and grants of land, 1682-1709. In the aggregate, the Proprietors’ Records document the sectioning off and dispersing of lots throughout the emerging town of Waterbury. In one entry we see the order given to survey or measure off land; in the next entry lots are being awarded, by lottery, to qualified persons; and in still other instances we see the Proprietors intervening to settle property disputes of one kind or another. The great virtue of the transcription is that it places thousands of Connecticut colonists in Waterbury at a given point in time. These several thousand individuals may readily be found in any one of a score of lists scattered throughout the volume or in the index at the back of the book. By any reckoning, this wonderful transcription must be considered a starting point in Waterbury genealogy.
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