Lebanon, Connecticut started out much the same as most of New England. Before the first European settlers arrived the area was inhabited by Indians. In 1665 John Mason was given 500 acres of land and set up the section of town called "Goshen". A year later, James Fitch was given 120 acres adjoining Mason's. Fitch was awed by the beautiful cedar trees he found on his lot. The picturesque trees and the rolling hills brought to mind the biblical land of "Lebanon." And so the name remained.
In 1695 Mr. Fitch and Mr. Mason were joined by other settlers. In 1700 a parcel of land to the north (now Columbia) was purchased, and Lebanon was incorporated. The first church was built in 1706. In 1700 there were 350 people. As the population increased, the town was portioned into "societies". First "North Society" (Columbia) in 1720, Goshen in 1729; Exeter (after first splitting off from Goshen) in 1773.
In 1700 the population was 350, in 1756 it rose to 3,274; in 1774 there was yet another increase to 3,960 (this was more than the population of Hartford in 1756). The town did not realize a population this large again for another 206 years in 1980!
Though farming was and still is the mainstay for this small town, they were also home to sawmills, gristmills, blacksmiths, harnesses, axes, hoes, felt, furniture, coffins, knives, dental instruments and a broom shop in the "North Society."
The first school was established in 1743 and some of the old records back to 1825 still survive. Probate court (still functioning) was available for handling wills and estates. You will find records of this nature back to it's beginnings in 1826.
Lebanon is located on the northwest border of New London County. Still a very rural town, it was once home to the first governor of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull. During the Revolutionary war, Joseph Trumbull's store (built in 1727) became the war office, and is still known as such. He was visited by some of nation's prominent citizens such as George Washington and Lafayette.
Many of the original family names still remain, farming their lands for these hundreds of years. You will not find any big malls or gigantic industry in this little town. It has retained it's country way of life for these almost 300 years. There is a country fair once a year, the town parades still come down the green. There is now a gazebo and walking path on the green, but it still gets swampy and unuseful in the spring! So many families have had claims to the land of the town green that no one has been able to discern who actually owns any of it anymore, so it remains open for town use.
Information provided by Nancy Simpson.
Last Updated July 4, 2008
RESEARCH IN LEBANON
Lebanon Town Clerk
579 Exeter Road
Lebanon, CT 06249-1540
Monday - Friday 9 am to 4 pm
Birth, Marriage, and Death Records from
Link to Lebanon Town Hall
Lebanon Probate Office
579 Exeter Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
Tuesday and Friday 10am to 12 pm
Probate records from about 1826.
Earlier records will be found in the Windham Probate Office.
Lebanon Historical Museum
856 Trumbull Highway
Lebanon Historical Society
Information provided by Deb Inman
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if you have additional information for this page, or if you find any
©2016 Pat Sabin, on behalf of the New London County CTGenWeb