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Welcome to all Middletown ‘cousins’,
genealogists, & local history enthusiasts . . .
Welcome to our information-packed web site. Our goal is that the site serves as a useful starting point for those researching early Middletown, Conn. ancestors ... and then becomes a valuable resource that our growing membership of "cousins" returns to again and again.
Why Middletown? Beyond research of ancestors, the study of how the first settlers, as individuals, were able to (1) come together in common interest, (2) work through the natural and man-made difficulties of the early years, and (3) forge a prosperous town, is a study, at the smallest scale, of the imperfect yet essential pursuit of community.
For the genealogist, the local history context available on this site will help illuminate the lives of your early Middletown ancestors.
For the local history enthusiast, the genealogical information available on this site will help draw human portraits of the individuals who made Middletown's 17th-century history.
A report on SMFSD's 2012 Triennial Meeting
Attendees from all corners of the U.S. gathered in their ancestral hometown of Middletown, Conn. for SMFSD's Triennial Meeting Oct. 17-20, 2012. Some 40 genealogists and historians enjoyed a packed schedule of cemetery tours, library visits, research sessions, speaker presentations, and social gatherings. Many also attended the annual seminar of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists on Saturday, Oct. 20 in North Haven, Conn., where SMFSD engaged potential members at its corner booth in the exhibit hall. To read more about the 2012 Triennial Meeting --- and to view a photo montage of people and activities --- see the SMFSD Events page.
Where to find what you're looking for . . .
A Brief History of Middletown: A concise overview of the settlement and establishment of Middletown, Connecticut, plus links to a selection of standard historical works available online.
First Settler Bio Sketches: The known names & dates of the 45 first settlers of Middletown (23 men & 22 women). (More detailed profiles with sources are in the Member Area of this site.)
Membership: Describes SMFSD member benefits and the simple steps to join us. Includes the list of 89 qualifying ancestors (i.e. the 23 1650-54 heads of household and the 66 1654-1700 heads of household).
Research Links: Addresses & contact information for the primary repositories and destinations for Middletown genealogy and local history research, plus links to selected web sites of particular research value.
Contact SMFSD: E-mail and postal mail addresses to contact us.
Our member area enhances your membership . . .
The member area of the web site adds value to SMFSD membership by making available (1) Comprehensive first settler profiles drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources (see a sample profile);
(2) Local history articles from hard-to-find sources; (3) A Middletown genealogy & local history bibliography; (4) An archive of past issues of the SMFSD newsletter, The Middler (See a sample issue); and
(5) Information about past and future SMFSD events.
The member area is currently open to all visitors, so feel free to have a look around by clicking on the blue "Member Area" link in the navigation bar at the left. After this extended introductory period, access to this area may be restricted. Not yet a member? Click on "Membership" and find out how you can join us!
About SMFSD. The Society of Middletown First Settlers Descendants was founded in 2000 by Gale Thomas Howe-Cornwell (1926-2007), whose grandfather, Seymour Cornwell, led the initiative to install the plaque on "Founders Rock" at Middletown's 250th anniversary in 1900. In 1996 Gale Cornwell began contacting descendants of Middletown first settlers with the idea of participating in the 350th anniversary. By 2000 over 200 people across the U.S. had signed on to Cornwell's idea, and on Oct. 29, with 58 in attendance in Middletown, the SMFSD was officially formed as a genealogical society. Officers were elected, bylaws adopted, and Godfrey Memorial Library offered to house society archives. Plaques were mounted at the library commemorating the 350th anniversary of the settlement and recognizing the first settlers. The SMFSD meets in Middletown every three years for organizational business, genealogy research, museum visits, member networking, and social gatherings. Between meetings, SMFSD member networking is facilitated by the annual membership roster and the twice-yearly newsletter, The Middler. (Not yet a member? Click on "Membership" and find out how you can join us!)