Does my Connecticut property deed
contain a racist covenant?

Up to the 1950s, some Connecticut property owners added covenants to restrict land use to only "the white race." While racial covenants are no longer legal, a 2021 Connecticut law helps current owners reject them in your Town Clerk's land records at no charge. We can help you:

Find your property deed
Reject an unlawful covenant
Learn about history and advocacy
Contact us with questions or volunteer

Find Your Property Deed

So far we have searched land records in a small number of Connecticut's 169 towns, but located over a thousand racial covenants that real estate developers placed on suburban homes and lakefront cottages from the 1930s to the 1950s, as shown in the table below. More work remains to be done. See details in our public Google Sheet and GitHub repository.

Explore the full-screen interactive map and click links or polygons for neighborhoods where most or all properties include unlawful restrictions. Trace back your title chain to confirm.

You also can find your property deed and trace back any restrictions in your Connecticut Town Clerk's office. All land records are publicly available in print, and some towns have digitized land records online, but availability varies widely by time period. Search our list of Connecticut towns with online land records, by earliest year available.

It can be challenging to search back in time to find original land records, by volume and page number. Read more about How We Found Restrictive Covenants to learn how land records are organized. Contact us to ask questions, or email us if you find evidence of restrictive covenants so that we can share it here.

Reject an Unlawful Covenant

Under Connecticut Public Act 2021-173, each Town Clerk must post these forms, both on their website and inside the land records office, to allow property owners to reject (or legally, to "renounce") unlawful covenants, free of charge. Property owners may fill out and submit either form below:

Contact us if you have questions or wish to request free assistance with one of these forms.

Learn about History and Advocacy

Read more about Connecticut's history of racist covenants and other tools of housing segregation, as well as everyday families and civil right advocates who challenged these barriers in the past and present.

On The Line book cover

Restricting with Racial Covenants chapter
How We Found Restrictive Covenants chapter
by Jack Dougherty and contributors in On The Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and its Suburbs, open-access book-in-progress and under contract with Amherst College Press.

Jack Dougherty, June Gold, David Ware, Sabrina Buckwalter, "Two Public Histories of Housing Discrimination in Connecticut," Connecticut League of Museums conference presentation, June 6, 2024, PowerPoint or PDF file.

Austin Mirmina, "When Hamden Woman Found Racist Covenant in Her Property Deed, Rooting Them Out Became a Mission," CT Insider, November 25, 2023, gift link

David K. Ware, The Black and White of Greenway: Racially Restrictive Covenants in Manchester, Connecticut. Paper submitted for University of Connecticut School of Law, January 2020.

Connecticut General Assembly, Public Act 21-173: An Act Concerning the Removal of Restrictions on Ownership or Occupancy of Real Property Based on Race and Elimination of the Race Designation on Marriage Licenses July 12, 2021.

For other US cities and states, see National Covenants Research Coalition.

Contact Us

Email us with questions, or volunteer to find and reject racial covenants:

June Gold, attorney in New Haven region

David K. Ware, attorney in Hartford region

Jack Dougherty, professor at Trinity College, Hartford CT

Download our myCTdeed.com flyer with QR code to share with others

myCTdeed flyer