Source Information

Ancestry.com. Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Arnold, James Newell. Rhode Island Vital Extracts, 1636–1850. 21 volumes. Providence, R.I.: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1891–1912. Digitized images from New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

About Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899

Published over a span of two decades, this collection includes 21 volumes of details extracted from vital records for the state of Rhode Island by James N. Arnold. Details were taken from birth, marriage, death, baptism, church, and military records. Military records include both Revolutionary War service records and pension records.

The first six volumes include birth, marriage, and death records from all five Rhode Island counties. Births and deaths are grouped by surname and family and list the name of the individual, the date of the event (deaths are preceded with a d.), and parents’ names. Marriage records contain similar information as well as the name of the officiant.

Volumes seven through eleven are extracts from church records and include births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and other church-related records. Often these church records will include dropped, dismissal, and exclusion dates. A dismissal typically meant the church member moved to a new congregation, often with a letter of recommendation from that congregation. Dropped usually indicates the same thing, but probably without the letter. Church members could also be excluded.

The final ten volumes include extracts from newspapers and a variety of military compilations, including the Pension Roll of 1835, which was a report mandated by the U.S. Senate that included the names of pensioners, "designating their rank, annual allowance, the sums which they have severally received, the laws under which their pensions have been granted, and the State or continental line in which they served, the date when placed upon the roll, their ages, and the States and Counties in which they severally reside." Newspaper extracts were listed by newspaper, then surname.