Data Collections


Data Collections
Sorted by Rhode Island Census & Voter Lists
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Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1865-19352,643,678
Rhode Island, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1740-189025,815
Rhode Island Census, 17749,289
The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census184
Smocks in the censuses, 1790-184032
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Sorted by Rhode Island Birth, Marriage & Death
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U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-19473,655,098
Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899Free501,177
Web: Rhode Island, Historical Cemetery Commission Index, 1647-2008Free436,160
New England, Select United Methodist Church Records, 1787-1922374,894
The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847-2011300,569
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Sorted by Rhode Island Military
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U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947Updated54,293,029
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942Updated15,293,445
Rhode Island, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1740-189025,815
Rhode Island Colonial War Servicemen, 1740-623,842
Muster and Pay Rolls of the War of the Revolution. 1775-1783718
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Sorted by Rhode Island Immigration & Emigration
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U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)Free5,823,338
Rhode Island, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1802-1945476,950
Rhode Island, Indexes to Naturalization Records, 1890-1992120,719
New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-163562,840
Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775Free50,955
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Data Collections
Sorted by Rhode Island Newspapers & Periodicals
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Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1784-184031,687
Newport Journal And Weekly News (Newport, Rhode Island)956
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Sorted by Rhode Island Pictures
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There are no Pictures collections unique to Rhode Island
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Sorted by Rhode Island Directories & Member Lists
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New England, Select United Methodist Church Records, 1787-1922374,894
Rhode Island City Directories176,240
Web: US, New England Seamen's Protection Certificate Index, 1796-1871Free29,384
The Catholic Church in Rhode Island487
An account of the churches in Rhode Island133
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Sorted by Rhode Island Court, Land, Wills & Financial
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Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932106,668
Mayflower Deeds and Probates, 1600-1850Free18,601
Rhode Island court records : records of the Court of Trials of the Colony of Providence Plantations, 1647-1662.198
Report on the archives of Rhode Island103
Several purchases of the lands west of Wickford8
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Sorted by Rhode Island Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Reference
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A biographical dictionary520
A gazetteer of the states of Connecticut and Rhode-Island395
Bibliography of Rhode Island289
New index to the civil and military lists of Rhode Island181
Inventory of the town and city archives of Rhode Island, no. 4. Providence County167
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Sorted by Rhode Island Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
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A gazetteer of the states of Connecticut and Rhode-Island395
Official gazetteer of Rhode Island98
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Sorted by Rhode Island Stories, Memories & Histories
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The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847-2011300,569
Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775Free119,305
New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-163562,840
The history of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations3,094
Thomas Sanford, the emigrant to New England : ancestry, life, and descendants1,700
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A Genealogical History

Rhode Island in brief

Statehood: May 29, 1790
Capital: Providence
Largest City: Providence
Counties: 5 (No county-level government; local government is on the town/city level.)
State motto: Hope
State nickname: The Ocean State, Little Rhody
Neighboring states: Massachusetts, Connecticut


Slater Mill, first cotton mill in U.S., Pawtucket, R.I., c. 1927

Interesting Facts

  • Providence Plantations was founded on land purchased from the Narragansett Indians in 1636 by Roger Williams. The theologian had left Massachusetts Bay Colony after speaking out against the Puritans. Other communities were established in the area by communities seeking religious freedom and in 1663 a charter was granted by King Charles II.
  • Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original colonies to renounce allegiance to Britain and lashed out by attacking British vessels. It was also the last to ratify the U.S. Constitution, holding out for guarantees of individual liberties that were included in the Bill of Rights.
  • Many credit Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as a driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. One of the more negative aspects with the mill was that its first employees were children between the ages of seven to twelve years of age. At the time, many children were used to working long hours on the family farm so transitioning that labor force to factories was seen as simply another way for them to contribute to the family welfare.
     

 

Featured Rhode Island Data Collections

Rhode Island and Pawtucket, Massachusetts Birth Index, 1800-185575,137
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 194215,293,445
U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-194754,293,029
U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-19473,655,098
U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 170095,807

Famous People

Help and Advice

Resources

Rhode Island Census Research

Federal censuses in Rhode Island began in 1790.


 

Rhode Island is the only New England state with extensive state census records taken every ten years between 1865–1935 (1895 is missing). Similar to the federal census, the 1865 state census is microfilmed and every-name indexed at the Rhode Island Historical Society. The 1875, 1885, 1905, 1915, 1925, and 1935 census records are at Rhode Island State Archives.

Before statehood, Rhode Island took several censuses for a variety of purposes. The earliest available of these censuses is1730, for which only the Portsmouth and part of South Kingston returns have been located. For more information, see Mildred Mosher Chamberlain's article in Rhode Island Roots 7 (1981): 16–17 and 10 (1984):1.


 

The 1774 census has survived for nearly all towns. Only New Shoreham (Block Island) is missing. Original returns are at the Rhode Island State Archives and are published in John R. Bartlett's Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (1858; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969).


 

The last census before the federal censuses begin is indexed in Jay Mack Holbrook Rhode Island 1782 Census (Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1979). Returns for some of the towns were lost. This is a reconstructed census using original manuscripts and tax lists to replace those lost records. Returns for North Providence and Smithfield are not available.


 

Census returns for Rhode Island are supplemented by the freemen's lists between 1747–55. The originals and a card index are at the Rhode Island State Archives, and have been published in Bruce C. MacGunnigle, Rhode Island Freemen, 1747–1755 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977).


Rhode Island Vital Records

Statewide reporting did not begin in Rhode Island until 1853. From that time, copies of vital events recorded in towns were sent to what is now the Rhode Island Division of Vital Statistics. Many records prior to 1894 are now in the state archive. Most originals are held in the clerk’s office of the town where the event was recorded.

Earlier vital records have been gathered and abstracted in James N. Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, 21 vols. (Providence, R.I.: Narragansett Historical Publishing Co., 1891–1912.)

 

 

Rhode Island Research Resources

The organizations listed below provide information about Rhode Island history and genealogy. In addition to these state-level resources, many counties and towns maintain important genealogical collections in local libraries, genealogical societies, or historical societies, so check for a local resource when researching.