Where to find Rhode Island census records, immigration records, land records, maps, vital records and more.
Rhode Island is a gold mine for genealogical research. Records date back to 1636, with most material located in two major repositories -- the Rhode Island State Archives and the Rhode Island Historical Society.
Town governments maintained town meeting minutes, vital records, land transactions, and probate and tax valuations. Originals are located in town clerk's offices, but researchers also can find vital records on microfilm, transcribed in print, or online. Civil registration occurred in 1853, but discrepancies exist between those kept by the town and those submitted to the state. Prior to total compliance, coverage is spotty in the rural parts of the state, but you can fill the gaps with other types of documents.