Rhode Island County History and Listings

Rhode Island County History and Listings

Our county-by-county listing of Rhode Island has contact information and dates vital records for historic and modern-day counties.

Bristol
1 Dorrance Plaza, Bristol, RI 02809
(508) 823-6588
http://www.kindredtrails.com/RI_Bristol.html
Incorporated: Feb. 17, 1747
Parent county: created from Bristol, MA
Birth Records: unknown, kept by town and city clerks
Marriage: unknown, town clerks
Death: unknown, town clerks
Probate: unknown, town clerks
Court: unknown, District Court Clerk
Burial: unknown, town clerks
Notes: There is no County Clerk in Bristol County. Each of the four towns in Bristol County keeps its own records. Towns organized before 1800: Barrington, 1717; Bristol, 1681; and Warren, 1746-1747. Block Island was transferred from Newport County to Washington County on May 6, 1963.

Kent
222 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 822-6750
http://www.kindredtrails.com/RI_Kent.html
Incorporated: June 11, 1750
Parent county: Providence
Birth Records: kept by town clerks
Marriage: town clerks
Death: town clerks
Land: town clerks
Probate: town clerks
Burial: town clerks
Notes: There is no county government in Kent County. Each of the five towns in Kent County keeps its own records. Towns organized before 1800: Coventry, 1741; East Greenwich, 1677; Warwick, 1642-1643; and West Greenwich, 1741.

King’s
Incorporated: June 3, 1729
Parent county: Providence Plantations
Notes: See Washington County. Name changed to Washington Oct. 29, 1781.

Newport
Washington Square, Newport, RI 02840
(401) 841-8350
http://www.kindredtrails.com/RI_Newport.html
Incorporated: June 16, 1729
Parent county: Rhode Island
Birth Records: unknown, kept by town and city clerks
Marriage: unknown, town and city clerks
Divorce: Family and Superior Court
Death: unknown, town and city clerks
Land: unknown, start in 1780, town and city clerks
Probate: unknown, 1784, Probate Court
Court: unknown, District Court
Burial: unknown, town and city clerks
Notes: Formerly Rhode Island County. Name changed to Newport June 16, 1729. The eastern boundary was adjusted in 1746-1747 under decree of the King of England. There is no county government in Newport County. Each of the five towns and one city in Newport County keeps its own records. Towns organized before 1800: Jamestown, 1678; Little Compton, 1746-1747; Middletown, 1743; part of Washington County; Portsmouth, 1638; Newport, 1939; and Tiverton, 1746-1747. Newport Historical Society has early church, land, and probate records.

Providence
250 Benefit St., Providence, RI 02903
(401) 277-6710
http://www.kindredtrails.com/RI_Providence.html
Incorporated: June 22, 1703
Parent county: Providence Plantations
Birth Records: unknown, kept by town clerks
Marriage: unknown, town clerks
Divorce: Funknown, amily Court
Death: unknown, town clerks
Land: unknown, Recorder of Deeds
Probate: unknown, Probate Judge
Court: unknown, Municipal Court
Notes: Formerly Providence Plantations County. Name changed to Providence County June 16, 1729. There is no county government in Providence County. Each of the 22 towns in Providence County keeps its own records. Towns organized before 1800: Cranston, 1754; Cumberland, 1746-1747; Foster, 1781; Gloucester, 1730-1731; Johnston, 1759; North Providence, 1765; Providence, 1636; Scituate, 1730-1731; and Smithfield, 1730-1731.

Providence Plantations
Incorporated: June 22, 1703
Parent county: original county
Notes: See Providence County. Name changed to Providence County June 16, 1729.

Rhode Island
Incorporated: June 22, 1703
Parent county: original county
Notes: See Newport County. Name changed to Newport June 16, 1729.

Washington
4800 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879
(401) 841-8350
http://www.kindredtrails.com/RI_Washington.html
Incorporated: Oct. 29, 1781
Parent county: Newport
Birth Records: unknown, kept by town clerks
Marriage: unknown, town clerks
Death: unknown, town clerks
Land: unknown, town clerks
Probate: unknown, town clerks
Notes: Formerly King’s County. Name changed to Washington County Oct. 29, 1781. There is no county government in Washington County. Each of the 20 towns in Washington County keeps its own records. Towns organized before 1800: Charlestown, 1738; Exeter, 1742-1743; Hopkinton, 1757; North Kingstown, 1641; Richmond, 1747; South Kingstown (Pettaquamscutt), 1656-1657; and Westerly, 1669.


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From the Family Tree Sourcebook
Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.

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