Rhode Island Fast Facts and Key Resources

By Allison Dolan Premium


Colony founded:1636

First federal census:1790

Available Colonial censuses:1730, 1747, 1774, 1777, 1782

Available state censuses:1865, 1875, 1885, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1936

Statewide birth, death and marriage records begin:1853

State-land state

Contact for vital records:

Rhode Island Department of Health Office of Vital Records 3 Capitol Hill, Room 101 Providence, RI 02908 (401) 222-2811 <>

Web Sites

1824 and 1836-1837 Providence Directories


American Local History Network: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations


Cyndi’s List: Rhode Island


A Guide to Genealogical Research in Rhode Island


Providence Vital Indexes


Rhode Island Cemetery Database


Rhode Island Genealogy Resources


Rhode Island GenWeb Project


Rhode Island History


Books and CDs

Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 1774 edited by John R. Bartlett (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John O. Austin (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

Genealogies of Rhode Island Families: From Rhode Island Periodicals, 2 volumes (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

A Geographic Dictionary of Connecticut and Rhode Island by Henry Gannett (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census by Mildred M. Chamberlain (Genealogical Publishing Co., <> or 800-772-7559)

Rhode Island: Biographical and Genealogical Sketch Index by J. Carlyle Parker (Marietta Publishing Co.)

Rhode Island Freemen, 1747-1755: A Census of Registered Voters edited by Bruce C. MacGunnigle (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

Rhode Island in the Colonial Wars: A List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in King George’s War (1740-174S) and the Old French and Indian War (1755-1762) by Howard M. Chapin (Genealogical Publishing Co.,<> or 800-772-7559)

Rhode Island Land Evidences by Dorothy Worthington (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1930 CD (

Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, Arnold Collection CD (CD venture)

Organizations and Archives

NARA Northeast Region — Boston

Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center, 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02452, (781) 663-0130, <>

New England Historic Genealogical Society

101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, (617) 536-5740, <>

Newport Historical Society

82 Touro St., Newport, RI 02840, (401) 846-0813, <>

Rhode Island Genealogical Society

Box 433, Greenville, RI 02828, <>

Rhode Island Historical Society

121 Hope St., Providence, RI 02906, (401) 273-8107, <>

Rhode Island State Archives

337 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903, (401) 222-2353, <>

Rhode Island Supreme Court Judicial Records Center

5 Hill St., Pawtucket, RI 02860, (401) 721-2640, <>

From the October 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.