Rhode Island, State Census, 1935 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Contents

Record Description

Census data was recorded on punch cards, which remain in good condition.

Rhode Island began taking its own state census every ten years in 1865 and continued through 1935; however, the 1895 census is missing. The 1935 census was recorded by enumerators directly onto punch cards which were then arranged alphabetically by county, then by township (not by town), and then by surname and given name. The collection includes most individuals within the enumerated counties. 

The census was taken January through March 1936, but was a list of the State’s inhabitants as of 1935. 

The state census was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes.

Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor.

Record Content

Information found in the Rhode Island census includes:

  • Date and place of enumeration including city, township and county
  • Principal's name and address
  • Principal's gender, race and marital status
  • Date of and place of birth
  • Naturalization status
  • Usual and present occupation
  • Employed or seeking employment
  • Whether or not principal is literate
  • If at school, name of school and grade
  • Physical disabilities
  • Has principal ever had measles, scarlet fever, or diphthera

How to Use This Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • Other identifying information such as their birthplace or the names of other family members.

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.


  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
  • Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household, so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Island, State Census 1935

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Citation of This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Rhode Island, State Census 1935." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of Labor. State Archives, Providence.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 6 June 2014, at 17:00.
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