Rhode Island, State Census, 1915 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Access the records: Rhode Island State Census, 1915 .



Record Description

The collection consists of an index to population schedule of the census of Rhode Island taken by the state in 1915. The 1915 state census of Rhode Island lists residents of Rhode Island as of April 15, 1915. Residents are listed by household and relationship to head of household is given. Children born after April 15, 1915 were not included. The census is arranged by county and then enumeration district. Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers.

Enumeration Districts 108 through 113 (Cranston, Ward 2) are missing.

Rhode Island began taking its own census every ten years beginning in 1865. Includes most individuals within the counties enumerated.

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. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified. Population schedules were handwritten on printed forms by the enumerators. They are arranged by county and community.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island State Census, 1915.

Record Content

Information found in the Rhode Island State Census for the year 1915 includes:

  • City/town, county and congressional district of enumeration
  • Full name of individuals living in household on 15 Apr 1915
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Gender, race and age of each person
  • Date and place of birth of each person
  • Parents' birthplace
  • Naturalized citizen or alien
  • Occupation
  • Self-employed of working for another on 1 Apr 1915

How to Use the Record

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward"
⇒Select the appropriate "Enumeration District" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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.
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the 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

  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
  • 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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Be sure to search both the male section (listed first) and the female section.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

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

Related Webs Sites

USGenWeb Rhode Island Census Project

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Rhode Island State Census, 1915." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Census Board. State Archives, Providence.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Rhode Island State Census, 1915.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island State Census, 1915.


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  • This page was last modified on 12 August 2015, at 13:59.
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