Rhode Island, State Births Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Rhode Island, United States
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Flag of Rhode Island
US Locator Rhode Island.png
Location of Rhode Island
Record Description
Record Type Births
Collection years 1819, 1852-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of an index to state birth records at the State Department of Health for the years 1819 to 1900.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index generally includes:

  • Name of informant
  • When registered
  • Date of birth
  • Child’s full name
  • Child's gender and race
  • Place of birth
  • Names of parents (including mother's maiden name)
  • Parents' place of residence
  • Father's occupation
  • Father's place of birth
  • Mother's place of birth

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The date of birth
  • The place of birth
  • The name of the child's parents

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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. 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.
  • 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 wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, 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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' 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 children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • This is only an index. Full birth records may contain additional information
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as later records.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • 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 that may be your ancestor.


Citing 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 Births Index, 1819, 1852-1900.” Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Rhode Island State Department of Health, Providence.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.