Rhode Island, State Census, 1935 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Rhode Island State Census, 1935 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Rhode Island, United States
Rhode Island flag.png
Flag of Rhode Island
US Locator Rhode Island.png
Location of Rhode Island
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1935
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images and an index to population schedules of the census of Rhode Island taken by the state in 1935. Rhode Island began taking its own state census every ten years in 1865 and continued through 1935; however, the 1895 census is missing.

Officially known as the 1935 state census, these schedules are on computer cards dated January 1936. This census is an every-name list of the state's inhabitants as of 1935. The collection includes most individuals within the enumerated counties. The census records do not show individuals in family groups.

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

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population of the state to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress.

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.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island, State Census 1935.

Collection Content

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The cards may include the following information:

  • 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 diptheria

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • Other identifying information such as their residence and age
  • Other identifying information such as their birthplace or the names of other family members

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the appropriate "Film number" 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.

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

What Do I Do Next?

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. Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • If they are subject to military service, they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or 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.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • 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.
  • Be sure to search both the male section (listed first) and the female section.
  • 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)

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 Census 1935." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Department of Labor. 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 1935.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island, State Census 1935.


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.