Rhode Island, Town 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
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Location of Rhode Island
Record Description
Record Type Births
Collection years 1639-1932
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1639 to 1932. It consists of an index to various town and vital births from all the counties: Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index may contain any of the following

  • Name of the primary person
  • Gender
  • Relationships
  • Parents' names
  • Spouse's name
  • Event date

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of birth
  • The place of birth
  • The names 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 record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the dates and names to find the family in census records.
  • Use the dates and names to find the family in church records.
  • Use the dates and names to find the family in land records.
  • Use the dates and names to find the family in additional town and county records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.


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.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. 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.

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 Town Births Index, 1639-1932.” Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Town halls, state-wide, and Rhode Island Historical Society, 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.