Rhode Island, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Rhode Island,Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1630-1945 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Rhode Island, United States|
|Flag of Rhode Island|
|Location of Rhode Island|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
This collection contains vital and town records acquired from local town clerk offices for the years 1630 to 1915. Additional images and indexed records will be published as they become available. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island,Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1630-1945.|
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Some of the images in this collection are only 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.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Rhode Island marriages, click here.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
The information in the records varies but generally includes the following:
- Name of the primary individuals
- Date of the event such as marriage or death
- Place of the event
- Name of other family members such as parents or spouse
- Officiator at the service or event
How Do I Search the Collection?
When you search, it is helpful to know the following:
- Your ancestor's given name
- The surname of your ancestor
- An approximate year of birth, marriage, or death
- Any known family relationships.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors 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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
|Look at an image of the original record, if possible. The index entry generally lists only the most basic identifying information for an individual, so the original record will contain further information which was not indexed. Save or print a copy of the image.|
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Town"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Date Range, and Volume" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images 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. 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.
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 marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age 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.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- 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.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Check 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.
- Search the FamilySearch Catalog to see if other records for this place are available.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Rhode Island, Vital Records items in the FamilySearch Catalog.|
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.
- “Rhode Island, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1630-1915.” Images. FamilySearch. http://familySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Town clerks offices, Rhode Island.
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.