Rhode Island, Town Marriages Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

United States Gotoarrow.png Rhode Island

Access the Records
Rhode Island Town Marriages Index, 1639-1916 .
CID2301760
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
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 Marriages
Collection years 1639-1916
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites




What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1639 to 1916. It consists of an index only to various town and vital marriages from all the counties: Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington. The collection includes some church records.

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Rhode Island marriages, click here.

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually contain:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Marriage date
  • Residence
  • Name of officiator

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of marriage.
  • The place of marriage.
  • The name of the intended spouse.

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 in the marriage index, 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.
  • The officiator's name may be a clue to their religion.
  • 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.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as more recent records.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another 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.
  • 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.
  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog to see if other records for this place are available.

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 Town Marriages Index, 1639-1916.” 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 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 Town Marriages Index, 1639-1916.



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.