Rhode Island, Vital records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Rhode Island, Vital records, 1893-1898, 1900-1953 .
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This article describes a collection of records 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 Vital
Collection years 1893, 1900-1898, 1953
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of the following:

  • Certificates and registers of births (1846-1898, 1901-1903)
  • Marriages (1901-1903)
  • Deaths (1901-1953)

Records of births, marriages, and deaths have been kept by town clerks since the 1630s. In 1700, the laws concerning vital records registration were made more specific, and the records after that time are more complete.

The collection was acquired from the State Archives in Providence.

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?

Birth records may include the following information:

  • Child’s name
  • Child’s gender
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Registration date
  • Race
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' residence
  • Father's occupation
  • Parents' birth places

Marriage records may include the following information:

  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Residence of bride and groom
  • Age of bride and groom
  • Groom’s occupation
  • Birth place of bride and groom
  • Parents of bride and groom
  • What number of marriage for bride and groom
  • Officiator

Death records may include the following information:

  • Name of deceased
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Age in days, months, and years
  • Marital status
  • Cause of death
  • Occupation
  • Birth place
  • Name of parents
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date
  • Military service
  • Surviving spouse
  • Race
  • Education
  • Residence
  • Parents' names
  • Informants' names
  • Informants' residence
  • Place of burial or removal
  • Undertaker’s name and address

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it will be helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date the event occurred
  • The place the event occurred
  • The names of family members and their 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.

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.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military 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.
  • Use a marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • 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 as the bride or groom; 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.

Keep in mind:

  • 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 a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

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, Vital records, 1893-1898, 1900-1953." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Rhode Island State Archives, Providence, Rhode Island. FHL microfilm, 241 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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, Vital records, 1893-1898, 1900-1953.


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, Vital records, 1893-1898, 1900-1953.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.