Rhode Island, State Census, 1915 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Rhode Island State Census, 1915 .
The collection consists of an index to population schedule of the census of Rhode Island taken by the state in 1915. The 1915 state census of Rhode Island lists residents of Rhode Island as of April 15, 1915. Residents are listed by household and relationship to head of household is given. Children born after April 15, 1915 were not included. The census is arranged by county and then enumeration district. Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers.
Enumeration Districts 108 through 113 (Cranston, Ward 2) are missing.
Rhode Island began taking its own census every ten years beginning in 1865. Includes most individuals within the counties enumerated.
The state census was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes. 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. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified. Population schedules were handwritten on printed forms by the enumerators. They are arranged by county and community.
For a list of records by counties currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Information found in the Rhode Island State Census for the year 1915 includes:
- City/town, county and congressional district of enumeration
- Full name of individuals living in household on 15 Apr 1915
- Relationship to head of household
- Gender, race and age of each person
- Date and place of birth of each person
- Parents' birthplace
- Naturalized citizen or alien
- Self-employed of working for another on 1 Apr 1915
How to Use the Record
To search the collection by name 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.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward"
⇒Select the appropriate "Enumeration District" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person 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 on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
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. For example:
- 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.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as 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.
- The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Island, State Census, 1915
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Rhode Island State Census, 1915." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Census Board. State Archives, Providence.