Rhode Island Church Records
Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Rhode Island were the Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, Protestant Episcopal, and Roman Catholic. Many of the early settlers were members of the Society of Friends.
Some records of the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, and Society of Friends churches are published in volumes 7 to 11 of James Arnold, The Vital Records of Rhode Island (see Rhode Island Vital Records). A list of churches and the types of records available in 1941 is Guide to the Church Vital Statistics in the State of Rhode Island (Providence: Historical Records Survey, 1941; Family History Library book 974.5 V2h; film 982351 item 2; fiche 6046673).
The Family History Library has an extensive collection of church records for many denominations in Rhode Island. Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:
American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Society
1106 S. Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14620-2532
An inventory of their holdings is in American Baptist Historical Society, The Records of American Baptists in Rhode Island and Related Organizations (Rochester, New York: American Baptist Historical Society, 1981; Family History Library book 974.5 Al No. 12; fiche 6093151). Another useful guide is Inventory of Church Archives in Rhode Island: Baptist Bodies (Providence: Historical Records Survey, 1939; Family History Library book 974.5 K23n; film 982350 item 2).
The Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108-3704
Diocese of Connecticut
135 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-2295
Sacred Journey Church of Providence, Rhode Island
745 Westminster St.
Boston University Theological School Library
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United Methodist Archives Center
Drew University Library
P.O. Box 127
Madison, NJ 07940
Diocese of Providence
The Chancery Office
34 Fenner Street
Providence, RI 02903-3695
A helpful history of the Roman Catholic Church is Thomas F. Cullen, The Catholic Church in Rhode Island(North Providence, Rhode Island: Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, 1936; Family History Library book 974.5 K2c; film 1598368 item 12).
Society of Friends
Archives of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends
- Rhode Island Historical Society
121 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906