Rhode Island Genealogy & LDS Family History Centers

Rhode Island is a small but mighty state, with a rich and colorful history that plays an important role in the development of this country. Residents of the state that want to learn more about their ancestors can begin their search at one of the Rhode Island family history centers. These offices serve as offshoots to the largest genealogy library in the world - the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The centers are owned and operated by the Rhode Island LDS church, but the resources are available at no charge to the general public. With a wide array of print and electronic resources, you are bound to find the information you are looking for.

If you have any questions or comments about family history centers, please send a message to [email protected]


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
1000 Narragansett Pkwy
Warwick, Rhode Island 02888
(401) 463-8150
Notes: Best place for Ireland, Canada, English, Italian, Swedish and Azorean research

Rhode Island Genealogy Resources

The Rhode Island (RI) family researcher will fair well, if they are versed on the practices and laws of the state. Many records of interest to the family researcher are held at the local level. However, public vital records, beginning in 1853, are housed at the State Archives. Birth and marriage records, have a 100 year privacy restriction. Therefore, only 1853-1961 birth and marriage records are currently available. Death certificates, which offer the family researcher a wealth of knowledge, carry a 50 year restriction. Researchers may access death records from 1853-1960.

To aid in RI ancestor research state enumerations, 1865 - 1935, held at the State Archives may help fill in the gaps. Colonial censuses, dated from 1774-1782, may also be found at the State Archives. For additional basic Rhode Island research tips visit the Rhode Island Genealogical Society FAQ website.

Microfilmed copies of newspapers from 1732 are held at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library. This repository also holds the largest collection of genealogy manuscripts.

Province Public Library
225 Washington St.
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
(401) 455-8079
Note: The Rhode Island Collection, held at Province Public Library features City of Province and state materials. The Collection includes the Providence Journal from 1829 - present and Evening Bulletin newspaper from 1867-1995 (last publication).

Rhode Island State Archives
337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2353

Rhode Island Historical Society Library John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street
Providence RI 02906
Phone: 401-273-7507

John Hay Library, Special Collections Sidney S. Rider Collection
Brown University
20 Prospect St / Box A
Providence RI 02912
(401) 863-1000

Newport Historical Society 82 Touro Street
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 846-0813

Rhode Island Genealogy Websites

Rhode Island Native American Research - For your Native American ancestral research, visit the Rhode Island (RI) GenWeb Project. The online database offers over 1600 American Indian Place Names beginning with RI colonial history.

Rhode Island African American Research - Newport Historical Society holds an extensive collection for African American researchers. This collection includes Congregational Church and African Benevolent Society Membership books beginning in the 1780's. The God's Little Acre common burial ground records can also be found at the Newport Historical Society. God's Little Acre is the largest marked slave burial ground in America.

Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 (1891) by Arnold, James Newell

Cyndi's List - Rhode Island

Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Database

Family Search Wiki - Rhode Island

Rhode Island Formation Map

The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island: Comprising Three Generations of Settlers Who Came Before 1690, by Austin, John Osborne.

Rhode Island Record Collections

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