Rhode Island Biography

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Rhode Island Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Rhode Island Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".
  • A useful index is J. Carlyle Parker, Rhode Island Biographical and Genealogical Sketch Index. (Turlock, California: Marietta Pub. Co., 1991; FHL book 974.5 D32p
  • An excellent published source of biographies is Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island: Genealogical and Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of Many of the Old Families, Three Volumes. (Chicago, Illinois: J. H. Beers & Co., 1908) FHL films 982090-91 item 2; book 974.5 D3r A digital version is available through the FamilySearch Catalog entry.
  • To locate any biographies which may be available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-names Search for:
  • RHODE ISLAND - BIOGRAPHY
  • RHODE ISLAND, [COUNTY] - BIOGRAPHY
  • RHODE ISLAND, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - BIOGRAPHY


Internet: GeneaSearch