Rhode Island Colonial Records
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|Rhode Island Background|
|Local Research Resources|
Online Records[edit | edit source]
Many records from the colonial era in New England were kept at the town or county level. Search the catalog at the town or county level to locate those records.
- 1582-1932 - Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records - index and images at Ancestry.com ($)
- 1638-1644 - Records of Rhode Island - images only
- 1638-1670 - Rhode Island (Colony) records - images only
- 1723-1790 - Maritime papers of Rhode Island - partially digitized
- 1730-1765 - Military papers of Rhode Island (colonial period), 1730-1765 - images only +++
- 1731-1792 - Military papers of Rhode Island (colonial and Revolutionary War periods), 1731-1792 - images only +++
- 1741-1746 - Rhode Island and Massachusetts boundary commission, 1741-1746, 1846-1848 : Rhode Island and Massachusetts boundary commission - images only +++
History[edit | edit source]
Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams and other European settlers who were banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Williams negotiated with the Native Americans living there for land and named the place Providence Plantations. In 1644 the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was created and consisted of Providence, Portsouth, and Newport. Warwick joined in 1647. Rhode Island became part of the Dominion of New England in 1686, but regained its independence in 1688.
|Earliest Church Records||Earliest Land Records||Earliest Court Records||Earliest Newspapers|
Resources[edit | edit source]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
- The Records of American Baptists in Rhode Island and Related Organizations by American Baptist Historical Society. (Rochester, NY: American Baptist Historical Society, 1982).
Court Records[edit | edit source]
- Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and providence Plantations in New England 1636-1792, Printed by Order of the Legislature by John R. Bartlett. (Providence: A.C. Green, 1856-1865).
- Rhode Island Court Records: Records of The Court of Trials of The Colony of Providence Plantations, 1647-1670. 2 Vols. (Providence: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1920-1922).
- Records of the Vice-Admiralty Court of Rhode Island: 1716-1752. (1936. Reprint. Millwood, NY: Kraus Reprint, 1975).
Early Families and Histories[edit | edit source]
- Colonial Rhode Island: A History by Sydney V. James. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975).
- Concerning the French Settlements and French Settlers in the Colony of Rhode Island by Elisha R. Potter. (1879. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968).
- Dutch Settlers Society Collections. 7 Vols. (Albany: The Society, 1927-1945).
- Genealogies of Rhode Island Families: From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. 2 Vols. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989).
- Genealogies of Rhode Island Families: From Rhode Island Periodicals. 2 Vols. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co,. 1983).
- The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island: Comprising Three Generations of Settlers Who Came Before 1690 by John Osborne Austin. (1887. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969).
- History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: 1636-1790 by Samuel Greene Arnold. 2 Vols. (1859. Reprint. Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Co., 1970).
- Rhode Island Biographical and Genealogical Sketch Index by J. Carlyle Parker. (Turlock, CA: Marietta Publishing Co., 1991).
- Rhode Island Sources for Family Historians and Genealogists by Kip Sperry. (Logan, UT: Everton Publishers, 1986).
- Settlers of Aquidneck , and Liberty of Conscience by Henry E. Turner. (Newport: Newport Historical Publishing Co., 1880).
Other[edit | edit source]
- A list of Rhode Island soldiers and sailors in King George's war : 1740-1748 by Howard M. Chapin. (Providence, Rhode Island : Rhode Island Historical Society, 1920).
- Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1774 by John R. Bartlett. (1858. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969).
- Commerce of Rhode Island: 1726-1800. 2 Vols. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1914-1915).
- The correspondence of the colonial governors of Rhode Island, 1723-1775 published by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; edited by Gertrude Selwyn Kimball. 2 Vols. (Boston: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1902-1903).
- The First 100 Years of the Church of England in Rhode Island by Edgar L. Pennington. (Hartford: Church Missions Publishing, 1935)
- Peirce's colonial lists : civil, military and professional lists of Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies, comprising colonial, county and town officers, clergymen, physicians and lawyers ; with extracts from colonial laws defining their duties. 1621-1700 by Ebenezer W. Peirce. (Boston, MA: A. Williams & Co.; David Clapp & Son, 1881).
- Rhode Island in the colonial wars; a list of Rhode Island soldiers & sailors in the old French & Indian War, 1755-1762 Howard M. Chapin. (Providence, Rhode Island : Rhode Island Historical Society, 1918).
- Runaways, Deserters, and Notorious Villains from Rhode Island Newspapers by Maureen Alice Taylor. Vol. 1. The Providence Gazette, 1762 1800 (Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1995).
- Supplement to the Rhode Island colonial records comprising a list of the freemen admitted from May 1747 to May 1754 by Sidney S. Rider. (Providence, R.I. : Sidney S. Rider, 1875).
References[edit | edit source]
- Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 313. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998
- Wikipedia contributors, "Rhode Island," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhode_Island, accessed 7 January 2020.
- Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 183, 192. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998