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In [[New England]], the town clerk is the local record keeper. The earliest records are called proprietors' records. Town records generally begin with the founding of a town and are kept to the present.
Town records may contain records of births, marriages, burials, [[Rhode Island Cemeteries|cemeteries]], appointments, earmarks, estrays (records of stray animals), freemen's oaths (men becoming eligible to vote), [[Rhode Island Land and Property|land records]], mortgages, name changes, care of the poor, school records, surveys, [[Rhode Island Taxation|tax lists]], town meeting minutes, voter registrations, and "warnings out" (of town).
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