Rhode Island Genealogy Resources

Little Rhody might be our country’s smallest state, but it is mighty in genealogy records.

Fun fact: Did you know that the smallest state has the longest official name? Yep, it the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.

I learned that during the years I lived in Rhode Island, as a college student and during the first few years of my teaching career.

What genealogical resources are available for Rhode Island? Quite a few, actually, and since there are only five counties in the state (and only 30 towns!), I will include those resources in my list, too.

These links should more than help you get started:

FamilySearch Wiki – Rhode Island

One Rhode Island Family – Diane Boumenot’s blog has a terrific list of links to free Rhode Island resources. Also check out her 8 Weeks to Better R.I. Genealogy Series. Tabs to each are found at the top of the blog home page.

Online Rhode Island Death Records & Indexes

Rhode Island State Archives

Rhode Island State Library

Rhode Island Genealogical Society– Links to their library search engine and other Rhode Island resources are found by clicking the Research icon on the left side of the home page.

Rhode Island Research at the New England Historic Genealogical Society – You might not be able to visit in person, nor have a membership to AmericanAncestors, which is the NEHGS website, but the list of their holdings gives a great idea of what is available to search.

Rhode Island Genealogy at GenealogyLinks

Rhode Island Historical Society– There also seem to be a number of local historical societies, but they apparently don’t have websites.

Providence Public Library – houses The Rhode Island Collection

RHODI – Rhode Island History Online Directory Initiative

Rhode Island Genealogy – Access Genealogy

Rhode Island History & Genealogy – Olive Tree Genealogy

RIGenWeb– Volunteer group that has links to all five Rhode Island counties. Amount of information depends on volunteer submissions and resources available in each area. Free and well worth a visit.

Rhode Island Genealogy Records Online – New Horizons Genealogy

Rhode Island Labor History Society

Rhode Island Black Heritage Society

Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association

University of Rhode Island – Digital Collections

Brown University Library Digital Repository

Rhode Island College – Digital Commons








Blackstone Valley Historical Society

Bristol Historical Association

Burrillville Historical & Preservation Society

Charlestown Historical Society

Cranston Historical Society

East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society

East Providence Historical Society

Elizabeth J. Johnson Pawtucket History Research Center

Exeter Historical Association

Foster Preservation Society

Glocester Heritage Society

Jamestown Historical Society

Johnston Historical Society

Little Compton Historical Society

Massasoit Historical Association of Warren

Newport Historical Society

Pawtuxet Valley Historical Preservation Society

Portsmouth Historical Society

Richmond Historical Society

South County History Center

Westerly Historical Society

Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society



2 thoughts on “Rhode Island Genealogy Resources”

  1. Greetings from Rhode Island, Linda! Your list of Little Rhody resources is good, but please add the Portsmouth Historical Society to the list. Website: http://portsmouthhistorical.org/ Roger Williams, of course, was the first settler in Providence and in 1638 assisted some Antinomian “heretics” from Boston, including Anne Hutchinson, purchaseAquidneck Island from the Narragansett/Wampanoag people and settlePortsmouth. The PHS is open limited hours and therefore shares almost all its documents with the Portsmouth History Center at the Portsmouth Library. Nowadays the orginal copy of the Portsmouth Compact is brought from state archives to be displayed at the Town Hall for three hours one day a year.

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