Rhode Island Family History Societies

This section lists the state-wide associations from Black Heritage to Jewish.  It then lists county associations from Boston to Providence to Pettaquamscutt giving details about each one and what resources and publications they offer.

Statewide and Regional Societies

County and other Societies

Rhode Island Black Heritage Society

The association has a number of publications available for sale, which incorporate:

  • Black in a White Church: Biographies of African American Members of the First Baptist Church in America
  • The Life of William J Brown of Providence
  • Sissieretta Jones: The Greatest Singer of Her Race 1868-1933

Rhode Island Genealogical Society

The association has many documents available in Greenville Public Library. These include 1900 and 1920 Federal Census: Catalogues of Microfilm Copies, Abstracts of Probate Records and Bible Records.

These documents also include Cemetery Transcripts, City Directories, DAR Lineage Books, DAR Patriot Index, Genealogical Reference Books, Genealogies, Mayflower Books and Ship Registers.

A number of publications are available for sale, which comprise:

  • Cemetery Transcripts
  • Church Registers
  • Daniel Stedman's Journal 1826-1859
  • Diaries of J. Irving Maxson 1898-1923
  • Diary of Captain Samuel Tillinghast of Warwick 1757-1766
  • Genealogies
  • Newport Colonial Burial Grounds
  • Town Records

Rhode Island Historical Society

The association was established in 1822.  It has a number of resources relating to the history of the State which incorporate:

  • Manuscripts dating from 1635 such as Business Papers, Government Documents and Organisational Records
  • Miscellaneous Collections
  • Personal Papers

A Master List of Finding Aids is available on the site, which lists the Manuscript Collections by subject.

The Graphics Collection includes:

  • Architectural Drawings
  • Broadsides
  • Maps
  • Oral Histories
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Prints

Their Printed Collection dates from 1589 and includes:

  • Corporate and Municipal Publications
  • Imprints and Broadsides
  • Local Histories
  • Newspapers
  • Military Records
  • Social Histories

It is possible to search this collection using NETOP, the Library's on-line catalogue.


Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association

The association has a number of resources which comprise:

  • Newspapers(Jewish Herald, Jewish Voice, The Jewish Voice and Herald)
  • Obituaries
  • Providence City Directories

Some Photographs are also on the site.


County and Other Societies

Boston to Providence Genealogical Society

A number of databases are on the site, which incorporate Family Vital Statistics from various Families in certain Towns and Cities in Massachusetts. 

In addition, they have details of the Whipple Family Vital Statistics in Cumberland and Providence.

They also have information regarding various towns in Massachusetts that they are specifically interested in. 

A list of Libraries and Clerks of Towns in Bristol County, Norfolk County and various other Counties in Massachusetts is also available.

A list of Surnames currently being researched by Members is on the site.


Little Compton Historical Society

A number of resources are available, which comprise:

  • Cemetery Transcripts
  • Church Documents
  • Family Papers
  • Little Compton Census Returns
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • School Registers
  • Topographical Map of the State

Newport Historical Society

They have many archives, which include:

  • African-American History Collection
  • Church Registers
  • Diaries
  • Family Papers
  • Journals
  • Merchants' Papers
  • Ships Log Books
  • Town and City Records

It is possible to access a database of their Archives and Manuscript Collections on the site and on RIAMCO, the Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online.

Their Library Collection includes Biographies, Autobiographies, Diaries and Journals of prominent Personalities of New England.  These include Politicians, Military Heroes, Theologians and Merchants.

In addition, they also have Census Data, American Wills Proved in London and Canterbury, Burke's Peerage, History of the Commoners and Genealogical Gleanings in England. 

A list of surnames in their Genealogical Collections is on the site.


Pettaquamscutt Historical Society

The association has a Research Library where a number of resources are available, which include 

  • Books
  • Ephemera
  • Family Files
  • Genealogies
  • Local Histories
  • Manuscript Holdings
  • Maps
  • Photographs