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Discover Your Family Story

Records at the State Archives have been used by generations of Rhode Islanders to trace family history, study immigration, and research demographics.


Things to know for Family Research

1

Whose story will you research?

  • Come prepared with your ancestor’s full name and date of birth or death.
  • Additional information such as names of parents, siblings, spouse, or city of birth are also helpful.
2

Is the record you need old enough to be at the State Archives?

  • Death records must be at least 50 years old.
  • Marriage and Birth records must be at least 100 years old.
What is Available
  • VITAL RECORDS
  • Explore records of births, marriages, and deaths in Rhode Island dating to the 1600s.
    Note: To request records of births and marriages under 100 years, and deaths under 50 years, please visit the Department of Health, Office of Vital Records or call 401-222-2811.

  • CENSUS RECORDS
  • Learn where your ancestors lived, trace new family members, and research family connections.

  • CITY AND TOWN DIRECTORIES
  • Dive deeper into the life and businesses of Rhode Island and make new connections to your own family history with directories dating back to 1824.

  • MILITARY RECORDS
  • Discover military service on your family tree with State Archives records dating to the mid-1700s.

3

Request your record

NOTE: Found an error on a record? Contact the State Archives for more information on how to address errors and use these records.

“Thank you for your efforts with these death records. I appreciate it very much, and the amazingly fast turn around!”

– Amy Kalkbrenner

Visitor Policies

  • Researchers must sign-in upon arrival.
  • Materials cannot be checked out. 
  • Staff will retrieve materials for you if they are not accessible in the Reading Room Area.
  • All bags will be checked upon sign-in.
  • Photography is permitted with no flash.
  • Pen, marker, or otherwise permanent ink are prohibited.
  • Food and drink are prohibited.