Bristol County, Rhode Island Genealogy

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Guide to Bristol County, Rhode Island ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Bristol
Organized: Feburary 17, 1747
Parent County(s): Bristol (MA)
Neighboring Counties
Bristol (MA)  • Providence  •
See County Maps
Rhode Island, Bristol County Courthouse.png
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Bristol County is located in the east-central area of the state.[1]. The county was named for its "shire town" (county seat) - Bristol, England.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Bristol County Courthouse
10 Court Street
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: 401-253-7000
Bristol Courthouse

Records are kept on the town level and not the county level.
City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and probate records.
Clerk District Court has court records. Four towns in Bristol County.

Bristol County, Rhode Island Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
at town creation at town creation at town creation 1747 1747 1747 1747
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1853. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Rhode IslandMassachusettsBristol CountyBristol CountyProvidence CountyKent CountyWashington CountyNewport CountyBristolWarrenBarringtonEast ProvidenceProvidenceCranstonWarwickEast GreenwichNorth KingstownNarragansettJamestownNewportMiddletownPortsmouthLittle ComptonTivertonSeeknokRehobothDightonSwanseaSomersetBerkleyFreetownFall RiverWestport
Modern towns and cities in Bristol County, Rhode Island. Click map to go to each respective town page.

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]


Towns Organized before 1800:

  • Barrington 1717
  • Bristol 1681
  • Warren 1746-7

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Bristol County, Rhode Island online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Rhode Island Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing census records online, see: Rhode Island Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 3,211
1800 3,801 18.4%
1810 5,072 33.4%
1820 5,637 11.1%
1830 5,446 −3.4%
1840 6,476 18.9%
1850 8,514 31.5%
1860 8,907 4.6%
1870 9,421 5.8%
1880 11,394 20.9%
1890 11,428 0.3%
1900 13,144 15.0%
1910 17,602 33.9%
1920 23,113 31.3%
1930 25,089 8.5%
1940 25,548 1.8%
1950 29,079 13.8%
1960 37,146 27.7%
1970 45,937 23.7%
1980 46,942 2.2%
1990 48,859 4.1%
2000 50,648 3.7%
2010 49,875 −1.5%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

ProvidenceKentWashingtonNewportBristol, MasssachusettsRI BRISTOL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

World War I

World War II

Korean Conflict


Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Asylums[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Bristol County. For state-wide facilities, see Rhode Island Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Bristol County. For state-wide library facilities, see Rhode Island Archives and Libraries.

  • Rhode Island State Library
    State House, 2nd floor
    82 Smith Street, Room 208
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone: 401-222-2473
  • East Greenwich Free Library
    82 Pierce Street
    East Greenwich, RI 02818
    Phone: 401-884-9510
  • Greenville Public Library
    573 Putnam Pike
    Greenville, RI 02828
    Phone: 401-949-3630
  • Lincoln Public Library
    145 Old River Road
    Lincoln, RI 02865
    Phone: 401-333-2422
  • Louttit Memorial Library
    274 Victory Highway
    West Greenwich, RI 02817
    Phone: 401-397-3434
  • Robert H Champlin Library
    1043 Main Street
    West Warwick, RI 02893
    Phone: 401-828-3750
  • Warwick Public Library
    600 Sandy Lane
    Warwick, RI 02889
    Phone: 401-739-5440

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Bristol County. For state-wide genealogical and historical societies, see Rhode Island Societies.

  • Rhode Island Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 211
    Hope, RI 02831
  • Rhode Island Historical Society
    110 Benevolent St
    Providence, RI 02906
    Phone: 401-331-8575
  • Bristol Historical and Preservation Society Library & Museum
    48 Court Street
    Bristol, RI 02809
    Phone: 401-253-7223
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Library
    121 Hope Street
    Providence, RI 02906
    Phone: 401-273-8107 Ext. 410

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Bristol, Rhode Island" in,_Rhode_Island accessed 3 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bristol County, Rhode Island . Page 602 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 589-591.
  3. WorldCat 50140092FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002).At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Wikipedia contributors, "Bristol, Rhode Island" in,_Rhode_Island Last accessed 16 September 2020.