Rhode Island, State Census, 1915 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Rhode Island


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Rhode Island State Census, 1915 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Rhode Island, United States
Rhode Island flag.png
Flag of Rhode Island
US Locator Rhode Island.png
Location of Rhode Island
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1915
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images and an index to population schedules of the census of Rhode Island taken by the state in 1915. The 1915 state census of Rhode Island lists residents as of April 15, 1915. Residents are listed by household and relationship to head of household is given. Children born after April 15, 1915 were not included. The census is arranged by county and then enumeration district. Enumeration Districts 108 through 113 (Cranston, Ward 2) are missing.

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population of the state to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress. Rhode Island began taking its own census every ten years on the half-decade year between 1865 and 1935. The 1895 state census is missing.

Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified. Population schedules were handwritten on printed forms by the enumerators.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Rhode Island State Census, 1915.

Collection Content

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information found in the Rhode Island State Census for the year 1915 includes:

  • City/town, county and congressional district of enumeration
  • Full name of individuals living in household on 15 April 1915
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Gender, race and age of each person
  • Date and place of birth of each person
  • Parents' birthplace
  • Naturalized citizen or alien
  • Occupation and employment information

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The age of your ancestor.
  • The town where your ancestor lived.

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches


View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Township/City/Town/Village/Ward
  3. Select the appropriate Enumeration District which takes you to the images.



How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log. For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity, such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.
  • If they are subject to military service, they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
  • Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • Be sure to search both the male section (listed first) and the female section.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)


Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Rhode Island State Census, 1915." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Census Board. State Archives, Providence.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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