Rhode Island, State Census, 1905 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
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Collection Time Period

This census covers the residents of Rhode Island in 1905.

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the census index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page number or family number) to locate your ancestors in the census. Compare the information in the census to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

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. For example:

• 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 employment records or other types of records such as 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.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

• 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.

Record Description

Population schedules are handwritten on pre-printed cards. The cards are arranged alphabetically by family name and then by town. There are different cards for males and females.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in the Rhode Island State Census for the year 1905 are:
• Names of individuals living in the household
• Residence
• Age
• Birth place and birth date
• Birth places of parents
• Sex
• Race
• Naturalization status
• Occupation, employment status, and any months unemployed during census year
• Relation to head of family
• Mother of how many children and number of these children living June 1, 1905
• Native born or foreign born
• Year of immigration
• Native born or foreign born
• Number of years in the United States
• Number of years resident in Rhode Island
• Number of months resident during census year in town in which now living
• Whether a union soldier, sailor or marine
• Whether a widow of a soldier who served during the Civil or Spanish War
• Whether they receive a pension
• Religion (whether Roman Catholic, Protestant or Jew)

Record History

Rhode Island began taking its own census every ten years beginning in 1865. The 1895 state census is missing. This census covers 90 to 95 percent of the individuals within the counties enumerated.

Why This Record Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

The information is generally reliable. However use the information with some caution, since the 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.

Related Web Sites

Rhode Island State Census Transcription Project

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Related Wiki Articles

Rhode Island Census

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of citations:
• United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
• Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

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Style Guide

For guidelines to use in creating wiki articles that describe collections of images and indexes produced by FamilySearch, see:
FamilySearch Wiki:Guidelines for FamilySearch Collections pages

Sources of Information for This Collection

Rhode Island State Census, 1905, database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org); from Rhode Island State Archives, Providence. 445 microfilm reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.