Rhode Island Census

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Portal:United States Census >Rhode Island


1790-1930--Federal census records are available for Rhode Island from 1790 to 1930.

1860 United States Census—A free Internet index and images to the 1860 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1860, birthplace, occupation, other family members, whether married or single, and neighbors.

1890 Census--The 1890 census was destroyed.

Historical Background

1790--Rhode Island became the 9th state in the Union in 1790.


1790-1870 Indexes--Statewide indexes are available for the 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses in book form and for 1790 to 1850 on microfiche.

Soundex--A soundex (phonetic) index is available on microfilm for part of the 1880, 1910 and all of the 1900, and 1920 censuses.

Special Censuses

Colonial Censuses

1747 to 1754, 1774, 1782--Colonial censuses (or similar lists of names) exist for 1747 to 1754, 1774, and 1782. These generally name the head of the household and the number of persons in the family. Many of these have been published, such as:

  • John R. Bartlett, comp., Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 1774 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969; Family History Library book 974.5 X2pb, fiche 6046611).

A census of all males 16 or older was taken in 1777. See the following:

  • Mildred M. Chamberlain, The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1985; Family History Library book 974.5 M2cm).

Mortality Schedules

Mortality schedules exist for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Copies of these are at:

Rhode Island State Library
State House, Room 208
Providence, Rhode Island 02903.

Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

State Censuses

1865 to 1936--State censuses were taken at 10-year intervals from 1865 to 1936. (The 1936 census was actually taken during 1935-36.) The 1895 census is missing. Microfilm copies are at the Family History Library for the complete 1865, 1875, 1885, 1915, 1925, and 1936 censuses.

An index to the 1865 census is on Family History Library films 934776-99. The original 1865, 1875, 1885, and 1905 to 1936 state censuses are at the Rhode Island State Archives. The state censuses provide information similar to that in the federal censuses.

Territorial Censuses

Rhode Island does not have a territorial census as it was never a territory.

Web Sites

Ancestry:  http://www.ancestry.com

Heritage Quest Online:  http://www.heritagequestonline.com

Census Online:  http://www.census-online.com/links/RI/

Genealogy Today:  http://dir.genealogytoday.com/usa/ri/census.html

Access Genealogy:  http://www.accessgenealogy.com/census/rhodeisland.htm

Mortality Schedules:  http://mortalityschedules.com/

Rhode Island Census (Census Finder)  http://www.censusfinder.com/rhode_island.htm



Rhode Island Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.