Rhode Island Census
Existing and lost censuses
For a list of available and missing Rhode Island censuses, click here.
1790-1930--Federal census records are available for Rhode Island from 1790 to 1930.
1850 United States Census—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 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 1850, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.
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.
1870 United States Census---A free internet index and images can be viewed on FamilySearch Record Pilot site. This index includes the full name, age, sex, race, birthplace, occupation, month if born in census year, month if married in census year, birth place of father and mother, if born in a foreign country.
1880 United States Census– A Free Internet Index and Images to the US Census can be viewed on the Family Search Record Pilot – Pilot Site. This index includes an every name index to population schedules listing inhabitants. It includes the full name, race, sex, age, birth month (if born during the previous year), relationship to head of household, whether married, single or divorced, whether married during the previous year, country or state of birth of each person and his parent’s, occupation and street address and house number.
1890 Census--The 1890 census was destroyed.
1900 Federal Census - A free Internet index and images to the 1900 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. Important additions to this census are month and year of birth of each household member, number of years married for each married person, number of children born to each mother and the number of those still living, year of immigration, and number of years in the United States.
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.
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 exist for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Copies of these are at:
Rhode Island State Library
State House, Room 208
Providence, Rhode Island 02903.
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.
Rhode Island does not have a territorial census as it was never a territory.
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.
Sources and Notes