Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island Genealogy

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Warren, Rhode Island
Map of Bristol County highlighting Warren
Location in Bristol County
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Bristol County
Bristol County's location in the state of Rhode Island
Founded 1668
Seat Warren
Address Warren Town Hall
514 Main Street
Warren, RI 02885
Website: townofwarren-ri.gov/

United States Gotoarrow-kelly.png Rhode Island Gotoarrow-kelly.png Bristol County, Rhode Island Gotoarrow-kelly.png Warren

Quick Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Warren, Rhode Island

Warren was the site of the Indian village of Sowams on the peninsula called Pokanoket (the near parts now called Mount Hope Neck), and was first explored by Europeans in 1621, by Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins. By the next year, Plymouth Colony had established a trading post at Sowams. In 1623, Winslow and John Hampden saved the life of Wampanoag Sachem Massasoit with medicine, gaining an important native ally.

In 1636, Roger Williams, banished from Salem, fled to Sowams where he was sheltered by Massasoit until he settled at Providence.

Permanent English settlement east of the Indian village began. In 1653, Massasoit and his oldest son sold to certain Plymouth Colony settlers what is now Warren and parts of Barrington, Rhode Island; Swansea, Massachusetts; and Rehoboth, Massachusetts. After the death of Massasoit, relations between the Indians and the settlers became strained, leading to King Philip's War in 1675. The English settlement at Sowams was destroyed during the war, but rebuilt.

In 1668, the township was officially incorporated with the name Sowams; in 1691, the Plymouth Colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Warren was ceded to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 1747. The town was named "Warren" after a British naval hero, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, after a victory at Louisburg in 1745. At the time of cession in 1747, Barrington, Rhode Island was unified with Warren, until it was separated again in 1770.

Warren was the original home of Brown University, founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The school registered its first students in 1765. Brown was the Baptist answer to Congregationalist Yale and Harvard, Presbyterian Princeton, and Episcopalian Penn and Columbia. At the time, it was the only one of these schools that welcomed students of all religious persuasions (following the example of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island in 1636 on the same principle).


Archives and Libraries


  • La Paroisse Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Warren, état du Rhode Island, 1877-1952 FHL Collection
    First half of text in French; second half is English translation. Includes biographies of parish priests, professional people, nuns, outstanding parisioners, lists of parochial school students, members of the parish enlisted in the military, Franco-Americans in public office, censuses completed in 1888 and 1895, and memorials to their deceased parisioners.




  • Census of 1850 FHL Collection
    Microfilm of documents filmed at town hall, Tisbury, Mass.


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Centennial Celebrations, etc

  • 200th anniversary of Warren, Rhode Island : historical sketch, 1747-1947 FHL Collection

Church History and Records


Court Records

Emigration and Immigration




Land and Property


Military History and Records


Probate Records


Vital Records

Societies, Libraries and Museums



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