Washington County, Rhode Island Genealogy

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Guide to Washington County, Rhode Island ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Washington County, Rhode Island
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Rhode Island, United States Genealogy
Founded June 3, 1729
County Seat
Website: www.courtreference.com/Washington-County-Rhode-Island-Courts.htm

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for George Washington. The County is located in the south area of the state. [1]

Washington County, Rhode Island Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
at town creation at town creation at town creation 1729 1669 1669 1747
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1853. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Washington County Courthouse
4800 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879-2239
Phone: 401.841.835 

Town and City Clerks have birth, marriage, death, probate and land records)

Twenty towns in Washington County Towns Organized Before 1800: Charlestown 1738, Exeter 1742-3, Hopkinton 1757, North Kingstown 1641, Richmond 1747, South Kingstown (Pettaquamscutt) 1656-7, Westerly 1669

There is no county government. The government is located at town and state levels.

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Washington County, Rhode Island
  • Named for George Washington, the American Revolutionary general, and first president of the United States.
  • Washington County is more commonly known as "South County."

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • Renamed Washington County 29 October 1781.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Rhode Island County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Rhode Island County Boundary Maps" (1643-1963) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Rhode IslandConnecticutWashington CountyKent CountyNewport CountyNew London CountyWindham CountyExeterNorth KingstownHopkintonRichmondWesterlyCharlestownSouth KingstownNarragansettNew ShorehamPortsmouthJamestownNewportCoventryWest GreenwichEast GreenwichWest WarwickWarwickSterlingPlainfieldStoningtonNorth StoningtonVoluntownGriswold
Modern towns and cities in Washington County, Rhode Island. Click map to go to each respective town page.

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[4]

Census-designated places

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
RIGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
RIGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Rhode Island Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 18,323
1800 16,135 −11.9%
1810 14,962 −7.3%
1820 15,687 4.8%
1830 15,411 −1.8%
1840 14,324 −7.1%
1850 16,430 14.7%
1860 18,715 13.9%
1870 20,097 7.4%
1880 22,495 11.9%
1890 23,649 5.1%
1900 24,154 2.1%
1910 24,942 3.3%
1920 24,932 −0.0%
1930 29,334 17.7%
1940 32,493 10.8%
1950 48,542 49.4%
1960 59,054 21.7%
1970 83,586 41.5%
1980 93,317 11.6%
1990 110,006 17.9%
2000 123,546 12.3%
2010 126,979 2.8%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing Washington County, Rhode Island Genealogy census records online, see: Rhode Island Census.

Church[edit | edit source]

Religious Records in Rhode Island
List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

KentNewportNew London, ConnecticutRI WASHINGTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records Office

4800 Tower Hill Road

Wakefield, RI 02879

Tel. # 401-841-8350

Note: Colonial records: contact the town clerk's office in the town where the event occured. Towns in Washington County are:

  • Charlestown: Town Clerk, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI 02813 (Tel. 401-364-1200)
  • Exeter: Town Clerk, 675 Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI 02822 (Tel. 401-294-3891)
  • Hopkinton: Town Clerk, 1 Town House Rd., Hopkinton, RI 02833 (Tel. 401-377-7777)
  • Narragansett: Town Clerk, 25 Fifth Ave., Narragansett, RI 02882 (Tel. 401-789-1044)
  • New Shoreham: Town Clerk, Drawer 220, Old Town Rd., Block Island, RI 02807 (Tel. 401-466-3200)
  • North Kingstown: Town Clerk, 80 Boston Neck Rd., Wickford, RI 02852 (Tel. 401-294-3331)
  • Richmond: Town Clerk, PO Box 318, 5 Richmond Townhouse Rd., Wyoming, RI 02898 (Tel. 401-539-2497)
  • South Kingstown: Town Clerk, PO Box 31, Wakefield, RI 02879 (Tel. 401-789-9331)
  • Westerly: Town Clerk, 45 Broad St., Westerly, RI 02891 (Tel. 401-348-2500 or 2508)

South Kingstown Marriages: Some of the early marriages recorded at South Kingstown, RI courtesy of the town clerk at South Kingstown, RI and USGenWeb.org.

See also How to order Rhode Island Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Rhode Island Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Rhode Island Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 433,

Greenville Public Library
573 Putnam Pike,
Greenville, RI 02828

Rhode Island Historical Society
110 Benevolent St,
Providence 02906-3103

Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Rhode Island State Library,
    State House, 2nd floor,
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone: (401) 222-2473
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Library,
    121 Hope Street,
    Providence, RI 02906
    TEL: (401) 273-8107
  • East Greenwich Free Library,
    82 Pierce Street East,
    Greenwich, RI 02818
  • Lincoln Public Library,
    Old River Road,
    Lincoln, RI 02865,
    Phone: (401) 333-2422
  • Louttit Memorial Library,
    274 Victory Highway,
    West Greenwich, RI 02817
    Phone: (401) 397-3434
  • Robert H Champlin Library,
    1043 Main Street,
    West Warwick, RI 02893,
    Phone: (401) 828-3750
  • Warwick Public Library,
    600 Sandy Lane,
    Warwick, RI 02886

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Washington, Rhode Island" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_County,_Rhode_Island accessed 3 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washington County, Rhode Island . Page 602 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 589-591.
  3. WorldCat 50140092 FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Washington County, Rhode Island," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_County,_Rhode_Island, accessed 17 March 2021.