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Many people today are interested in learning more about their past and their ancestors. As a result Genealogy is one of the most common terms in search engines on the World Wide Web. For those who are new to the world of Genealogy, there are many ways one can find information regarding their ancestors. Some of the most common forms of public records used for genealogy are:
For Birth Records
Rhode Island birth records are maintained by the Office of Vital Records, which is part of the Rhode Island Department of Health. This agency maintains birth records for 100 years after the event occurred.
For Death Records
In Rhode Island, death records from the last 50 years are kept by the Office of Vital Records. Older Rhode Island death records may be available as well, but they are kept on the county level as well as by the Rhode Island State Archives. These older records vary in coverage but may reach back to the 17th century.
Finding Rhode Island obituaries online can be tough, but there are a few hard working individuals out there who are trying to make the process a bit easier. Unlike a lot of larger states, Rhode Island only has a small handful of sites dedicated to digitizing old listings. You can start your search for Rhode Island obituary records by checking the website for the Historical Cemeteries Master Index site.
This archive not only stores death certificates and burial places, but it also has obits on a regular basis, as well. The West Warwick Public Library is leading the charge in America's smallest state to have the most listings available for any library in the state. The listings come from two newspapers, the Pawtuxet Valley Daily Times and the Kent County Daily Times.
You can expect to find listings from the last few decades here. Other than these two resources, the pickings are slim in this state. You can check other major newspaper websites throughout the state, or check the websites for various public libraries in the towns where your loved one passed away. You may also want to check city hall or the local cemeteries to see if there is an offline resource you can check.
Rhode Island maintains marriage records via the Office of Vital Records-a division of the Department of Health which keeps records for 50 years. Older records are kept on the county level as well as by the Rhode Island State Archives, which has some records dating back to the colonial period.
Rhode Island Genealogy Records
Division of Vital Records
3 Capitol Hill, Room 101
Providence, RI 02908-5097