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Archive for the ‘Providence’ Category

A Memorial

Back when I was compiling the story of Private John H. Lawrence, Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, I got to know the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Providence.  I guess I had seen it all my life but, like many Rhode Islanders, I didn’t realize I had a family member on the memorial until I discovered that my ggg-grandmother Margaret Lawrence’s brother, John, had been killed in action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.  He is listed on the Light Artillery section of the Memorial.

J.H. Lawrence, in the 1st R.I. Light Artillery section. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The Memorial was dedicated on September 16, 1871 to honor the Rhode Island military personnel who died while serving in the Civil War; a solemn and grateful tribute to the fallen soldiers of all races and all walks of life, and their families.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Providence, date unknown, from the Boston Public Library Stereograph Collection (cropped to one image).

Over the many decades since then, several changes have been made in the positioning and presentation of the memorial, and time has done some damage, too. The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy is undertaking a fundraising effort to restore some of the unique beauty of the statue and its setting.

As this fundraising launches, film maker Jamie McGuire has produced a nine minute film highlighting the meaning of this monument to the people of Rhode Island; I hope you will watch it and consider supporting this important effort.  Their page also contains a link to the list of soldiers memorialized on the monument.  I was honored to be a part of telling Rhode Island’s story in that video.

To all of those with Rhode Island roots, I wish you a Memorial Day weekend filled with new and old memories of our families.

The video and fundraising page is here.

My original story about John H Lawrence is here

–Diane Boumenot

The post you are reading is located at https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2018/05/23/a-memorial/

 

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Today I am feeling thankful.  The story of these pictures, from 1912 Providence and surrounding towns, depict a kind of poverty that, thanks to my ancestors who moved themselves beyond this life, my siblings and I never saw.

My grandmother Edna Darling was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1905. Her parents, Russell and Eva, soon had a second child, Russell Jr.  During World War I, her mother found work at Gorham Manufacturing; I wonder if it was in silver manufacturing or perhaps some special war work.  Her father was a stone setter in the fine jewelry industry, but depending on the economy, was sometimes out of work. During World War I they lived at 52 Prairie Avenue, renting in a tenement building long since lost to urban renewal.

Grandma said that once her mother found work, she had to come straight home from school to do the cooking and cleaning; make the beds, wash dishes, start dinner.  There was little money; she felt threadbare and, at times, worried about her circumstances. Her parents never in their lives owned a vehicle of any sort, never owned a home; after the Depression began, her father never worked in the jewelry industry again, but found work as a night watchman.

But until I saw the pictures, below, by Lewis Hine for the National Child Labor Committee, taken in Providence around 1912-1913, I never realized how lucky my grandmother was, and how removed she was from the grinding poverty of newly immigrated families.  When she grew up, Grandma found a respectable job in the billing department of the phone company, and made sure to marry a successful businessman.  After seeing these pictures, I get a better idea of what she was so afraid of, and what she wanted to make sure never happened to her children.

It’s strange that I think of my grandmother when I see these pictures, because they depict, really, the lives of her grandfather’s people, who arrived in the U.S. from England around 1830.  I’m sure most or all of their existence was spent in conditions like this, near various cotton mills up and down the east coast.  While I’m quite sure their lives were no better in England, I am awed by their determination and courage, and awed that their children built better lives each generation.

They also make me think of my father, selling newspaper and magazines, and stoking furnaces as a boy in the 1930’s.  Although born in the U.S., his parents were from Canada and his father died when the four children were small.

The immigrant experience hasn’t changed much; people coming from desperate situations into what they think will be a life with choices and freedom, only to find themselves very poor and looked at with suspicion and fear.  And they carry on.  We are a nation of immigrants.  Because of them and their hard work, we are here today.

This Christmas season, I’m feeling grateful.

Photos by Lewis Hine (1874-1940) for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC).  Pictures and captions from the Library of Congress.

From the Library of Congress’ website, Child Welfare Exhibit, 1912-1913

Cigar factory of F. Delloiacono [?], 205 Atwells Av., Providence, R.I. Eight year old boy and ten year old girl are stripping. This room is the living, -sleeping-and-working room and adjoins the store. Nov 23, 1912. Very dirty and ill-kept. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04797 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Cigar factory of F. Delloiacono [?], 205 Atwells Av., Providence, R.I. Eight year old boy and ten year old girl are stripping. This room is the living, -sleeping-and-working room and adjoins the store. Nov 23, 1912. Very dirty and ill-kept. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-04797 (color digital file from b&w original print)

A growing family and perhaps other relatives or associates. I can’t quite imagine how the photographer talked his way into this back room.  Was there a kitchen set up at the end of the room?  This is a troubling picture, but I am confident the children somehow did better.

Jimmie Rudgeway, 8 year old newsie, Providence,. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-03807 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Jimmie Rudgeway, 8 year old newsie, Providence,. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-03807 (color digital file from b&w original print)

When I look at Jimmie, with his ragged pants and heavy load of newspapers, I worry about an 8 year old being so comfortable out in the streets.  The photographer’s notes make it clear many of these boys were out until midnight attempting to sell all the papers.

Back-yard, Spruce Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04798 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Back-yard, Spruce Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-04798 (color digital file from b&w original print)

A girl and her goat.  Of all the pictures, this is the only one I actually like.  I can’t tell what she is offering the goat; it does not look like food.  Like many back yards in the photographs, this one appears crowded and haphazardly full of stuff.  No place for children, or goats either. I had relatives on Spruce Street in the 1860’s.

Overcrowded home of workers in cotton mill, Olneyville, Providence. Eight persons live in these three small rooms, three of them are boarders. Inner bed-rooms are 9 x 8 feet, the largest room 12 x 12 feet. 23 Chaffee Street, Polish People. Property owned by the mill. Rent $4.50 a month. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-02722 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Overcrowded home of workers in cotton mill, Olneyville, Providence. Eight persons live in these three small rooms, three of them are boarders. Inner bed-rooms are 9 x 8 feet, the largest room 12 x 12 feet. 23 Chaffee Street, Polish People. Property owned by the mill. Rent $4.50 a month. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.    LC-DIG-nclc-02722 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Reading the caption, knowing that eight people live in this space, this picture haunts me. I find the Polish wife so beautiful. Likely, the elaborate stove, probably a relic of decades earlier, comprised most of the kitchen facilities.  There is a black cord winding around the crib.  Could that have been to an electric light in the bedroom?

Housing conditions, Elm St., Pawtucket, R.I. Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-02709 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Housing conditions, Elm St., Pawtucket, R.I. Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  LC-DIG-nclc-02709 (color digital file from b&w original print)

It took me a minute to realize what I was looking at.  Of course every back yard had an outhouse.  New England has a way of looking barren like this in late fall or early spring, but still, this is a grim dirt yard full of trash.

Sewing class in Sprague House Settlement Providence, R.I. The Director is holding a newly-arrived deserted baby. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04795 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Sewing class in Sprague House Settlement Providence, R.I. The Director is holding a newly-arrived deserted baby. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-04795 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Given that many moms were working hard, it seems like a good idea for the Settlement House to teach girls to sew – it would help them clothe themselves and their children in the future.  My grandmother sewed for many decades, often clothing her children herself.  After looking at so many of these pictures, I can tell the Settlement House was a clean and ordered place.

Entrance to the crowded, dirty house of a Midwife, rear tenement on Spruce Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04793 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Entrance to the crowded, dirty house of a Midwife, rear tenement on Spruce Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.  LC-DIG-nclc-04793 (color digital file from b&w original print)

A couple of these pictures featured midwives’ homes, probably based on the photographer seeing shingles hanging out front.  Looking closely at the picture, an additional child appears in the lower, dark corner.  The children are so tiny. Wouldn’t midwives go out for births?  Would the women have come to them?  I can’t quite reason out why so many children would be in this unkempt yard.  Trash-burning was obviously taking place here, although the basement windows of the “rear tenement” seem mysterious and unexpected.

"Speed", one of the young W.U. Messengers. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-03805 (color digital file from b&w original print)

“Speed”, one of the young W.U. Messengers. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.    LC-DIG-nclc-03805 (color digital file from b&w original print)

You’ve got to like this guy.  Working hard at age – 11 maybe?  He looks so capable.  I’m hoping Speed had a great future.

View in Lonsdale R.I. Mills. Location: Lonsdale, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-02704 (color digital file from b&w original print)

View in Lonsdale R.I. Mills. Location: Lonsdale, Rhode Island.  LC-DIG-nclc-02704 (color digital file from b&w original print)

In 1912 Rhode Island was still full of mills.  Lonsdale Mills in Smithfield were among the largest.  This is probably a cotton mill.  If you look at it for a while, with windows on all sides, you realize something’s missing – there is no artificial lighting.  How dark it must have been on cloudy days.  Were working hours shorter in winter, I wonder?

Peddling Bills, Atwells Ave., Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-03806 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Peddling Bills, Atwells Ave., Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.
LC-DIG-nclc-03806 (color digital file from b&w original print)

This boy on Atwells Avenue is probably Italian, looking older than his years.  I don’t think the streetcars were exactly new in that era, but I know they continued for a few more decades.

View of warping room, Lonsdale, R.I. Mills. Location: Lonsdale, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-02701 (color digital file from b&w original print)

View of warping room, Lonsdale, R.I. Mills. Location: Lonsdale, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-02701 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Another view of Lonsdale Mills, with girls running the machines.  I’m sure there were many dangers to working outside the home at a young age, but still, it seems more humane and social to me than life spent working in a crowded home.

Elvira Christofano, 110 Spruce [?] St., Providence, making chain-bags. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04299 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Elvira Christofano, 110 Spruce [?] St., Providence, making chain-bags. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.    LC-DIG-nclc-04299 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Looking closely, you can see Elvira is working on a chain-link fabric, with tiny metal pieces in front of her.  Is she creating the chain fabric?  or attaching it to something with the tiny links?  It’s unclear to me why she’s surrounded by fabric pieces.  She looks dedicated, and tired.

 Tiny girl with big bag she is carrying home, Spruce St., Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04300 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Tiny girl with big bag she is carrying home, Spruce St., Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.    LC-DIG-nclc-04300 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Of all the pictures, this one breaks your heart the most.  What can be in that bag?  It seems too big to contain something heavy like food or firewood … maybe laundry?  Or some materials for a home industry? The sign on the building says Do Not Spit.  The rest of the family must have been working very hard if this was the most practical way to transport goods.  Childhood?  I don’t think so.

Setting stones in cheap jewelry, Ernest Lonardo, 11 years old, Thomas, 14 years old, 6 Hewitt Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-04298 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Setting stones in cheap jewelry, Ernest Lonardo, 11 years old, Thomas, 14 years old, 6 Hewitt Street, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.   LC-DIG-nclc-04298 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Knowing boys this age, the concentration here seems exceptional.  Imagine doing that all day.

 Crowded Italian home, 46 Crary St., Providence, R.I. Nov 26, 1912. Property owned by wealthy family. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. LC-DIG-nclc-02721 (color digital file from b&w original print)

Crowded Italian home, 46 Crary St., Providence, R.I. Nov 26, 1912. Property owned by wealthy family. Location: Providence, Rhode Island.    LC-DIG-nclc-02721 (color digital file from b&w original print)

The picture in the corner is of a king, perhaps, with his children.  I can’t imagine people ever forgot where they came from.  There are five children in this picture and, perhaps, another on the way.  When I look at this picture I think, they loved each other.  What a legacy.

The post you are reading is located at:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/12/20/life-in-providence-1912/

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Recently, the Providence Public Library received the archival collections of noted Rhode Island genealogist James Newell Arnold (1844-1927) from the Knight Memorial Library in Providence, which had housed the papers since James Arnold’s death in 1927. The James N. Arnold Collection is now part of The Rhode Island Collection.

Providence Public Library. Always be sure to take a good look around; it's a lovely old place.

Stairwell, Providence Public Library. Always be sure to take a good look around; it’s a lovely old place.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Kate Wells of the Providence Public Library had clued me in to this last winter and recently let me know that the materials were now newly processed into an archival collection and were, essentially, open for business.  It’s not completely trivial to access the collection (for instance, the boxes are stored on another floor from the Rhode Island Collection office and reading room), so I made an appointment with Kate for my visit.

Here is the Finding Aid for the collection (it opens up as a pdf download).

James Newell Arnold as a young man. I love this picture, he's quite a handsome young man. Hard to imagine he was already suffering from the affliction that was noticeable later in life, something that caused him to rely on crutches. Whatever the affliction was, could it have started later?

James Newell Arnold as a young man. I love this picture, he’s quite a handsome young man. Was he already suffering from the affliction that was noticeable later in life, something that caused him to rely on crutches?  3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

In the course of a long life James N. Arnold followed his historical data collection interests with a passion.  Although the Narragansett Historical Register, his gravestone recordings, and the Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 were his most visible projects, he spent a lifetime studying historical claims and events, arguing and sometimes feuding with other historians (most notably, a long standing feud with the Rhode Island Historical Society), collecting books, stories and ephemera, and never missing an opportunity to disparage Roger Williams.

One of the two card catalogs containing various indices to parts of the collection.

One of the two card catalogs containing various indices to parts of the collection.

I carefully studied the Finding Aid (see above) in advance and decided to focus on the records of the Arnold family.  James Arnold never produced the formal Arnold genealogy volume that he, no doubt, planned to finish someday, although late in life he seems to have collaborated a bit with other Arnold researchers who did produce manuscripts or books (more on published works here).   It was clear from my perusal that my particular problem has not been solved; time for me to figure it out myself.  But I was grateful for a chance to check that out.

These colorful gravestone collection index cards were, I think compiled after James Arnold's death by volunteers.

These colorful gravestone collection index cards were, I think, compiled after James Arnold’s death, by volunteers.

Kate Wells advised me that, with the vital records and gravestone work widely available elsewhere, the most likely source for some genealogy magic was one of the card catalogs that had accompanied the manuscripts, plus a set of genealogy correspondence folders that contained many inquiries, answers, and notes.  I attacked the card catalogs with a pre-determined list and didn’t turn up much. The only work of James Arnold that seemed to intersect significantly with my needs were some early Smithfield/Cumberland families.  But I would like to return and approach this again with more time to peruse the many letters on file.

Arnold's weather diaries, kept for many years, plus some farm accounts. Box 4,

Arnold’s weather diaries, kept for many years, plus some farm accounts. Box 4, “Weather journals”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

The documents are ordered and filed in boxes.  Genealogy notes on many Rhode Island families, tombstone recordings, Arnold family notes, historical as well as fictional stories, clippings, correspondence, account books, annals of war — there are many possibilities for research here.

You just don't know what you're going to find among the many boxes and folders.

You just don’t know what you’re going to find among the many boxes and folders.

I enjoyed my journey into James Arnold’s world and intend to keep studying his work. I was thrilled to find the original newspaper clippings of Harriet James’ work on my Andrews family.  The genealogy work on Rhode Island families was a hodge podge of copied notes, essays, clippings and abstracts, but was definitely unique and valuable.  I will revisit those.

James Arnold, in early middle age perhaps, looking speculative and a little untidy. The well-known poverty of his later years may well have factored into all stages of his life.

James Arnold, in early middle age perhaps, looking speculative and a little untidy. The well-known poverty of his later years may well have factored into many stages of his life.  3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

A folder of photographs of James Arnold claimed my attention.  Never married, physically impaired,  determined, opinionated to a fault, Arnold was — from what little I know of him — incapable of the fawning demeanor of service that might have made him more valued and protected by Rhode Island’s wealthier classes, who relied on his work.

This fascinating photo shows Arnold leaning on the crutches that were his companion during, at least, his later life. One gets a cemetery feel from the picture but it could be a noted historical spot. 3-59,

This fascinating photo shows Arnold leaning on the crutches that were his companion during, at least, his later life. One gets an overgrown cemetery feel from the picture but it could be an ancient historical spot. 3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

As time went on, James Arnold found that his life’s work, including his two major publishing ventures, had not ensured a comfortable old age.  Late in life he was basically destitute, dependent on Providence’s Dexter Asylum.

Well into middle age, Arnold was sometimes photographed with his crutches. 3-59,

Well into middle age.  Note his possibly disfigured foot.  3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

A set of documents relating to James Arnold’s death make it clear that he tried, as an old man, to dispose of his massive collection of poorly arranged papers.  Several important repositories corresponded with him and would have been happy to take them. The choicest books might perhaps have been sold during his life but many books  as well as the papers were eventually donated to the library in Elmwood, Providence, that eventually became the Knight Memorial Library.  The books, according to Kate, were eventually dispersed among Providence’s library system.

James Arnold in 1925, two years before his death. 3-59,

James Arnold in 1925, two years before his death. 3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

No one’s work is perfect but it’s notable that no person, in the hundred years since his Vital Record of Rhode Island volumes were published, has systematically re-checked his work in its entirety.  No one has been willing to take on the project that he did, and so we all owe this man a great deal of gratitude for a lifetime spent saving our history.

The post you are reading is located at:

https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/11/18/the-james-n-arnold-collection/

James Arnold, looking somewhat business-like, probably at the heyday of his publishing career. 3-59,

James Arnold, looking somewhat business-like, probably at the heyday of his publishing career. 3-59, “Photographs, James N. Arnold”, James N. Arnold Collection, Rhode Island Collection, Providence Public Library.

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Great news!  Ancestry.com has recently posted over 800 record sets related to Rhode Island probate.  They are listed at the bottom of this post.  There is so much more there than I thought; see the top of the list for instructions about finding each record set. 

Wills and probate

Wills and probate records can tell us about relationships in our ancestor’s lives that no other document can reveal. Cemetery markers, even if read and recorded long ago, can often be the only physical artifact left behind to tell us about a life.

Probate won’t reliably provide us with helpful lines such as “I give the land received from my honored father, Marmaduke Shipley, to …” But they reveal so much else. Often naming all surviving children, who may have the very grandparents’ names we are seeking. Or showing us the choice of Administrator or Guardians of minor children; were those significant people known to us? Evidence of economic status can help us in building a case for a certain father as opposed to another by the same name.  And don’t get me started on the probate records of childless adults – they were often required to name every relative.

More than anything, it’s funny how the documents of the dead can bring them to life. Two aprons left to a daughter. An iron kettle. A chiming clock. A cow and calf. Or, in the case of my New England ancestors, 3 barrels of hard cider in the cellar. Add to that proximity in the cemetery to extended family members, or to the original family farm, and these are very important records for genealogists.

Asa Aldrich's 1818 will as recorded in Cumberland, R.I. probate.

Asa Aldrich’s 1818 will as recorded in Cumberland, R.I. probate.

All probate records were kept by the town, although be careful about shifting town identities.  A huge set of these records is now available online through a paid account on Ancestry.com (see bottom of this post). Otherwise, to see the probate records you need, a visit to the town hall may be necessary. Each town hall usually has staff devoted to probate records, to take care of the current probate business, and they can help you find the old records.

In some cases, microfilm copies may be necessary if the files you need are not online or if you cannot get to a town hall. The Rhode Island Historical Society has a few town probate records (try the card catalog before leaving home), also the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Microfilm for most towns can now be viewed at the local FamilySearch Center but using their computers for digital access.

There are some index/abstracts published in a few places.

  • Volume 16 (Rhode Island Will Book) of The Rhode Island Genealogical Register by Alden Beaman and Nellie M. C. Beaman (Princeton, Mass: periodical volumes 1 – 20 published 1978-1998). Out of print and protected by copyright (so, not online), the books are available in most local library collections that cover genealogy. Volume 16 is an index of town probate abstracts covered in volumes 1 – 15 of the periodical. A few other probate abstracts also appear in later volumes. The abstracts themselves are not perfect but this is certainly a useful guide for locating the probate records mentioned. But of course the set of abstracts is very far from complete for the state.
  • An index of Providence probate records is in the book Index to the Probate records of the Municipal court of the city of Providence, Rhode Island from 1646 To and Including the Year 1899 by Edward Field, Providence: 1902.  This data is also available online through NEHGS membership at their website, americanancestors.org, and its available on Ancestry.com.

Quick tip:  Since probate usually was processed over a period of time, there is often more than one entry in the town probate books. Check for additional records. Also, different parts of probate may have been saved separately – for instance, wills, inventories or guardianship papers may have their own volumes.

Family Search.org has a miscellaneous collection of Rhode Island probate records.  To find them, go to SEARCH –> CATALOG, and use Place = “United States, Rhode Island,” subject = “Probate,” Search these Family History Centers = “Online.”   Then drill down to the exact location using the “PART OF UNITED STATE, RHODE ISLAND, PROVIDENCE” link to go to Providence County, the use “Places within …” to find the town of your choice.  Clicking around will bring up any of the counties, and from there, the towns.

Quick tip:  Don’t assume that because there is a probate record for your ancestor, the death must have been recorded in the town records.  Sometimes, probate is the only record of a death. And sometimes, a death was recorded but there were no probate activities.

Of course there are many other records associated with more recent deaths – I notice Ancestry.com has a growing collection of Funeral Home records.  Obituaries will be covered later, with newspapers.

Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland.

Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland.

Cemeteries

Rhode Island has many, many tiny old cemeteries.  Early on, with no central church to manage burials, families tended to use a spot on their own property for a private cemetery.  Later, more formal, locally managed cemeteries were created, and sometime, older burials were moved to newer cemeteries, so don’t let the date of establishment of a cemetery fool you.  As land use changed and towns expanded, conditions were not ideal for protection and care of these small cemeteries, so those seeking out these graves today sometimes have difficult conditions to grapple with.

Over the years, and today, there were many dedicated individuals recording and caring for small cemeteries.  Sometimes, those early recordings have become the only record of markers now fallen and buried.

  • The Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission is my first stop for research.  A significant portion of the excellent work done over the last century and a half has been combined into their records.  If a picture is available, that will be indicated.
The same William Hardman who died in 1870. R.I. Historical Cemetery Database is telling me that he is buried in PV005 - Grace Church Cemetery.

William Hardman died in 1870. R.I. Historical Cemetery Database is telling me that he is buried in PV005 – Grace Church Cemetery.

  • Since many old Episcopal Church records are available at the archives of the University of Rhode Island Library, I already knew (see a blog post on my visit to the archives) that William Hardman was at Grace Church Cemetery – I was able to use the card index there and see the map of his plot.
  • The Rhode Island Genealogical Society has published several thorough books on local cemeteries.  See a complete list, and some EXCELLENT ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT, here.
  • Find A Grave is another site worth searching, and would be a good place to record your own discoveries and pictures.

Rhode Island probate records on Ancestry.com

Widow Margaret Hardman served as administrator of her husband William's estate in 1870. I like how the bottom navigation bar shows me which record set I'm on. The actual will was signed with a shaky hand on August 12, 1870, the day of Williams death.

Widow Margaret Hardman served as administrator of her husband William’s estate in 1870. I like how the bottom navigation bar shows me which file I’m on. The actual will was signed with a shaky hand on August 12, 1870, the day of William’s death.

You could search the set by name (see Randy Seaver’s recent post about indexing and other problems with the Massachusetts set). But if you want to access specific books to check for yourself, Ancestry makes it cumbersome but it is possible. All record sets are filed alphabetically BY COUNTY – but Rhode Island probate is kept by town.  The titles never include the name of the town, so, I have gone through each county and sorted the titles into the proper town. I doubt my list of over 800 record sets is perfect, and the titles themselves may have issues, but the list is below.  I built it for myself because I can’t think of any other way to access these records.

Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Choose the county then look for the exact title.

Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Choose the county then look for the exact title.

First, find the titles you are interested in, below. Then go to Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Find on the screen the “Browse this collection” link in the side column.  Choose a county.  Then all record books for the county will appear in the drop down menu (Providence county takes a while to come up – be patient).  Knowing, from the list below, the exact title you might want, you just look for that title and select it. Be careful because some of the titles are VERY similar.  Good luck!

A three-minute VIDEO walking you through how to locate the Ancestry.com records is available HERE. Be sure to click the blue button with the triangle to start the video.  And don’t forget to come back!

BRISTOL COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Bristol County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Barrington

  • Deed Records, Vol 13, 1882-1890; Vol 14, 1890-1891
  • Probate Index, Abatantuono, Ann-McCabe, Ann M,
  • Probate Index, McCabe, Ann M-Zukowski, William Joseph
  • Probate Records, Docket 1-7, 1874-1923
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1830-1869
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-4, 1770-1891

Bristol

  • Administration and Testamentary Letters, 1810-1871
  • Administrator Accounts, Vol 11-12, 1899-1920; Letters of Administrator, Vol 7-8, 1901-1917
  • Administrators Accounts, 1811-1852
  • Administrators Accounts, 1852-1870
  • Administrators Accounts, 1870-1877
  • Deeds, Wills, Inventories, Administrations, Grand Deeds and Grand Articles, 1680-1808
  • Estate Deeds, Vol 5, 1909-1917; Warrants, Vol 1, 1896-1916; Admin Account, Vol 11, 1892-1899; Etc
  • Inventories, Vol 1-4, 1811-1867
  • Letters of Administration, Vol 5, 1870-1906
  • Original Land Records, 1690-1703, 1886
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 2-3, 1760-1825
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 4, 1825-1838
  • Probate Bonds, 1817-1890 Probate Bonds, 1858-1885
  • Probate Index, Dixon, Ezra-Morris, Harriet P
  • Probate Index, Morris, Harriet P-Zych, John
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-8, 1855-1877
  • Wills, Inventories, 1746-1793
  • Wills, Inventories, 1746-1845
  • Wills, Inventories, 1845-1881

Warren

  • Accounts, 1832-1876; Commissioners Reports of Claims, 1843-1913
  • Accounts, Vol 11, 1878-1891; Vol 12, 1891-1912; Vol 13, 1912-1947
  • Bonds and Letters Testamentary, 1811-1836
  • Bonds, 1875-1892; Vol 3, 1892-1905; Vol 4, 1906-1917
  • Index to Vol 2-3 of Probate Proceedings, 1808-1851; Probate Proceedings, Vol 2, 1808-1839
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1840-1900; Letters and Bonds to Return Inventory, 1823-1839
  • Probate Index, Vol A-H, 1746-1859 Probate Index, Vol H-Z, 1746-1859
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 7-8, 1868-1879
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 9, 1825-1833; Probate Proceedings, 1819-1828, 1833-1839
  • Probate Records, Vol 12, 1892-1906; Vol 13, 1897-1904; Vol 14, 1904-1909; Vol 15, 1909-1914
  • Probate Records, Vol 14, 1903-1908; Vol 15, 1908-1911; Vol 16, 1911-1914; Vol 17, 1914-1916
  • Probate Records, Vol 17, 1916-1918
  • Wills and Inventories, Vol 1-2, 1746-1808 Wills and Inventories, Vol 3-4, 1806-1893
  • Wills, Vol 9, 1880-1890; Vol 10, 1902-1918

KENT COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Kent County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Coventry

  • Probate Records, 1764-1824
  • Probate records, 1825-1841
  • Probate Records, 1841-1871
  • Probate Records, 1856-1932
  • Probate Records, 1869-1878
  • Probate records, v.10, 1878-1883
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-13, 1883-1906
  • Probate Records, Vol 14-15, 1906-1922
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1784-1819
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-7, 1819-1850
  • Probate Records, Vol 8, 1847-1875
  • Probate Records, Vol 9, 1875-1891

East Greenwich

  • Probate Files, 1-87, Adams-Brayton, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 88-178, Briggs-Congdon, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 179-243, Congdon-Freeborn, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 244-320, Freeborn-Hawkins, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 320-394, Hawkins-Kelly, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 394-447, Kelly-Mawney, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 447-524, Mawney-Pitcher, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 525-611, Pitcher-Spencer, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 612-695, Spencer-Wells, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 695-725, Wells-Wood, Early to 1885
  • Probate Index, Abar-Tortolani, 1872-2002
  • Probate Index, Tortolani-Zubee, 1872-2002
  • Town Council Records, 1865-1873

Warwick

  • Guardianship, 1896-1923 Testamentary, 1856-1891 Testamentary, 1891-1909 Testamentary, 1909-1931
  • Miscellaneous, 1839-1856; Administration, 1856-1932; Guardianship, 1856-1896
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1873-1889; Vol 2, 1885-1897; Vol 3, 1897-1905
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 4, 1895-1903; Vol 5, 1903-1908; Vol 6, 1908-1915
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 7, 1915-1921
  • Probate Docket Books, 1839-1925
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 13, 1907-1912; Vol 14, 1912-1918, 1947, 1955; Vol 15, 1918-1924, 1953
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 16, 1924-1938; Vol 17, 1925-1928; Vol 18, 1925-1934
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 19, 1918-1928; Vol 20, 1928-1930; Vol 21, 1928-1931
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 21, 1929-1931; Vol 22, 1929-1930; Vol 23, 1930-1931
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 8, 1876-1880; Vol 9, 1880-1881; Vol 10, 1882-1894
  • Town Council Records 1853-1877
  • Town Council Records Vol 1, 1742-1770
  • Town Council Records, Vol 3, 1804-1822
  • Town Council Records, Vol 7, 1870-1879
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1804-1820
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1820-1839
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1839-1861
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1861-1869
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1869-1876
  • Wills, Vol 1, 1703-1745
  • Wills, Vol 2-4, 1745-1797
  • Wills, Vol 5-6, 1797-1816
  • Wills, Vol 7-8, 1816-1831
  • Wills, Vol 9-10, 1831-1847
  • Wills, Vol 11-12, 1845-1859
  • Wills, Vol 13-14, 1859-1868
  • Wills, Vol 15-16, 1868-1879
  • Wills, Vol 17-19, 1879-1898
  • Wills, Vol 20-22, 1898-1909
  • Wills, Vol 23-24, 1909-1917, 1953

West Greenwich

  • Wills, vol 6-10, 1822-1890

West Warwick

  • Docket 1913-1923; wills 1913-1919; bonds 1913-1919; letters of administration 1913-1923
  • Testamentary Letters, 1914-1923; Guardianship Letters, 1913-1923; Probate Proceedings, 1913-1924

NEWPORT COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Newport County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Jamestown

  • Index to Land Evidence Records, Vol 1-14, 1680-1903
  • Probate Files, Carr, Isaac-Larkin, Eliz B
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-9, 1887-1915
  • Town Council and Probate Records and Index, Vol 2-4, 1767- 1874
  • Town Records, 1744-1796; Town Council Records, 1746-1766; Index

Little Compton

  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1746-1781
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 8, 1832-1841; Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1841-1854
    Vols. 14-15 (1900-1915)

Middletown

  • Books, Vol 12, 1894-1902; Vol 13, 1902-1908; Vol 14, 1908-1910
  • Cemetery Records; Wills, Early-1800; Wills, 1745-1894; Deaths and Marriages
  • Court Records, 1751-1785, 1813-1833
  • Docket 1, 1896-1936
  • Town Council Records, Vol 3-5, 1793-1838
  • Town Council Records, Vol 6-8, 1838-1879

Newport

  • General Probate Index, Vol A-B, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol C-H, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol I-R, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol S-Z, 1779-1973
  • Index to Town Council Records
  • Index to Wills
  • Land Evidence Records, Vol 48-49, 1878-1880
  • Miscellaneous Records, 1701-1776
  • Probate Index, Aaron, Harry Solomon-Brown, Sophia Augusta
  • Probate Index, Abate, Salvatore A-Richmond, Henry I
  • Probate Index, Brown, Sophia Augusta-Crosby, Sarah C
  • Probate Index, Crosby, Sarah C-Francis, Hariet H
  • Probate Index, Francis, Harriet H-Hobbs, Caroline M
  • Probate Index, Hobbs, Caroline M-Limmer, Edward F
  • Probate Index, Limmer, Edward F-Mullaney, Johanna
  • Probate Index, Mullaney, Johanna-Ray, John Lewis
  • Probate Index, Ray, John Lewis-Sousa, Telma Garcia
  • Probate Index, Richmond, Henry I-Yetman, Walter Minor
  • Probate Index, Sousa, Telma Garcia-Virgadamo, Lucia G
  • Probate Index, Virgadamo, Lucia G-Zuill, Elizabeth W
  • Probate Records, Vol 10-11, 1834-1838
  • Probate Records, Vol 11, 1854-1876; Town Council Records, Vol 3, 1841-1880
  • Probate Records, Vol 12-13, 1838-1844
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-3, 1779-1802
  • Probate Records, Vol 19, 1858-1859
  • Probate Records, Vol 20-21, 1859-1863
  • Probate Records, Vol 22, 1862-1865
  • Probate Records, Vol 23-24, 1864-1867
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-29, 1872-1875
  • Probate records, vol 30, 1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 31-33, 1877-1880
  • Probate Records, Vol 41-43, 1887-1890
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1802-1819
  • Probate Records, Vol 48-50, 1894-1896
  • Probate Records, Vol 52-55, 1898-1900
  • Probate records, vol 55-57, 1900-1902
  • Probate Records, Vol 60-62, 1904-1906
  • Probate Records, Vol 62-64, 1906-1908
  • Probate Records, Vol 71-73, 1913-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 8-9, 1818-1834
  • Town Council Records, Vol 12-16, 1756-1771
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-3, 1702-1719
  • Town Council Records, Vol 17-18, 1702-1776
  • Town Council Records, Vol 4-7, 1714-1735
  • Town Council Records, Vol 8-11, 1735-1755

Portsmouth

  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 6-9, 1764-1822
  • Probate Bonds, 1829-1926
  • Probate Bonds, 1869-1926
  • Probate Index Cards, A-Z, 1700-1996
  • Probate Records, Vol 2-5, 1834-1868
  • Probate Records, Vol 6, 1845-1880
  • Town Council Records, Vol 10, 1822-1862
  • Town Council Records, Vol 13-15, 1893-1930

Tiverton

  • Appointment Book of Administrators, Borden, Benajah-End, 1830-1844; Vol 11-14, 1832-1876
  • Land Records, Vol 27, 1877-1879
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 2 and 4, 1747-1792
  • Probate Index, 1700-1902
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14a, 1848-1866
  • Probate Records, Vol 14, 1866-1876
  • Probate Records, Vol 14-15, 1844-1850
  • Probate Records, Vol 15, 1876-1883
  • Probate Records, Vol 16, 1884-1890; Vol 17, 1890-1896; Vol 18, 1896-1902
  • Probate records, vol 2 and 4, 1747-1792; town council probate, 1776-1789; vol 5-6, 1792-1814
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-4, 1776-1903
  • Town Council Records, Vol 5-6, 1903-1929
  • Town Meetings and Probate Records, 1776-1789; Town Meetings, 1804-1889

MISC:

  • A Book of Records For the Proprietors of the Lands Containing the Names of the First Proprietors
    Durfee and Stafford Genealogy and Allied Lines from 1600

PROVIDENCE COUNTY  [All titles below will be found in a single list for Providence County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Burrillville

  • Administration Letters, Vol 1, 1907-1916; Warrants, Vol 1, 1896-1906; Bonds, Vol 1-2, 1873-1916
  • Letters of Guardianship, Administration, Testamentary, 1862-1917; Probate Bonds, 1873-1898
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1-2, 1900-1956; Wills, Vol 6, 1891-1916; Admin Letters, Vol 1, 1862-1907
  • Probate Journals Vol 1-3, 1806-1883
  • Probate Journals, Vol 4-6, 1883-1918; Probate Docket, Vol 1, 1896-1900
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1842-1871
  • Probate Records, Vol 5, 1871-1891
  • Town Meeting Records, 1806-1881

Cranston

  • Bonds to Probate Court, Vol 1, 1873-1892; Probate Index
  • Estate Files, 1064-1404
  • Estate Files, 1-372
  • Estate Files, 1405-1685
  • Estate Files, 1686-2074
  • Estate Files, 2075-2656
  • Estate Files, 2657-3090
  • Estate Files, 3096-3421
  • Estate Files, 3422-3687
  • Estate Files, 374-645
  • Estate Files, 648-1064
  • Inventories, 19, 1890-1899; 21, 1898-1905; 29, 1906-1911; 35, 1910-1913
  • Inventories, Reports, Accounts, Vol 16, 1873-1888; Wills, Vol 17, 1875-1894
  • Inventory, Accounts, Etc, Vol 10, 1849-1862; Admin and Guardianship Letters, Vol 11, 1849-1869
  • Letters of Administrator and Guardianship, Vol 14, 1867- 1892; Vol 15, 1873- 1887
  • Letters, 20, 1899-1919; Testamentary, 22, 1892-1915; Misc Bonds, 23-24, 1892-1914; 2, 1888-1896
  • Probate Bonds, 2 and 27, 1893-1923; Probate Bonds, 31 and 33, 1904-1919; Will, 25, 1892-1895
  • Probate Index, Aaronian, Evelyn H-Burton, Joseph
  • Probate Index, Burton, Joseph-Deluca, Giovanni
  • Probate Index, Deluca, Giovanni-Gill, William C
  • Probate Index, Gill, William C-Karnegie, Benjamin
  • Probate Index, Karnegie, Benjamin-McCann, Irene
  • Probate Index, McCann, Irene-Peterson, Annie
  • Probate Index, Peterson, Annie-Shaw, Harriet
  • Probate Index, Shaw, Harriet-Walton, Thomas
  • Probate Index, Walton, Thomas-Zwoden, Arden; Hildebrant, Katharine M; Hulton, Chester
  • Probate Records, Vol 12, 1861-1873; Inventories, Reports, Accounts, Vol 13, 1863-1874
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-4,1798-1832
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-7, 1832-1849
  • Probate Records, Vol 8, 1849-1861; Wills, Vol 9, 1849-1875
  • Records of Will, 25, 1895-1908; Records of Will, 32, 1908-1916
  • Town Council Records, 1754-1793
  • Town Council Records, 1854-1865
  • Town Council Records, 1865-1877

Cumberland

  • Letters, 1895-1925; Wills, 1905-1919; Probate Docket Book, Vol 1-2, 1896-1924
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, 1874-1923
  • Probate Records, Vol 21-23, 1856-1866
  • Probate Records, Vol 24-25, 1866-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 26-27, 1877-1885
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-30, 1885-1891
  • Probate Records, Vol 31-34, 1894-1916
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-10, 1784-1815

East Providence

  • Assignment of Wages, Vol 1-2, 1885-1939; Inventories, Vol 3-4, 1889-1906
  • Deed Records, Vol 1, 1862-1879; Vol 2, 1879-1896
  • Letters, Vol 2-4, 1882-1923; Vol 1-2, 1862-1935; Vol 3-4, 1896-1916; Wage Assignment, Vol 1, 1885
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 3-5, 1894-1941; Probate Warrants, Vol 1-2, 1899-1917
  • Probate Court Bonds, 1873-1885
  • Probate Court Journal; Letters of Guardianship, 1862-1892
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1-3, 1896-1920; Probate Journal, Vol 3-4, 1892-1901
  • Probate Index, Abajian, Charles-Cooke, Charlotte, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Cooke, Charlotte-Harrington, Francis 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Harrington, Francis-McGuigan, Matthew, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, McGuigan, Matthew-Rose, Adelaide G, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Rose, Adelaide G-Zwolinski, Florence 1862-1998
  • Probate Journal, Vol 4, 1901-1904; Vol 5, 1904-1910; Vol 6, 1910-1915; Vol 7, 1915-1919
  • Probate Wills, Vol 2-3, 1894-1917; Probate Bonds, Vol 2-3, 1885-1897
  • Wills and Letters Testamentary, 1862-1894

Foster

  • Deeds, Vol 17-19, 1893-1900
  • Foster Historical Cemeteries
  • Probate Records, Vol 10, 1864-1873
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1781-1814
  • Probate Records, Vol 12-14,1888-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1814-1826
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1826-1836
  • Probate Records, Vol 7-9, 1836-1864

Gloucester

  • Town Council Records, 1731-1892

Johnston

  • Executor, Administrations, Guardianship Records, 1826-1898
  • Letters of Administration, Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1840-1882
  • Probate Records, Minute Books, Inventories, and Commissioners Reports, 1871-1898
  • Town Council Meeting Records, 1772-1817
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1759-1817
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1798-1852
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1821-1870
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1882-1898
  • Wills, Inventories, Letters of Administration, Etc, 1871-1889

Lincoln

  • Probate docket and index, 1895-1915; Wills and index, 1895-1915; Inventories, 1895-1915
  • Probate Mtgs, Vol 1, 1895-1915; Admin Bonds, Vol 2 and 4, 1895-1915; Testamentary, Vol 3, 1895-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 18-21, 1890-1896
  • Probate Records, Vol 25-27, 1902-1904, 1904-1907, 1907-1909
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-30, 1909-1912, 1912-1913, 1914-1917

North Providence see Pawtucket

North Smithfield

  • Deed Index and Records, Vol 11, 1894-1901; Vol 12, 1894-1901; Vol 13, 1896-1900; Vol 15, 1897-1900
  • Probate Index, Greene, Marion Da-Zygmunt, Joseph

Pawtucket or North Providence  (these records are for one or the other; it was hard to distinguish)

  • Administrators Bonds, 1873-1889
  • Appraisers Warrants and Record of Accounts, 1873-1890
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1799-1855
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol A-C, 1765-1828
  • Council Records, Vol 9-11, 1855-1874
  • Executors Bonds to Return Inventory, 1873- 1907
  • Guardianship Bonds, 1873-1905
  • Husbands, Guardians, Administrators, Other Probate Bonds, 1873-1905
  • Index to Probate Records, 1765-1874; Index to Council Records, 1765-1874
  • Letters Testamentary, 1873-1883; Probate Bonds, 1872-1874
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1, 1-2176, 1896; Vol 2, 3617-4737, 1898-1906; Vol 3, 4738-5713, 1906-1912
  • Probate Docket, Vol 12, 1895-1896; Vol 13, 1896-1897; Vol 14, 1897-1899
  • Probate Docket, Vol 15, 1896-1903; Vol 16, 1899-1905
  • Probate Docket, Vol 17, 1899-1900; Vol 18, 1900-1901; Vol 19, 1902-1903
  • Probate Docket, Vol 22, 1905-1906; Vol 23, 1906-1906; Vol 24, 1906-1908
  • Probate Docket, Vol 29, 1910; Vol 30, 1910-1911; Vol 31, 1911; Vol 32, 1912
  • Probate Docket, Vol 33, 1912-1913; Vol 34, 1913; Vol 35, 1913-1914; Vol 36, 1914
  • Probate Docket, Vol 37, 1914-1915; Vol 38, 1915; Vol 39, 1915-1916
  • Probate Docket, Vol 4, 1877-1880; Vol 5, 1880-1883
  • Probate Docket, Vol 4, 5714-6791, 1912-1926
  • Probate Docket, Vol 9, 1889-1891; Vol 10, 1891-1893; Vol 11, 1893-1895
  • Probate Files, 1, 5-85
  • Probate Files, 1079-1185,
  • Probate Files, 1185-1230,
  • Probate Files, 1230-1256,
  • Probate Files, 1256-1365,
  • Probate Files, 1365-1471,
  • Probate Files, 144 (2)-198,
  • Probate Files, 1471-1570,
  • Probate Files, 1570-1655,
  • Probate Files, 1655-1733,
  • Probate Files, 1733-1811,
  • Probate Files, 1811-1887
  • Probate Files, 1887-1973
  • Probate Files, 1973-2070
  • Probate Files, 198-281,
  • Probate Files, 2071-2147
  • Probate Files, 2148-2207
  • Probate Files, 2208
  • Probate Files, 281-371,
  • Probate Files, 371-457,
  • Probate Files, 458-544,
  • Probate Files, 544-639
  • Probate Files, 640-725
  • Probate Files, 726-858
  • Probate Files, 85-144 (1)
  • Probate Files, 858-973
  • Probate Files, 973-1079
  • Probate Records Index, A-Camoes, Mary
  • Probate Records Index, Camp-Fitzsimons, Wam
  • Probate Records Index, Fl-Gizelsky, A
  • Probate Records Index, Li-Pakuris, Nicholas
  • Probate Records Index, Pal-Tavernier, Kevin
  • Probate Records Index, Tay-Z
  • Probate Records, 1862-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1865-1871
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14, 1870-1874
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1855-1865
  • Record of Wills, Vol 1-2, 1870-1897
  • Record of Wills, Vol A31, 1897-1902

Providence

  • Administration Accounts, 10, 1843-1848; 11, 1849-1851; 12, 1851-1854
  • Administration Accounts, 14, 1856-1858; 13, 1854-1856; 15, 1858-1860
  • Administration Accounts, 16, 1860-1862; 17, 1862-1864; 18, 1864-1866
  • Administration Accounts, 19, 1866-1868; 20, 1868-1869; 21, 1869-1872
  • Administration Accounts, 22, 1872-1874; 23, 1874-1876; 24, 1876-1878
  • Administration Accounts, 26, 1880-1882; 25, 1878-1880; 27, 1882-1884
  • Administration Accounts, 28, 1884-1890; 29, 1891-1895; 30, 1896-1899
  • Administration Accounts, 4, 1832-1835; 5, 1835-1837; 6, 1837-1839
  • Administration Accounts, 7, 1839-1841; 8, 1841-1843; 9, 1842-1846
  • Administrators Records, 1898-1899
  • Commissioners Probate Reports, Vol 1-3, 1820-1878; Miscellaneous Commissioner Reports, 1898-1899
  • Index to Probate Records, 1646-1899 [copy of a printed book]
  • Indexes to Wills, Vol O, 1872-1886; Vol 1, 1886-1897; Vol 2, 1901-1906; Vol 3, 1905-1914
  • Indian deeds, 1659-1662
  • Letters of Administration and Guardianship, 1804-1840
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1840-1864
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1864-1889
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1889-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 10-12, 1872-1897
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 13-15, 1873-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 1-5, 1873-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 16-19, 1873-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 20-22, 1873-1893
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 23-26, 1873-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 28-30, 1890-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 31-38, 1893-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 39-41, 1896-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 6-9, 1872-1897
  • Miscellaneous Files, A4802, 1823-1888
  • Miscellaneous Guardians, 1898-1899
  • Probate Docket Books, Vol 35-37, 12001-14450, 1909-1912
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 15-18, 12426-15149, 1879-1886
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 19-21, a15150-A17754, 1886-1891
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 22, a17755-A18992, 1703-1883; Vol 23-24, 1-2000, 1891-1894
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 25-27, 2001-5000, 1894-1899
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 28-30, 5001-8000, 1899-1903
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 31-33, 8001-11000, 1903-1907
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 34, 11001-12000 1907-1909
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 37-39, 14450-17000, 1912-1915
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 40-42, 17001-18500, 1915-1916
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 43-44, 18501-19500, 1917-1918; Vol 45, 19501-2000, 1918-1919
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 46-48, 20001-21500, 1919-1920
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 49, 21501-22000, 1920-1921
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 10-12, 9103-11078
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 1-3, 1-4596
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 13-14, 11079-12425
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 4-6, 4597-6902
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 7-9, 6903-9102
  • Probate Files, A1-A484, 1646-1885
  • Probate Files, A485-A881, 1646-1885
  • Probate Files, A882-A1200, 1769-1785, 1898
  • Probate files, A1040, A1403, A1416, 1779-1788; A1455-A1583, 1794-1797
  • Probate Files, A1201-A1454, 1785-1794
  • Probate Files, A1584-A1630, 1797-1799
  • Probate Files, A1680-A1730, 1799
  • Probate Files, A1680-A1730, 1799-1800
  • Probate Files, A1888-A1981, 1800-1812Probate Files, A1982-A2058, 1897-1899
  • Probate Files, A2058-A2132
  • Probate Files, A2133-A2330, 1826-1850
  • Probate Files, A2330-A2440, 1850-1855
  • Probate Files, A2441-A2541, 1854-1861
  • Probate Files, A2542-A2663, 1861-1876
  • Probate Files, A2664-A2788, 1867-1874
  • Probate files, A2789-A2912, 1874-1877
  • Probate Files, A2913-A3046, 1880-1885
  • Probate Files, A3047-A3182, 1885-1890
  • Probate Files, A3183-A3350, 1890-1894
  • Probate Files, A3351-A3544, 1894-1888
  • Probate files, A3545-A3691, 1888-1804
  • Probate files, A3692-A3850, 1804-1808
  • Probate Files, A3851-A3971, 1809-1886
  • Probate Files, A3972-A4102, 1809-1810
  • Probate Files, A4103-A4200, 1814
  • Probate files, A4201-A4309, 1815-1816
  • Probate Files, A4310-A4411, 1816-1817
  • Probate Files, A4412-A4498, 1818
  • Probate Files, A4499-A4593, 1819-1823
  • Probate Files, A4594-A4717, 1820-1822
  • Probate Files, A4718-A4804, 1822-1826
  • Probate Files, A4805-A4889, 1826 4833
  • Probate Files, A4890-A4969, 1827-1828
  • Probate Files, A4969-A5047, 1826-1827
  • Probate Files, A5048-A5144, 1827-1828
  • Probate Files, A5145-A5229, 1828-1829
  • Probate Files, A5230-A5319, 1829-1831
  • Probate Files, A5320-A5385, 1831-1832
  • Probate Files, A5386-A5448, 1832
  • Probate Files, A5449-A5498, 1832-1835
  • Probate Files, A5499-A5551, 1835-1836
  • Probate Files, A5552-A5606, 1834-1836
  • Probate Files, A5606-A5660, 1836-1839
  • Probate Files, A5660-A5719, 1836-1839
  • Probate Files, A5720-A5776, 1836-1841
  • Probate Files, A5776-A5824, 1839-1841
  • Probate Files, A5824-A5872, 1839-1840
  • Probate Files, A5872-A5924, 1839
  • Probate Files, A5925-A5982, 1839-1845
  • Probate Files, A5982-A6035, 1840-1845
  • Probate Files, A6036-A6070, 1841-1842
  • Probate Files, A6071-A6123, 1841
  • Probate Files, A6124-A6168, 1841-1842
  • Probate Files, A6169-A6224, 1842-1843
  • Probate Files, A6224-A6274, 1843-1845
  • Probate Files, A6275-A6332, 1844
  • Probate Files, A6333-A6384, 1844-1845
  • Probate Files, A6385-A6441, 1845-1847
  • Probate Files, A6387-A6544, 1845-1847
  • Probate Files, A6441-A6486, 1846-1848
  • Probate Files, A6545-A6599, 1847
  • Probate Files, A6599-A6649, 1847-1848
  • Probate Files, A6650-A6699, 1847-1849
  • Probate Files, A6700-A6750, 1849-1850
  • Probate Files, A6751-A6777, 1849
  • Probate Files, A6778-A6825, 1850-1852
  • Probate Files, A6826-A6869, 1850-1852
  • Probate Files, A6870-A6908, 1850
  • Probate Files, A6909-A6948, 1850
  • Probate Files, A6949-A6988, 1851-1852
  • Probate Files, A6989-A7030, 1851-1852
  • Probate Files, A7031-A7060, 1852
  • Probate Files, A7061-A7105, 1855-1856
  • Probate files, A7106-A7149, 1852-1855
  • Probate Files, A7150-A7190, 1854-1861
  • Probate Files, A7191-A7236, 1854
  • Probate files, A7237-A7254, 1854
  • Probate Files, A7275-A7317, 1854
  • Probate Files, A7318-A7536, 1854-1855
  • Probate Files, A7357-A7400, 1855
  • Probate Files, A7401-A7450, 1855
  • Probate Files, A7451-A7494, 1855-1858
  • Probate Files, A7495-A7550, 1856
  • Probate files, A7551-A7597, 1856-1857
  • Probate Files, A7597-A7648, 1857-1865
  • Probate Files, A7649-A7690, 1857
  • Probate Files, A7691-A7738, 1857
  • Probate Files, A7738-A7787, 1857-1858
  • Probate Files, A7788-A7845, 1858
  • Probate Files, A7846-A7876, 1858-1859
  • Probate Files, A7877-A7910, 1858-1859
  • Probate Files, A7911-A7958, 1859
  • Probate Files, A7959-A7992, 1859
  • Probate Files, A7993-A8044, 1859-1861
  • Probate Files, A8045-A8092, 1860
  • Probate files, A8093-A8142, 1860
  • Probate Files, A8143-A8181, 1860-1861
  • Probate Files, A8182-A8232, 1861
  • Probate Files, A8233-A8289, 1861
  • Probate Files, A8290-A8322, 1861-1862
  • Probate Files, A8323-A8376, 1862
  • Probate Files, A8377-A8427, 1862-1867
  • Probate Files, A8428-A8467, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8468-A8519, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8520-A8579, 1863
  • Probate Files, A8580-A8642, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8643-A8704, 1864
  • Probate Files, A8705-A8759, 1864
  • Probate Files, A8760-A8818, 1864-1865
  • Probate files, A8819-A8879, 1865
  • Probate Files, A8880-A8922, 1865
  • Probate files, A8923-A8984, 1865-1867
  • Probate Files, A8985-A9044, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9045-A9104, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9105-A9173, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9174-A9219, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9220-A9271, 1867
  • Probate files, A9272-A9325, 1867
  • Probate Files, A9326-A9386, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9387-A9409, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9420-A9479, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9480-A9438, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9539-A9605, 1868-1869
  • Probate Files, A9606-A9662, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9664-A9731, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9732-A9771, A9773-A9797, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9798-A9867, 1870
  • Probate Files, A9868-A9939, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9940-A10017, 1869
  • Probate Files, A10018-A10090, 1869
  • Probate Files, A10091-A10150, 1870
  • Probate Files, A10151-A10228, 1871
  • Probate Files, A10229-A10309, 1871
  • Probate Files, A10310-A10367, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10368-A10423, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10424-A10504, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10505-A10584, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10585-A10644, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10645-A10725, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10726-A10802, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10803-A10882, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10883-A10966, 1874
  • Probate Files, A10967-A11065, 1874
  • Probate Files, A11088-A11151, 1874-1875
  • Probate Files, A11152-A11233, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11234-A11329, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11330-A11415, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11416-A11508, 1876
  • Probate Files, A11509-A11590, 1876
  • Probate Files, A11591-A11679, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11680-A11768, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11769-A11853, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11854-A11932, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11933-A12004, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12005-A12100, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12101-A12175, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12176-A12270, 1878
  • Probate Files, A12271-A12351, 1878-1879
  • Probate Files, A12352-A12437, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12438-A12524, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12525-A12612, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12613-A12699, 1880
  • Probate Files, A12699-A12775, 1880
  • Probate Files, A12776-A12869, 1880-1881
  • Probate Files, A12870-A12946, 1881
  • Probate Files, A12947-A13017, 1881
  • Probate Files, A13018-A13094, 1881
  • Probate Files, A13095-A13170, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13171-A13254, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13255-A13331, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13331-A13423, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13424-A13515, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13516-A13593, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13594-A13673, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13674-A13766, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13767-A13842, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13843-A13929, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13930-A14016, 1883-1884
  • Probate Files, A14017-A14099, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14118-A14180, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14181-A14251, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14252-A14330, 1884-1885
  • Probate Files, A14331-A14417, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14418-A14501, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14502-A14569, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14570-A14657, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14658-A14760, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14761-A14843, 1886
  • Probate Files, A14843-A14933, 1886
  • Probate Files, A14934-A15017, 1886
  • Probate Files, A15018-A15104, 1886
  • Probate Files, A15105-A15196, 1886-1887
  • Probate Files, A15197-A15286, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15287-A15375, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15376-A15455, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15456-A15550, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15551-A15644, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15644-A15737, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15738-A15831, 1887-1888
  • Probate Files, A15832-A15920, 1888
  • Probate Files, A15921-A16008, 1888
  • Probate Files, A16009-A16090, 1888
  • Probate Files, A16091-A16174, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16175-A16276, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16277-A16387, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16388-A16478, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16480-A16575, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16576-A16661, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16662-A16735, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16736-A16821, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16798-A16865, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16865-A16927, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16927-A17006, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17006-A17078, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17078-A17146, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17146-A17224, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17224-A17304, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17304-A17377, 1890-1891
  • Probate Files, A1731-A1750, 1799-1800
  • Probate Files, A17377-A17461, 1890-1891
  • Probate Files, A17461-A17522, 1891
  • Probate Files, A1750-A1888, 1899
  • Probate Files, A17522-A17591, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17591-A17669, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17669-A17747, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17747-A18144, 1828-1848
  • Probate Files, A18144-A18433, 1839-1862
  • Probate Files, A18433-A18632, 1862-1875
  • Probate Files, A18632-A18867, 1875-1884
  • Probate Files, A18867-A19035, 1884-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 1, 1819-1824; Vol 2, 1824-1828; Vol 3 1828-1834
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 12, 1857-1859; Vol 13, 1859-1862; Vol 14, 1862-1865
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 15, 1865-1867; Vol 16, 1867-1870; Vol 17, 1870-1873
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 18, 1873-1876; Vol 19, 1876-1878; Vol 20, 1878-1881
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 21, 1881-1883; Vol 22, 1883-1885; Vol 23, 1885-1888
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 24, 1888-1890; Vol 25, 1890-1893; Vol 26, 1893-1898
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 26-28, 1878-1882
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 27, 1892-1893; Vol 28, 1894-1896
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 29, 1896-1898; Vol 30, 1898-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 29-31, 1882-1887
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 32-34, 1888-1891
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 35-37, 1891-1894
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 38-39, 1894-1896
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 4, 1834-1838; Vol 5, 1838-1841
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 40-41, 1896-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 6, 1841-1844; Vol 7, 1844-1848; Vol 8, 1848-1850
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 9, 1850-1853; Vol 10, 1853-1855; Vol 11, 1855-1857
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 100, 1906-1908; Vol 101, 1885-1908; Vol 102, 1906-1908
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 103, 1908-1909; Vol 104, 1909; Vol 105, 1908-1909
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 109, 1910; Vol 110, 1910-1912; Vol 111, 1905-1911
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 11-12, 1845-1848
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 115, 1910-1911; Vol 116, 1911; Vol 117, 1911-1912
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 1-2, 1798-1817
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 121, 1907-1913; Vol 122, 1904-1913; Vol 123, 1911-1913
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 124, 1913; Vol 125, 1913-1914; Vol 126, 1913-1914
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 127, 1914; Vol 128, 1914-1915; Vol 129, 1903-1914
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 13, 1848-1850
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 130, 1914-1915; Vol 131, 1915; Vol 132, 1897-1915
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 133, 1915; Vol 134, 1915; Vol 135, 1915
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 136, 1914-1916; Vol 137, 1915; Vol 138, 1916
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 139, 1916; vol 140, 1916; vol 141, 1916
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 14-15, 1850-1853
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 142, 1916; Vol 143, 1916; Vol 144, 1916-1917
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 145, 1916-1917; Vol 146, 1916; Vol 147, 1917
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 148, 1917; Vol 149, 1917; Vol 150, 1917
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 151, 1917; vol 152, 1915-1917; vol 153, 1911-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 154, 1914-1918; Vol 155, 1914-1918; Vol 156, 1916-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 157, 1916-1918; Vol 158, 1918; Vol 159, 1915-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 160, 1911-1919; Vol 161, 1919; Vol 162, 1919
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 16-17, 1853-1855
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 163, 1918; Vol 164, 1919; Vol 165, 1919
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 166, 1919-1920; Vol 167, 1919-1920; Vol 168, 1919-1920
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 18, 1855-1856
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 19-20, 1856-1858
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 21-22, 1858-1860
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 27-28, 1865-1868
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 29-30, 1868-1871
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 31-32, 1871-1874
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 33-34, 1874-1876
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 3-4, 1817-1828
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 35, 1876-1877; Vol 36, 1877; Vol 37, 1877-1878
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 41, 1882-1883; Vol 42, 1883-1884; Vol 43, 1884-1885
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 44, 1885-1886; Vol 45, 1886-1887; Vol 46, 1887
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 46, 1887-1888; vol 47, 1888-1889; vol 48, 1889
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 52, 1892-1892; Vol 53, 1892-1893; Vol 54, 1893
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 5-6, 1828-1836
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 61, 1897; Vol 62, 1897-1898; Vol 63, 1898
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 64, 1899; Vol 65, 1884-1899; Vol 66, 1892-1899
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 73, 1901; Vol 74, 1901; Vol 75, 1900-1902
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 7-8, 1836-1840
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 79, 1890-1903; Vol 80, 1903; Vol 81, 1903
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 82, 1903; Vol 83, 1903-1904; Vol 84, 1904
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 88, 1882-1994; Vol 89, 1902-1905; Vol 90, 1905
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 91, 1899-1905; Vol 92, 1905; Vol 93, 1906
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 9-10, 1840-1845
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 97, 1903-1907; Vol 98, 1907; Vol 99, 1895-1907
  • Wills and Index, Vol 10-11 1805-1815
  • Wills and Index, Vol 12, 1815-1819
  • Wills and Index, Vol 13, 1819-1839
  • Wills and index, vol 14-15, 1836-1848
  • Wills and Index, Vol 16-17, 1848-1856
  • Wills and Index, Vol 18-19, 1856-1862
  • Wills and Index, Vol 20-21, 1861-1867
  • Wills and Index, Vol 22-23, 1867-1872
  • Wills and Index, Vol 24-25, 1872-1877
  • Wills and Index, Vol 3-4, 1726-1754
  • Wills and Index, Vol 5-6, 1754-1785
  • Wills and Index, Vol 7, 1785-1797
  • Wills and Index, Vol 8-9, 1796-1805

Scituate

  • Probate and Council Records, Vol 1-3, 1731-1799
  • Probate Records, Vol 13, 1905-1906; Vol 14, 1906-1912; Vol 15, 1913-1919
  • Probate Records, Vol 6, 1837-1848
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1865-1881
  • Town Council Records, Vol 5-6, 1820-1886

Smithfield

  • Abstracts Copied From Council and Probate Records 2
  • Council Journal, 1871-1877
  • Council Journal, Vol 5-6, 1822-1845
  • Probate Files, 1-99, 1871-1885
  • Probate Files, 99-171, 1871-1885
  • Probate Index, Abbatematteo, Kathleen Frances-Laposta, Maria, 1871-2003
  • Probate Index, Laposta, Maria-Zylinski, Mery, 1871-2003
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1859-1867
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1871-1912
  • Probate Records, Vol 2, 1749-1768
  • Probate Records, Vol 2, 1769-1797
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1791-1827
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1903-1921
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1826-1844
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1853-1859

Woonsocket

  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1872-1883
  • Probate Files, 1-79
  • Probate Files, 79-161
  • Probate files, 162-265
  • Probate Files, 266-342
  • Probate Files, 343-425
  • Probate Files, 426-526
  • Probate Files, 527-601
  • Probate Index, Abatantuono, Constanza-Brien, Delphine
  • Probate Index, Brien, Delphine-Dulac, Madeleine
  • Probate Index, Dulac, Madeleine-Kappelle, Rosilda
  • Probate Index, Kappelle, Rosilda-McDonald, James H
  • Probate Index, McDonald, James H-Smith, Matilda S
  • Probate Index, Smith, Matilda S-Zydem, Simon
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1867-1878

Misc from Rhode Island Historical Society:

  • Genealogical Record Book, Vol I
  • Index to Cemetery Records, Wills, Record Books, Vital Records and Historical Events, Vol A [=Briggs Collection]
  • Index to the Probate Records, 1646-1899 [Providence]
  • Minutes and Acts of the General Council, 1667-1753
  • Probate Records and Index, to 1775 [Providence, a handwritten abstract]
  • Wills, Vol A-C [BRIGGS Collection]

WASHINGTON COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Washington County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Charlestown

  • Probate Records, Vol 1-3, 1798-1837
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-6, 1837-1878
  • Town Council and Town Meeting Records, 1-67, 1787
  • Town Council and Town Meeting Records, 1788-1800

Exeter

  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 12-14, 1830-1850
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1743-1786
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 15-17, 1850-1878
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 5-8, 1786-1816
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 9-11, 1816-1830
  • Exeter, Rhode Island, death records and index: 1903-1915

Hopkinton (lucky Hopkinton researchers can bypass all this by using the transcribed records from the Hopkinton Historical Association (free!) – Probate 1757-1850 HERE). 

  • Bonds, Vol 1-3, 1872-1915; Docket Books, Vol 1-2, 1895-1928
  • Probate Index Cards, 1757-1993
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1862-1876
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14, 1876-1888
  • Probate Records, Vol 15-16, 1888-1898
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-6, 1751-1841
  • Probate Records, Vol 17-18, 1899-1911
  • Probate Records, Vol 19, 1911-1920
  • Probate Records, Vol 7-10, 1839-1863
  • Town Records, 1743-1920

Narragansett

  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1899-1908; Vol 2, 1908-1915
  • Probate Files, Annie Thompson Case 10-Edward J Davis Case 61, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Edward J Davis Case 61-James A Northup, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Edward W Watts-Radel Andrew, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, James A Northup-Edgar W Watts, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Rose, Joshua-Wright, Thomas
  • Probate Records and Index, Vol 1 1884-1901; Vol 2 1898-1913; Vol 3 1913-1915

New Shoreham

  • Probate books, vol A-C, 1798-1840
  • Probate Books, Vol H-I, 1902-1923
  • Probate Files Early-1885, Coe, Benjamin T-Littlefield, Nathaniel (Guardian)
  • Probate Files Early-1885, Littlefield, Nathaniel (Guardian)-Rose, John

North Kingstown

  • Death records, vol 5, 1910-1915
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 14-20, 1796-1817
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 21-25, 1817-1829
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 26-29, 1829-1845
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 30-32, 1845-1858
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 33-36, 1858-1871
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 5-8, 1692-1756
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 9-13, 1756-1795
  • Probate Index, 1696-1903
  • Probate Index, Abbott, Marie-Guada, Marlene Iris, 1896-1997
  • Probate Index, Guada, Marlene Iris-Zwolinski, John, 1896-1997
  • Probate Records, Vol 39, 1877-1881; Vol 40, 1881-1885
  • Probate Records, Vol 40, 1885-1886; Vol 41, 1886-1889; Vol 42, 1862-1893; Vol 43, 1894-1895
  • Probate Records, Vol 43-47, 1895-1923
  • Probate Records, Vol 47, 1907-1924; Vol 48, 1918-1924; Vol 49, 1915-1933
  • Probate records: Bonds 1 (1873-1890) ; bonds 2 (1890-1907) ; docket 2 (1896-1930) ; index 1 A – Z (books 1-45) 1696-1907.

Richmond

  • Index of Land Evidence, Vol 2, 1853-1935; Land Deeds, 1896-1900
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 10-12, 1861-1877
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 1-3, 1747-1783, 1812-1818
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 4-6, 1818-1834
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 7-9, 1834-1861
  • Probate Bonds, 1873-1914

South Kingstown

  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 4-5, 1743-1772
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 6-7, 1772-1854
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 6-7, 1825-1863
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 8-10, 1863-1876
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 8-9, 1854-1886
  • Town Council Records Index, 1704-1917
  • Town Council Records Index, 1705-1943

Westerly

  • Estates, Vol 1, 1872-1888; Vol 2, 1888-1906; Vol 3, 1906-1915; Vol 4, 1915-1916
  • Indexes of Town, Land, Probate, and Vital Records, 1661-1745
  • Probate Files, Drawer 3
  • Probate Files, Drawer 4
  • Probate Files, Drawers 1 and 2
  • Probate Records Index, Abbossa, Rosa-Lysobey, Daniel
  • Probate Records Index, McAndrew, Joseph L-Zippo, Theresa M
  • Probate Records, Vol 2-3, 1811-1841
  • Probate Records, Vol 4, 1832-1852
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1853-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 7, 1874-1885; Vol 8, 1882-1889; Vol 9, 1888-1894
  • Town and Council Special Proceedings, Vol 1, 1869-1888; Town Meeting Record, 1669-1694, 1818-1904
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 2-4, 1699-1736
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1745-1787
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 7-8, 1787-1818

A bit more help

A demo of the steps needed to use the record sets, above, can be found here on Randy Seaver’s blog.  Thanks Randy!

There are eight weeks of helpful advice and links:
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https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/04/15/8-weeks-probate-and-cemeteries/

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Last November I visited the Providence Public Library.  The building, a jewel of Providence, has undergone some renovations and the collections are growing.  Help is available for you to navigate the materials held in the collections.

The Providence Journal Rhode Island Room at the Providence Public Library. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The beautiful Providence Journal Rhode Island Room at the Providence Public Library. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Special Collections

I had a chance recently to meet Rhode Island Collection Librarian Kate Wells of the Providence Public Library. Kate showed me around the various Rhode Island collections.  The library is a great place to visit for some genealogical research.  I noticed the following:

  • The Providence Journal Rhode Island Room was recently restored with plenty of room for researchers to sit at the large oak tables, lighted by brass lamps.  It’s a beautiful room and contains a decent Rhode Island genealogy collection in the bookcases that line the walls.
  • The Rhode Island Index and the Providence Journal Card Index are card files, arranged by subject, that help you find important Rhode Island stories from the 1900’s.  My ordinary ancestors are not in there, but my more illustrious ones (ok, there are one or two) are.  Newspapers are available on microfilm.  Kate pointed out that although obituaries are usually not in the Rhode Island Index, they may be in the Providence Journal Card Index for the first half of the 20th century.
Catalog of the Rhode Island Collection

Catalog of the Rhode Island Collection.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

  • Manuscripts, Sanborn Maps, scrapbooks about Providence architecture, and some business materials, including some jewelry and textile periodicals are among the special collections.  Perhaps the most interesting to genealogists working remotely would be the new and growing digital image site as well as the older FLICKR set of Photograph and Image Collections.  I was also intrigued by the Fred A. Arnold Collection, donated at his death in 1924, since he was a major genealogist in the Pawtuxet Arnold line.
Kate recommended this book to me for my questions about Providence neighborhoods - Civic and Architectural Development of Providence by John Hutchins Cady. Although the book is too pricey in the used book market, I was able to order a reprint from Higginson Books, during their Christmas sale.

Kate recommended this book to me for my questions about Providence neighborhoods – Civic and Architectural Development of Providence by John Hutchins Cady. Although the book is too pricey in the used book market, I was able to order a reprint from Higginson Books, during their Christmas sale.

  • Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org (NEHGS) are available in the building.  This would be a free opportunity to do a journal article search for your ancestors on the NEHGS website.  You can pull up the full articles through the search screen.

Kate and the other staff are happy to help researchers with their questions, and it’s advisable to consult them since not all the collections are on display.

A card from the Rhode Island Index.

A card from the Rhode Island Index.

Important recent developments

Kate told me that there is interest in finally getting the older issues of the Providence Journal online, something that is badly needed.  The Journal Company has chosen a vendor for the project and from what I understand, fundraising is the concern right now.  I’m glad that this is being seriously discussed.

The big news in Providence Public Library Special Collections is that the nearby Knight Library has generously donated the James N. Arnold Collection to the PPL.

Kate is the only person I’ve ever met who shares my curiosity about James Newell Arnold (1844-1927).  She repeated stories she had heard – through a lecture Providence archivist Paul Campbell has given from time to time, I think – about James Arnold’s poverty. Mr. Arnold’s zeal for collecting and organizing vital records and materials of historical and genealogical interest led him to publish and edit a magazine (“Narragansett Historical Register“) for nine years, publish the books of vital record abstracts still in use today, transcribe cemeteries, and amass a huge collection of ephemera, notes, records, and books. But none of this itinerant historical work was particularly lucrative.  It is said (this is the part I got from Kate) that he was so poor and ill-kempt that the librarians at the Rhode Island Historical Society looked down their noses at him; he resented their ill treatment and developed a passionate dislike for the society.  Thus, at death he willed his materials to the Knight Library in Providence.  He was such a hoarder that it was difficult to box and remove the mountains of paper from his home.  I have yet to find any picture of Mr. Arnold but from what I’ve read, I think he may have been disabled in some way, perhaps walked with a cane.

The James N. Arnold Collection was hard to access and use at the Knight Library, and expensive to catalog and maintain.  Recently an agreement was made with the Providence Public Library to take over the care and accessibility of the manuscript materials.  Kate said her first priority for cataloging was not any notes from the vital records, which have essentially been published, but the more obscure unpublished materials.  She hopes to make the first part of the materials available for use by researchers by, perhaps, this summer.

When I visited the PPL in November, the boxes had recently arrived and were sitting in storage.  Here are some pictures.

Boxes of materials in storage from the James N. Arnold Collection.

Boxes of materials in storage from the James N. Arnold Collection.

Yes, some materials were actually in their original 1920’s bakery boxes.

A pie box, used for storage of Arnold's papers.

A cake box, used for storage of Arnold’s papers.

When the materials start to become available to researchers, I will be most curious about any notes Arnold kept on the Pawtuxet Arnold family.  I am a little resentful that he never produced a book on them; I would like to see how far he got with the family.

I had a helpful and interesting visit with Kate Wells.  I encourage those with questions about their Rhode Island heritage to consider consulting the collections at the Providence Public Library.

The post you are reading is located at:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/01/28/some-rhode-island-collections/

Narragansett Historical Register logo

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Sunday, October 4 was an exciting day at the Providence Public Library, which hosted the taping of an episode of PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow, to be aired in 2016.  Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco are the inspiring genealogists hosting the show.

Genealogy societies and local historical societies were welcome to exhibit in the main hall where the taping was done.  So I represented the Federation of Genealogical Societies, an umbrella organization for the hundreds of genealogy societies around the country that do excellent work and are ready to help with questions.  The FGS “Society Hall” webpage can help you find a local society in an area that you are currently researching.

The day began at 8:00 a.m. for set up.  The crowds started moving in around 9 a.m. and never really stopped.  Here are some pictures from this amazing day.

The entrance to the library. Lots of tv production folks around all day. They even gave us lunch!

The entrance to the library. Lots of tv production folks around all day. They even gave us lunch!

In background, Josh Taylor showing some information to a guest. The large screen would be visible to them, but not to others in the room. I have no idea what the genealogy cases were!

Helen Smith and Pat Chappell holding the fort for the Rhode Island Genealogical Society.

A photographer getting the crowd to show some PBS love.

Beautiful Kenyatta Berry, in heels, talking to staff before her filming.

Other exhibitors at the filming.

The DAR tables were busy, and the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists also helped a lot of people.

At the end of the day, Mary Tedesco greeting the exhibitors. This was the Rhode Island Historical Society table. I also got to talk to Mary, she is really nice!

Me talking to an attendee at the FGS desk.

Me helping an attendee at the FGS desk.

We talked genealogy all day long, and it was a blast!

The post you are reading is located at: https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/10/04/genealogy-roadshow-providence/

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I drive by the First Baptist Church in America regularly, and finally went inside this week for a visit.  The church is massive, and lovely.  Although it is truly beautiful and historic, it is also familiar, comfortable and welcoming.

The First Baptist Church in America, North Main Street, Providence

The First Baptist Church in America, North Main Street, Providence. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The church was founded in 1638 by Roger Williams, who soon moved away from the idea of a formal church and others took over the ministry.

A marble plaque inside the church.

A marble plaque inside the church.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

This particular building was built in the mid-1770’s, replacing a smaller building a short distance away.  I’ve been reading about it in Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, The Slave Trade, and the American Revolution by Charles Rappleye (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006).  The Brown brothers Nicholas, Joseph, John and Moses played important roles both in moving the (then) Baptist college from Warren, R.I. to Providence (now Brown University), and in the effort to build the stately new church.  The church building served, also, for the college graduation exercises, a custom that continues to this day.  Rev. James Manning, educated at Princeton, became the President of the college and also was elected as minister of the church in 1771.

Interior view. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Interior view. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

I read the Self Guided Tour booklet before arriving, and enjoyed spotting all the historic items mentioned in the booklet.

,mm,..

The Self Guided Tour explained many of the features of the church.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The church has a sense of history of course, but it is also an active church community.

The church has a sense of history of course, but it is also an active church community.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

A mystery

While at the church, I asked about a picture I recently purchased of the church; a print from J & F Tallis, London.  Oddly, it shows the church with a cemetery in the yard, something that does not exist.  The same picture was also in the Manning Room at the church, but the person I spoke to pointed out many inaccuracies in the illustration – no hill behind the church, and no surrounding buildings, which were there very early on. And most of all, no graves should be there.

Print of the First Baptist Church at Providence by J & F Tallis. Photo of the print by Diane Boumenot.

Print of the First Baptist Church at Providence by J & F Tallis. Photo of the print by Diane Boumenot.

A little research online shows an estimated date of 1843 for the print. There are other illustrations from that era by other artists which do not contain graves, so clearly this is just a fanciful rendition.  But what’s amusing is the eerie, ancient look of the graves – are those two people in the act of interring or disinterring?  Is that a skull thrown on the ground?

I very much enjoyed my visit to the First Baptist Church in America. No mysteries, ghosts or grave robbers were found, just a beautiful Rhode Island treasure, continuing Roger Williams’ “lively experiment” in today’s world.

The First Baptist Church in America, nearby.

Well known for their weekly sign on North Main Street, I captured this picture a couple of years ago when Providence celebrated its 375th birthday.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

To plan a visit, consult the “tours” page on the church website.

The post you are reading is located at:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/08/13/first-baptist-church-in-america/

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Rhode Island researchers will look at the title of this story and say, that’s nice … wait … what?  Rhode Island really doesn’t have a State Library in quite the way that other states do.  If anything, the State Archives might come closer to what people expect from a state library.  But there is a state library located on the second floor of the Rhode Island State House, and I visited it yesterday.  This is the story (mostly in pictures) of my visit to the Rhode Island State House, Benefit Street, and the Licht Judicial Center where the Supreme Court is held.

The Rhode Island State House

Since the Rhode Island State Library is on the second floor of the State House, I traveled to Smith Street, found some metered parking well down the street, and entered the State House for the first time ever.  The State House, completed in 1902, is beautiful. I wandered around the first and second floors for quite a while.  Note for next time:  ABSOLUTELY do not miss the full length portrait of George Washington, painted by Rhode Island native Gilbert Stuart, in the Governor’s State Room.

What’s hard to portray here is the unique auditory experience of the State House.  There were school children visiting, but their voices and footsteps were heard only as a kind of whirring white noise.  It was a windy day, but still I’m not sure why I seemed to be hearing that inside, too.  At one point, a piano somewhere could be clearly heard; someone was playing well and loudly.  Somehow, the piano and the circulating noises seemed to add to the homey, unique experience of the State House – I couldn’t help but think, I doubt you would hear a piano wafting up the stairwells in the State House of a really large state.  But in Rhode Island, we are who we are.

The Independent Man stands atop the dome of the Rhode Island State House on Smith Street, Providence.

The Independent Man is barely visible atop the dome of the Rhode Island State House.  This is the back entrance, on Smith Street.  The formal entrance faces a large courtyard on the opposite side – I’m not sure whether that is in use.

Completed in 1902, the State House is filled with marble.

Completed in 1902, the interior is grand and spacious. There is marble everywhere.

The State House was filled with memorials to soldiers from many wars. This cannon was used at Gettysburg, with a ball still lodged in it that misfired during the battle.

The State House was filled with memorials to soldiers from many wars. This cannon was used at Gettysburg, with a ball still lodged in it that misfired during the battle.

Charter from King Charles II. I had no idea it was so big. What you see here is a temporary duplicate; the original is out being spruced up.

Rhode Island’s 1663 Charter from King Charles II. I had no idea it was so big. What you see here in the protective case is a temporary duplicate; the original is out being spruced up.

Then it was time to head upstairs.

Then it was time to head upstairs.

A beautiful state seal graced the landing.

A beautiful state seal graced the landing.

You can see how small the Senate Chamber is. It's a small state.

You can see how small the Senate Chamber is. It’s a small state.

I love this statue of Rhode Island's Thomas Dorr. He fought for an extension of voting rights in the early 1840's.

I love this statue of Rhode Island’s Thomas Dorr. He fought for an extension of voting rights in the early 1840’s.  I believe this statue is quite new.

I was fascinated by the hallways filled with portraits - mostly R.I. Governors.

I was fascinated by the hallways filled with portraits – mostly of R.I. Governors.

The Rhode Island State Library

The library itself is imposing and beautiful, with two balconies and a marvelous gilt and glass ceiling.   I looked over the local books and biographies.  This library serves lawmakers, primarily, although the public is welcome to visit.  If one were looking for specific records, or even  for older transactions of the General Assembly, the State Archives is a better place to visit.

The Library itself is rather amazing. a tall room with two balconies.

The Library itself is rather amazing. a tall room with two balconies.

The library is a repository for some federal documents, as well as a large collection of Rhode Island law books and books pertaining to things people might make laws about - health, environment, economics, educations, etc.

The library is a repository for some federal documents, as well as a large collection of Rhode Island law books and books pertaining to things people might make laws about – health, environment, economics, education, military, social services, etc.

The biographies and local histories were quite interesting.

The biographies and local histories were quite interesting.

Benefit Street

The beautiful portraits at the State House got me very curious about finding portraits related to my family.  Since two uncles had served as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, I decided to head to the courthouse.  Knowing parking would be quite a problem, I drove down Benefit street until I found a spot, then had a pleasant walk over to the courthouse.

Benefit Street has cars and snow vying for curbside space.

Narrow, colonial Benefit Street has cars and snow vying for curbside space.

Historic Benefit Street boasts colonial charm and and some especially fabulous historic houses.

Benefit Street boasts colonial charm and some especially grand historic houses.

The Licht Judicial Complex

The Supreme Court is located in the Licht Judicial Complex, a landmark in Providence just to the east of downtown, completed in 1933 at significant expense.  The building is ornate and beautiful, with gilding everywhere.  A large law library is housed on the eighth floor, filled to the brim with law volumes.   There wasn’t a lot for me to do there, but the librarian suggested that any portraits of Supreme Court Justices should be in the seventh floor and I should talk to the guard there.

As it turned out, the guard was able to give me a complete guided tour of the whole Supreme Court area.  On this tour, I was able to take pictures in some areas (normally prohibited because the building is a working courthouse).  We talked a lot about Rhode Island’s unique place in history and about the portraits.  He had a lot of stories about the building and its history.  I did find the portrait of my grandfather’s uncle, William Douglas, and I found a copy of Peleg Arnold’s portrait (an uncle who was Chief Justice from 1795-1809 and 1810-1812) although the original is held at the John Hay Library at Brown University (their portrait collection is browsable online).

The Licht Judicial Complex, located between Benefit and South Main streets in Providence, houses the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the county Superior Court.

The Licht Judicial Complex, located between Benefit and South Main streets in Providence, houses the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the Providence County Superior Court.

One of the first portraits I found was my uncle's, Judge William Wilberforce Douglas.

One of the first portraits I came across was my gg-uncle’s, Judge William Wilberforce Douglas.  He served as Chief Justice from 1905-1908.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court – there are five seats. This beautiful room features carved Philippine mahogany.

Blind statue of Justice facing the judges in the courtroom.

Blind Statue of Justice facing the judges in the courtroom.

A judges waiting room adjacent to the courtroom. I really got the good tour!

A judges’ waiting room adjacent to the courtroom. I really got the good tour!

I was very happy to spend my afternoon exploring these two historic sites.  The State House, in particular, is a fun place to walk through or to take a tour.  There is a welcome room on the first floor, or the website, where one can get more information.

The post you are reading is located at: https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/03/13/rhode-island-state-library/

— Photos by Diane Boumenot. 

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