Bristol County, Rhode Island Genealogy

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

Bristol County, Rhode Island
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Bristol County
Location in the state of Rhode Island, United States Genealogy
Founded 1685
County Seat Bristol
Named for: Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Website: Bristol Rhode Island

Description[edit | edit source]

Bristol County is located in the east-central area of the state.[1]. The county was named for its "shire town" (county seat) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.

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

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

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Bristol County Courthouse
1 Dorrance Plaza
Warren, RI 02885-4369
Phone: 508.823.6588 

There is no Co Clk in Bristol Co; Twn & City Clks have
birth, marriage, death and probate records;
Clerk District Court has court records
Four twns in Bristol County)
Towns Organized Before 1800: Barrington 1717, Bristol 1681, Warren 1746-7

There is no county government. Government level is at town and state levels.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

17 February 1746: Created from land gained from Bristol County, Massachusetts after resolution of a boundary dispute between the two colonies .[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Rhode IslandMassachusettsBristol CountyBristol CountyProvidence CountyKent CountyWashington CountyNewport CountyBristolWarrenBarringtonEast ProvidenceProvidenceCranstonWarwickEast GreenwichNorth KingstownNarragansettJamestownNewportMiddletownPortsmouthLittle ComptonTivertonSeeknokRehobothDightonSwanseaSomersetBerkleyFreetownFall RiverWestport
Modern towns and cities in Bristol County, Rhode Island. Click map to go to each respective town page.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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


Resources[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Asylums[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 3,211
1800 3,801 18.4%
1810 5,072 33.4%
1820 5,637 11.1%
1830 5,446 −3.4%
1840 6,476 18.9%
1850 8,514 31.5%
1860 8,907 4.6%
1870 9,421 5.8%
1880 11,394 20.9%
1890 11,428 0.3%
1900 13,144 15.0%
1910 17,602 33.9%
1920 23,113 31.3%
1930 25,089 8.5%
1940 25,548 1.8%
1950 29,079 13.8%
1960 37,146 27.7%
1970 45,937 23.7%
1980 46,942 2.2%
1990 48,859 4.1%
2000 50,648 3.7%
2010 49,875 −1.5%
Source: "".

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

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Mailing Lists[edit | edit source]

Message Boards[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

ProvidenceKentWashingtonNewportBristol, MasssachusettsRI BRISTOL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Korean Conflict[edit | edit source]

Vietnam[edit | edit source]

Mines, Mining and Mineral Resources[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Rhode Island Genealogical Society],
P.O. Box 433,
Greenville Public Library,
573 Putnam Pike,
RI 02828

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

Bristol Historical And Preservation Society Library & Museum],
48 Court Street,
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: (401) 253-7223

Libraries[edit | edit source]

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

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

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

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

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Bristol, Rhode Island" in,_Rhode_Island accessed 3 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bristol County, Rhode Island . Page 602 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 589-591.
  3. WorldCat 50140092FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Wikipedia contributors, "Bristol, Rhode Island" in,_Rhode_Island Last accessed 16 September 2020.