Thursday, January 09, 2014

Rhode Island Vital Records

Although NEHGS has the searchable collection of Rhode Island Vital Records. I still turn to Diane's One Rhode Island Family blog page about the collections of Vital Records by Arnold. It will be nice to see all the surnames for East Greenwich in one place. But, I am getting ahead of myself a bit.

In 2006, after finding the Aylsworth genealogy, I made a quick list of the persons that I had to look up in the Vital Records of Rhode Island and started printing out the results and putting them in my notebook. I am glad that I did that because it has helped me enter them correctly into my tree without having to be online all the time I am working. Here's the way they look today at NEHGS:

Aylworth Anthony, of John and Sarah Briggs, of Richard; m. by Thomas Spencer, Justice, Jan. 9, 1728-9.  Town Page Detail: Marriage (Vol. 3 : Pg. 9) East Greenwich, RI

Anthony, son of John Aylworth married Sarah, daughter of Richard Briggs. Thomas Spencer, Justice of the Peace married them on 9 Jan 1728-29 in East Greenwich, RI and the marriage is recorded in Vol. 3 Page 9 in that town. Judging from my previous printout, Thomas Spencer married a lot of couples named Aylworth.

Sarah Briggs also was from East Greenwich and her parents were Richard Briggs and Susannah SPENCER. This may mean that the family named Briggs was closely associated with the Justice of the Peace. Sarah has a birth record but her parents are not specifically named except in their marriage record.

Marriage records in Rhode Island are quite good. Births and deaths are not. Rhode Islanders had to pay to have births, marriages and deaths recorded. I suspect the ministers and the justices paid the fee to prove they were doing their job. in my experience, there are far more marriages recorded.

The Briggs family is a very interesting one. They were farmers. That might not see interesting excerpt for the fact that their farm still exists! I think it amazing that I have TWO (or more) farm families in my genealogy who farmed and whose land id still being worked. 

East Greenwich is the next town over to my home town of Cranston. I am amazed that this project keeps working back to Great Grandpa Charles Stewart. They sent him to school in East Greenwich and I have no idea why. I don't think he knew his wife's family lived there. Genealogy is such a big circle. 

1 comment:

Diane B said...

Thanks for the mention, Midge! I have one or two good genealogy books with East Greenwich families. Let me know if you want anything looked up.
I agree with what you're saying about the vital records. Of them all, I think birth records are the rarest. Tend to be wealthy families only. How I would like to go back and pay the quarter or whatever for my ancestors to record those!!!