Enter a name to search for Rhode Island birth certificates. This website was created to provide genealogists with access to Rhode Island birth certificates.. Additional information on how to obtain Rhode Island birth certificates is available below.
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Birth certificates contain information about a person's birth, including the date of birth, place of birth, sometimes the names of the mother and father, and even the physician who attended the birth. Birth certificates issued by state and local governments will often include the place of residence, and the mother's maiden name.
Birth certificates can be used to establish a person's date and place of birth. Most birth certificates provide the mother's maiden name. Birth certificates are often required to obtain other documents, licenses or to prove eligibility.
This webpage gives you access to all of the online databases containing Rhode Island birth records, Rhode Island birth ceritificates, Rhode Island birth notices, Rhode Island birth indexes, and other related Rhode Island genealogy records.
Birth records have long been used to help with genealogy research. They are considered to be "primary source" records, because the information is recorded by an eye witness, at the time the birth takes place. The Internet has allowed people to store birth records into various online archives. This has brought access to online birth records much more easier for genealogy researchers.
Newspapers frequently publish notices of births, and in addition to birth certificates, are a popular source of research by genealogists. Newspapers typically do not announce the names of the newborn, but list the sex of the child, the names of the parents, the place and date of birth.
On this page you will find the most comprehensive databases containing birth records of Rhode Island. We also suggest searching for "Rhode Island birth records" using Google.com, which will yield all such databases.
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How to Obtain Rhode Island Birth Certificates
Though earlier vital records have been gathered and abstracted in James N. Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, 21 vols. (Providence, R.I.: Narragansett Historical Publishing Co., 1891–1912), statewide reporting did not begin until 1853. From that time, copies of vital events recorded in towns were sent to what is now the Rhode Island Division of Vital Statistics. Many records prior to 1894 are now in the state archive. Towns, for the most part, still hold originals in the clerk's office.
For birth and marriage records from 1 January 1894 and death records from 1 January 1948, write:
Office of Vital Records
State office keeps birth and marriage records for 100 years and keeps death records for 50 years.
Personal check or money order should be made payable to General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island. Cost for copy is $15.00. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $10.00 each. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (401) 222-2811. This will be a recorded message. Information on how to obtain certified copies is also available via the Internet at http://www.health.ri.gov/topics/vital.htm.
For earlier records, write to the city/town clerk where the event occurred or to the Rhode Island State Archives:
Rhode Island State Archives
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