Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

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Division of Vital Records
Rhode Island Department of Health
3 Capitol Hill, Room 101
Providence, RI 02908-5097

State office keeps birth and marriage records for 100 years and keeps death records for 50 years. For earlier records, write to the city/town clerk where the event occurred or to the Rhode Island State Archives, 337 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903.

Rhode Island Vital Records at FamilySearch

Rhode Island Vital Records at Ancestry