March 31, 2023, 8:07 pm
Death-Records ›› Rhode-Island ››

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General Information About Rhode Island Death Records and Laws
In Rhode Island, death records are available for individuals who need to access them. These records can provide some important information that is often helpful in the management of family records, property records or just information to have on hand. It does take some time to find the data you need if you do not know much about the person's identifying information. However, with the person's name, date of death (or some information about when it occurred) and the county or location of the death, you can find most deaths occurring in this region since the early 1900's, and even sooner.
Since Rhode Island has been established for many years, there are death records dating back hundreds of years in the state. The oldest of records are at a specific location in the state called James N. Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island. You can gather data about the deaths in the region from as far back as 1636, though there are very few very old records there. This is part of the historical society of the region. Most data about the deaths occurring in the state at housed at the state level, though.
In 1853, the state of Rhode Island began requiring that the local counties and towns to report all deaths to the state. All vital records that have since occurred have been sent to the Vital Records Division. If you are looking for any Rhode Island death records from 1853 through the present time, you can search for them through the following address.
State of Rhode Island
Department of Health, Division of Vital Records
Cannon Building
Room 101
75 Davis Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02908
However, most records from prior to 1948 are not stored at the state archives. You can contact the address above to find out more information on how to access these records. They may be available, but the process of locating records that old may take several weeks to several months. This depends on factors such as the reporting agency as well as whether the records have moved properly. The more information you have about the person's death, including the date and full name, the easier it will be to find these types of older records.
Rhode Island death records provide an important service to the public, but this data is simply not on hand in all cases. If you have any problems finding the information that you need regarding death records at the archives or through the state's Vital Records Office, the next step is to look much more locally. Local towns in the state do have records of deaths. In addition, one of the oldest sources of information is available through the local religious organizations. Some of these organizations have been in place in the area for hundreds of years and have all data related to the births, deaths and marriages of members on hand. This can be a great resource for finding the information necessary for your own family genealogy report or other research.
Rhode Island Death Records
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