Welcome to the BH&PS web site. 
We also have a Facebook page so please don't forget to "Like" us at


Come visit us!! 
Our building is so cool!  
It's a 1828 jail where not only the prisoners were jailed
but also where the jailer and his wife and children lived. 
There are two very dark old cells on the second floor
and even a VIP jail cell with a fireplace and a window.  
The rear 1858 jail block of 10 austere cells with bars as doors is still intact.  
Come see for yoursel

Open Hours:
1:00 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
1:00 to 4 p.m. Summer Saturdays (June to October)
and always by special appointment.

Call ahead for special tours of our collections or for access to our research library.  Books on Bristol history, historic maps, prints and other items are available for sale in our Museum Corner Gift Shop during open hours.

Society members will receive direct mailings of upcoming events 
and this site will provide updates as they occur.  To become a
 member, stop by the Society during open hours or click on 
the membership page to your left.

                          "OVER HERE, OVER THERE"
At Society Headquarters: 48 Court Street, Bristol

       RECEPTION:  NOVEMBER 11th FROM 2 to 4 p.m.
Free and open to the public.

"OVER HERE, OVER THERE" is a pop-up exhibit to commemorate the veterans of World War I on the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, "the war to end all wars."  

Many Bristolians are part of the exhibit including Gertrude Bray (YMCA Rainbow Division, making doughnuts for soldiers on the battlefronts in France), Ralph Freeborn Kinder (Army, First Gas Battalion), John Pardey (Navy), John Edwards (pilot and 1st Lieutenant in the 99th Aero Squadron).  And we have a few non-Bristolians, too, who are ancestors of BH&PS members. 


November 3rd through November 30th
             Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.
and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.

WWI, John Pardey, U.S. Navy

WWI, Gertrude Bray, YMCA Rainbow Division

WWI, John S. Edwards, Pilot, 99th Aero Division

WWI, Ralph Freeborn Kinder, Company A, First Gas Battalion


Next Regular Meeting: December 1, 2018, at 9 a.m.

Society Headquarters

Bring your research and share your story about how you are "stuck" on a particular ancestor and let the Genie Club offer suggestions.

The Club meets regularly on the 1st Saturday of the month except for July and August. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, the group will meet the following Saturday.
Open To All - Just Walk In and Join the Group
send an email to: 
and request to be added to the Genealogy Club Mailing List for notices about upcoming meetings, general genealogical events throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and other information shared between members.

                   Individual Review of Research Problems

We have a very lively group and we devote a portion of each meeting to our "brick wall roundtable" to help members with their individual research problems.  The idea is for members to present their latest "brick wall" so others can help decide what to do next.  The purpose of this short session is not to review an entire family history nor is it to actually solve the entire brick wall but is instead to give ideas on HOW to solve it.


As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation.  The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department.  As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.

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