Research & Primary Sources

To do genealogical research at the Society during open hours, it is necessary to call in advance to be sure there is a staff member or a volunteer with knowledge of the Library and the Document Room to assist you. If needed, a special appointment may be arranged on other days. Basic research in the Library and Document Room is free to Society members.There is a $10 per diem charge for non-members.

The Society has primary resource documents and books on many Rhode Island families in addition to local family genealogies (see list below). The Library has the complete and invaluable set of James N. Arnold's Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850. This resource is also available at HeritageQuest, an online library accessible for free for RI residents with their Ocean State library card (see below).

You may request research to be done for you at the rate of $25 per hour. Call 401-253-7223 or send an email to

The BH&PS Genie Club

The Society has a Genealogy Club which meets at 9 am on the first Saturday of the month (except for July and August) which anyone may join at no charge. 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 or 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 you to 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.

Bristol PHOENIX Newspapers

The Bristol PHOENIX Newspaper is an additional resource for genealogists tracing Bristol ancestors.  Check out the DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF THE BRISTOL PHOENIX which is indexed back to 1833 and you may search by year or browse by keyword.  Go to:

Ocean State Library Card for & the Heritage Quest Collection

OCEAN STATE LIBRARY CARD:  Rhode Island residents with an Ocean State library card have access to many free online genealogical resources including:

  • at Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI.  Will need to use the Library's computers to log on and access is free.  Hours are:  Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Heritage Quest is a library within itself and provides genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries, with coverage dating back as early as the 1700s. It may be accessed for free online at the Cumberland, RI, Public Library's website from your home computer using your Ocean State library card id #. Go to and scroll down to Heritage Quest. Be sure to click on "Please click here, if you are accessing this database from home" and  enter your Ocean State library card id #.

The Heritage Quest Collection consists of five core data sets:

  • U.S. Federal Censuses feature the original images of every extant federal census in the United States, from 1790 through 1940, slave, veteran, and non-population schedules, and more related content. 
  • Genealogy and local history books provide more than 7 million digitized page images from over 28,000 family histories, local histories, and other books. 
  • Revolutionary War records provides access to the complete NARA Series M804 collection - Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, a collection of an estimated 83,000 application files from officers and enlisted men who served in the Revolutionary War in all branches of the American military: army, navy, and marines.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records, with more than 480,000 names of bank applicants, their dependents, and heirs from 1865–1874, offers valuable data that can provide important clues to tracing African American ancestors and researching the Reconstruction Era.

Links to the following content are also available to the following collections: 

  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set records the memorials, petitions, private relief actions made to the U.S. Congress back to 1789, with a total of more than 480,000 pages of information. 

Rhode Island Families

The Society has files for the following Rhode Island families. In addition, some genealogical charts are also located in the Library. Please call in advance so that the Librarian or a volunteer will be on site to pull files for you. List current as of May 2016. 

Almy Family 

Andrews, Robert, Sylvia, Eliza

Babbitt, Jacob 

Bache, Evelyn and family

Balzano family

Bates Family 

Bennett Family 

Black – see Trotter – Black 

Blagrove Family 

Bosworth Family See: Gardens, Bristol History of

            Bosworth, Roswell

Bourn/Bourne Family 

Bowen Family  

Bowerman Family 

Boynton family 

Bradford Family – LeBaron family See: Gardens, Bristol – History of 

            Bradford, Leonard Jarvis

            Bradford, Parnell            

            Bradford, William, Senator

Bragg, Henry, John 

Briggs, see Goodwin Family

Briggs, Ruth, Col. – see Embroideries

Bristed, John, the Reverend

Brown, see Paine – Brown Family, also Moses Brown Ives

Brown Family, “The Browns of Providence” by George C. Hull

Brownell Family, letter by Geo. Howe  

Bullock Family 

            Bullock, Emma Wescott , see also Wescott, Stukeley

Bunn Family

Burnham Family, see also War, Civil War, Burnham letter

Burnside, Ambrose

Byfield, Nathaniel Family 

Cady Family – occupants of Jail Building

Calder, see also Gladding – Smith - Calder

Carr Family 

Cary Family

Chadwick Family

Chase Family of Prudence Island

Champlin Family 

Church Family, see also Warren Family

Church, Capt. William Howe 

            Church, Helen

Cirillo Family

Clark, Jeremy of Newport 

Codman family

Coggeshall and Allied Families 

Coit, David A. & Family, see also Goodwin See also Scrimshaw

Cole Family, Bristol & Warren, RI 

Collins Family 

Colt Family – see files in Document Room under Benson files

Cook Family – Genealogical chart in bottom cupboard

Cummings Family 

Darling family – see Cuba files in Document Room

DeWolf Family Genealogy

DeWolf, Abigail

            DeWolf family files and History of

DeWolf, Charles

DeWolf, General George

DeWolf - Herreshoff, Louise & Katherine 

DeWolf, James, will

DeWolf, James A., Dr.

DeWolf, John, Capt. and “Farmer”, genealogical chart for John DeWolf and wife 

            Susan (Reynolds) DeWolf in bottom cupboard

DeWolf, John – “Norwest”

DeWolf, John, Professor, “Fesser John”

DeWolf, Levi

            DeWolf, Mark A.             

            DeWolf, Obituaries 

            DeWolf, William Henry 

            DeWolf, William in Cuba, Will and Lawsuit 

            DeWolf, Winthrop 

Diman –Dimand Family 

            Diman, Byron

Diman, George Waters - book

Diman, Henry Wight

Diman, Martha - Diary 

            Dimond, Francis Moore 

Dimock, Joseph and family

Doringh Family See: Gardens, Bristol, History of

Drowne Family 

Drury – Goodwin, Daniel and family

Easterbrooks Family

Eddy Family 

Esleeck – Childs Family 

Evans family

Ezikovich Family

Fales Family 

Fay family

Freeborn, James Thomas, carpenter 

French Family

Fulton family

Gibson – Knowlton Family

Gladding, Charles & Lillian Family 

Gladding, Hawkins Family 

Gladding, John – 2 tubes of genealogical charts in bottom cupboard of library

Gladding, Miriam Family 

            Gladding, Smith, Calder Family 

Goff Family 

Gooding Family 

Goodwin, Daniel, see Drury – Goodwin

Goodwin Family – Coit, Briggs and others 

Gorham Family – Notes on Providence Line 

Gray, Edward of Plymouth 

Greenhill Family 

Guiteras Family

Haffenreffer Family See: Haffenreffer Museum

Hall Family See: Gardens, Bristol, History of.

Halsey Family, see also Winthrop – Halsey 

Hawkins, see also Gladding - Hawkins Family 

Healy Family

Henshaw Family

Herreshoff Family 

Hoar/Hoare Family 

Holbrook – Weaver Family 

Howe Family 

Howe, Halsey DeWolf, Reverend

Howe, Herbert, Sr. “Reminiscences of Bristol Youth”

Howe, George Locke

            Howe, Mark Anthony DeWolf – poetry

            Howe, Wallis E.

Howes, Thomas – Genealogical chart in bottom cupboard

Howland Family 

Hubbard Family 

Rhode Island Families (continued)

Ingraham Family – see also Minturn Family – Genealogical chart in bottom cupboard

James Family of Bristol and Newport,  RI. See also John DeWolf, Jr.

Jolls, Thomas Family 

Jones Family – Capt. Tom Jones 

Kimball, William B.

Kinder Family

King, Clement Family 

King Phillip or Metacom 

Kinnecutt Family 

Knowlton, Josephine Gibson – see also Gibson. Also Books – Butterballs and 

            Fingerbowls, Longfield

Lawless, Capt. James, died March 29, 1891

Little – Howland Family, see also Russell

Locke, Rev. George Howe – account of voyage to Curacoa

Luther, GilesMacauley, David, artist, author

Manchester Family

Marshall, Philip

Maxfield family

May Family

McCarthy, William (Bill)

Middleton Family, see also Russell See: Gardens, Bristol, History of 

Miller Family (Bristol, Mobile, AL) Miller – Smith – two genealogical charts in bottom 


Minturn Family – see also DeWolf Family 

Morgan, Alice Bell

Morice, Daniel Nathaniel See: Gardens, Bristol, History of 

Munro/Monro Family - Two charts in bottom cupboard

            Monro, Annie, will listing all belongings and heirs, 1907

            Munro, George – Chart in bottom cupboard

            Munro, Letters about 

            Munro, Nathaniel – Revolutionary War Service 

            Munro, Simeon & Archibald 

            Munro, Sylvester

            Munro, Wilfred H.

            Munro, William P.

Newton – Toman Family 

Norris Family 

Northrup Family

Oliver, Nathaniel, a founder of Bristol, RI 

Oxx Family, book in bookcase

Paine – Brown Family, see also Russell – Genealogical chart in bottom cupboard

Paine, William, Sailmaker

Pardee Family – Alice DeWolf Pardee, Nancy Abercrombie 

Paull Family 

Peabody – Peabodie - Sisson

Pearse Family – Pearce family chart in bottom cupboard.

Pearse, Lydia, will of 1801

Pearse, Richard Family 

Pearse, Samuel Family 

Pearse, Capt. William Family 

Peck Family 

Perry Family

Pineo Family 

Pozzi family

Potter, Hopestill (Reynolds, Walley, Ware) 

Potter, Simeon. See also DeWolf

Pratt see ivory, scrimshaw

Quinn, Anthony

Reynolds Family 

Richmond Family 

Rogers – DeWolf Family

Rosbotham Family 

Russell, Nathaniel, Jonathan Family, see also Paine Family

Sabin Family 

Sanford Family

Sanford – Howland Connection

Sanford, Louis C., Bishop of San Joaquin, CA

Santulli Family

Saunders Family 

Seymour family – in Cuba files

Simmons Family

Sisson Family with George

Slocum Family

Smith, Richard D. – son of John Smith from Hartford, CT

Smith Family, Richard Smith of Bristol see also Gladding – Smith Family. Genealogical 

            chart in bottom cupboard  Smith, Benjamin Bosworth, Bishop 

Soule, George, of the Mayflower

Southworth Family – see also Church Family

Spalding, Edward – see also Manufacturing, Sugar Refineries

Springer Family 

Spooner family – see also Bourne, Manchester, McCaughy

Swan Genealogy 

Taylor Family

Tessler, Helene

Thayer Family, also Levere, Viera, Breen

Thompson, Cephas, Cephas Giovanni

Thompson Family, Edward, Fireman

Thorp Family – see Cards, Funeral

Throop Family, see also Waldron Family

Toman Family, see Newton – Toman Family

Townsend family

Trotter  - Black Family 

Usher Family, Hezikiah, Bookseller, and John, Lt. Gov.            

            Usher Family, Thomas Jefferson 

Waldron Family 

Walker, Thomas 

Wardwell Family 

Warren Family see also Church, Southworth

Weaver Family, see also Holbrook – Weaver 

Wescott, Stukeley – Bullock, Emma Wescott Family 

Wight Family 

Williams, Fielding L. Family

Williams, Roger family

Wilson Family 

Winthrop - Halsey Family 

Young Family