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For the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations

It’s NERGC week!

It’s finally here!

RI.lawPeople from all over New England — people with roots back in New England — people who are just interested in New England genealogy will be flocking to Providence for the 2015 New England Regional Genealogical Consortium which gets undertway at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Wednesday’s offerings are two special tracks: the Librarians and Teachers Day Track and the Tech Day track. And then the whole conference gets underway Thursday with what is going to be about the most fun opening session ever: a first person talk from the first English settler in what is now Rhode Island.

Really.

Well, okay, so it’s not exactly him, but hey… anybody who’s willing to dress in mid-17th century costume and tell us about what went on from the Pilgrims to King Phillip’s War is just fine by us, right?

And in preparation for this week, as you can imagine, The Legal Genealogist has been poking around in old statute books again, and offers the following as tidbits to help anyone looking for the statutes of Rhode Island.

It turns out you can find a fairly good sampling of early Rhode Island session laws online:

Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1747-1752 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1753-1757 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1758-1762 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1762-1765 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1765-1769 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1769-1771 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1773-1775 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1776 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1777 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1779 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1781 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1782 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1784 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1786 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1789 (Google Books) and (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1792 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1795 (Google Books) and (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1798 (Internet Archive) and (Internet Archive)

Once you get into the 19th century, however, things are a lot sparser in the online offerings. Some that you will find online include:

Public Laws of the State of Rhode-Island … as Revised … 1844 (Internet Archive)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1850 (Google Books)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1852 (Google Books)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1855 (Google Books)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1857 (Google Books)
Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly 1858 (Google Books)

The Rhode Island State Law Library has excellent historical resources… but, for the most part, they’re not online. The Library website has a Legal Links page, but the Rhode Island links there go to the State Legislature site where the Public Laws, Acts and Resolves are online only back to 1999; the legislative journals to 1998; and and bill texts back to 1997.

One exception is that published indexes to the Acts and Resolves that will give you an overview of most of the State’s historical statutes through 1899 have been digitized and are available online through the HELIN Digital Commons, a library consortium in which Rhode Island colleges and universities participate:

John Russell Bartlett, Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1758-1850 Part 1 (A-G), Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1758-1850 Part 2 (H-O) and Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1758-1850 Part 3 (P-Y).

John Russell Bartlett, Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1850-1862.

Joshua M. Addeman, Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1863-1873.

Charles P. Bennett, Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1873-1899 Part 1 (A-G); Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1873-1899 Part 2 (H-O); and Index to the Acts & Resolves of Rhode Island 1873-1899 Part 3 (P-Z).

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