The town of Rehoboth was formed in 1641 and originally included the present Massachusetts towns of Seekonk and Attleboro as well as the present Rhode Island towns of Pawtucket, East Providence, Cumberland, and parts of Swansea and Barrington. The town kept its original area until 1667, when Swansea was incorporated, from which was broken off the present town of Barrington in 1717. The area became smaller still with the incorporation of Attleborough in 1694, and much later, in 1812, Seekonk. A section of Attleboro called Attleboro Gore was set off to Rhode Island in 1747 and became the town of Cumberland. This database includes records from all of these present-day towns except for Pawtucket and Seekonk, as the compiler wished to limit this work to a single volume. James N. Arnold, whose Rhode Island Vital Record, 1636-1850 volumes are also searchable on NewEnglandAncestors.org compiled these records, which were published in 1897.

There is no population data for this town.

INTRODUCTION

Rehoboth is a town whose history and colonial experiences are equaled by few and surpassed by none in the State; a town which long held the position of being the most populous in the Old Colony and for a time the most populous (after the Union), in the two colonies; a town which came very near being chosen for the site of the capital; a town within whose borders commenced and ended Philip's war. Its people have been more than ordinarily enterprising, It is therefore becoming that the old town should have her BOOK OF LIFE compiled and published, and it cannot fall into better hands than one whose ancestors once lived and flourished here. This work is therefore undertaken more with a view of preserving this invaluable record than for pecuniary compensation.

When this work was first projected it was estimated that if Pawtucket and Seekonk were included it could be held within the compass of an ordinary volume, but as the work went on it was found impossible to publish more than old Rehoboth in this and let the other two towns form another volume.

A very unfortunate thing has happened in regard to this matter in relation to Pawtucket. The books containing that town's record from 1828 to 1848 are missing and have not as yet been found. The compiler is having a thorough investigation made in order to be fully satisfied as to whether or not the books are still in existence, and he hopes to be able to find them.

The work of Intentions in Rehoboth was found to be in very poor condition and the writing faint. The book had been in a damp place for a long time so that the paper had become very rotten and crumbled badly when touched. It had to be read very carefully under glass. Owing to its poor condition the page could not be given, many of the leaves being loosened from the bindings, etc. We observed that the names and dates when compared with the marriages in many cases disagree. These matters must be solved by the reader by other evidence than was before the compiler of this work at the time of writing. Frequently the name of the bride is different, but this the marriage record corrects, because the latter record would be apt to be given move carefully and so recorded.

The volumes containing the Vital Records are in fine condition, although the older volumes need binding. In fact the good people of this town could not do a more graceful thing than to vote an appropriation to bind and rebind the town records.

Before we go further we wish to extend our thanks to Hon. Ellery L. Goff, the Town Clerk, for his interest in, and for courtesies extended to us during our visit at hbis office in the compilation of this volume. Our thanks are also extended to all other friends who have bestowed favors and courtesies upon us.

We would call attention to the plan of this work, and say that it is not only an Index, but it is also a history as it gives all the vital features of the original record. This work does not give matter at a venture, but book and page for every line.

It is needless for the compiler to say that he has spared no pains in order to give a grand and reliable work, and, while he fully realizes that works of this kind can never be made perfect, he flatters himself there are as few errors in this as there can be found in any other work of this class.

While he regrets that he was not able to include Pawtucket and Seekonk in this volume, as was intended at first, yet he trusts the invaluable tables and lists of the early proprietors, freemen and inhabitants, as well as the soldiers of Philip's War and of the Revolution, and the Colonial Returns, will in a measure compensate for other seeming neglect. These invaluable lists were taken from Bliss' History of Rehoboth and the Plymouth Colonial Records.

As will he seen by a perusal of our pages pains have been taken to avoid all ambiguity. The prime object of the compiler was to so arrange the matter that one need not be a professional reader to understand it; hence the simplicity of the work.

Again, the spelling of many names has been retained while others had to be so changed as to come within a reasonable index.

That the reader may be profited, instructed and rewarded for his labor and time while perusing our pages is the earnest wish of the compiler.

A general guide to how to use these pages.

If you are new to this site, or haven't used the site a lot, please be sure to read the rest of this page. Even if you have used this site a lot, a refresher may be helpful due to the changes that have been introduced.

You can research the records alphabetically or chronologically within surname. Images of the pages from which the transcriptions were done, and the title pages, are available for most towns. A list of abbreviations used is available.

Alphabetic - This is the most common way that the published vital records were presented. All of the same given names were arranged chronologically with names that had middle initials or middle names following the others. Nicknames would appear alphabeticall according to the spelling, i.e. Nabby, the nickname for Abigail, would be with the names beginning with the letter "N."

In this version, the names are sorted based on the most common spelling. Abbie, Abby, Abigail, Knabby, Nabby, etc., will all appear together and will be chronological. Middle initials and middle names have no influence on the order.

Note: There are going to be errors in the indexing of the names. A woman named Abiel may have been recorded as Abby. The indexing will have her with the Abigails. Please notify me with the Contact page about errors and they will be fixed within a couple days.

Chronologic - The chronologic sort will be most helpful with surnames having lots of entries, especially births. Records that had a missing date, or part, have had the missing portions replaced with zeros and will appear ahead of the others.

Page images - The icon at the left of each record is a link to the image of the page from which the transcription was done. The transcriptions are a tool. The image is the source. It is your responsibility to copy the image for your documentation. Also, the title page should be copied. There is a link to the title page in the navigation bar on transcription pages and image display pages.

Abbreviations - Each town had its own abbreviations used in the published records. Most of these are the same. The abbreviations for the headstones (GR), private records (PR), churches (CR), etc. are all different. There is a link to a list of all abbreviations used for the town in the navigation bar of the transcription pages.

Errors - There are two types of errors.

  • Errors in the published records - It is known that errors are in the published records. Not many, to be sure, but they are there. Where I have found them, or have been informed and provided sufficient documentation, the records have been annotated. This appears in red at the end of the line.]
  • Transcription errors - Even with the best of proofing, errors occur. If you find one, use the Contact link at the top of the page and tell me about the error. I need to have the town name, type of record, page number, what the error is and what it should be. It facilitates matters if you copy and paste the record in error into the e-mail.

Miscellaneous - As the opportunity has provided, I have tried to research names that had only initials or an initial and a surname to find the full names. Where I've been successful I've added the name in red, i.e. J.R. appears as J[ohn] R. or J[ohn] R[ussel].

The alphabetic and chronologic sort orders and many planned improvements require that towns be transcribed. If you can spare two, or more, hours per week to help with the transcribing, write me.

With the exception of the few people helping with transcribing and indexing, I am the only person working on this project. I do all of the technical work. I correct errors. I put transcriptions into final format. I design the pages. This takes a tremendous amount of time and money. If you find this site useful, please donate what you think it is worth to you by going to the donations page.