Search Rhode Island Birth Records
Searching for birth records in Washington County in the state of Rhode Island
There are dozens of reasons why someone living in Washington County in the state of Rhode Island might want to search for birth records in the region. These records, like marriage and death certificates, are maintained by the Washington County Clerk’s office or the office of the Registrar Recorder. These are the public bodies that are responsible for recording all the vital moments in each US citizen’s life, though there are sometimes local organizations that record events like births and deaths from a public health point of view. Sometimes people are interested in finding their own birth certificate; perhaps they have lost theirs and need a copy for identification purposes; maybe they have never had a copy of their birth certificate because of a family dispute and want to know details about their parents and birth. Some older birth certificates don’t include details about the child’s parents, which can be problematic these days as that information is required when applying for passports or travel visas. If your birth certificate does not have the names of your parents recorded, then you should contact the Washington County Clerk or Registrar Recorder’s office to get a new one.
Often those researching their family tree are very interested in historical birth certificates, as these can help build up a picture of their family tree. Birth records in Washington County have been maintained for decades, and in some cases even as far back as the 19th century making them an ideal resource for genealogists. Many of these older documents have not yet been transferred onto computer systems, meaning that the only way to see the original is to go to the archives of the County Clerk’s office or the office of the Registrar Reorder to search through their files. If you live a long way from the state of Rhode Island, archive staff may be able to carry out the search for you if you make an application by mail or email and are willing to wait for the results. They will also charge a standard fee for the service.
If you don’t want to wait for results there are genealogy websites that have compiled older birth records from Washington County and across the US, as well as commercial sites that have databases of more modern birth certificates, allowing you to search for people who have been born in the last few years. This can be useful if you are checking up on a new partner to make sure they are who they say they are or want to carry out a background check on a new employee. Employers should beware that they are not breaking the law by accessing this personal information of applicants without their permission, however. Perhaps your new partner is insisting that they have no children from previous relationships, but you are suspicious that this is not true. Many of these sites allow you to input the father or mother’s name and check if they appear on any local birth records from Washington County or the state of Rhode Island. However, just because they don’t appear on any birth records in the region where they currently live doesn’t mean they don’t have children elsewhere in the US, and these fee-based sites allow you to search the rest of the country too. Most will only charge a fee if you actually get any results and then want to see the full information related to them; no hits often means no fee.
Births are also frequently announced in local newspapers in Washington County and throughout the state of Rhode Island, with families happy to place small adverts and notices when it comes to happy events. In fact, you can often get more information about the child’s family from newspaper announcements than you can from official records when it comes to more recent births, as the personal information contained within birth records from recent years is often protected and hidden from the general public, unless you have a good reason to see it. Most newspapers have searchable websites, making finding these birth notices and announcements very easy and often free. Even older records that are not on the web version of the publication can be found by looking in the archive editions, which will usually be kept either at the newspaper office itself or in the Washington County libraries.