Population size in early Rhode Island?

+6 votes
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I'm studying profiles of ancestors of Isaac Slocum (link below). Isaac is one of my ancestors. I see a large number of ancestor threads came from England to Rhode Island Colony as part of the Pilgrim Great Migration and some were prominent in various levels of Rhode Island government. I see that many had large families and the various threads appear to have intermarried a lot. Are there sources for how many people lived in the Rhode Island Colony in, say, 1640 or 1670? This is more out of curiosity rather than a direct genealogy puzzle.
WikiTree profile: Isaac Slocum
in Genealogy Help by Paul Kinney G2G6 (7.9k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

1 Answer

+6 votes
If you're looking for just an order of magnitude on the number of inhabitants in the late 1600's, I'd guess it was thousands, not in the hundreds or in the tens of thousands.

Rhode Island did a census in 1708 -- you can find the totals here

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/coo1.ark:/13960/t5p84vs09?urlappend=%3Bseq=67

I think you'll be hard pressed to find a semi-reliable estimate for any earlier time.  It should also be mentioned that the boundary of the area encompassed by this census is not the modern boundary of the state of Rhode Island.

There is supposedly a list of the freemen just of Providence taken in 1655 -- if it exists, it is probably somewhere in the state archives.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Mach 6 (60.5k points)
edited by Barry Smith
Nice resource, Barry!

Easier to read that census in this format: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t5p84vs09;view=1up;seq=67

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