Project Milestone! -- 1774 Census of Rhode Island

+15 votes

The 1774 Census of Rhode Island Project aims to create a "census database", that is, a version of the 1774 census that links people named in the census to profiles on WikiTree.  

Today the project passed the last milestone set on January 1 -- hooking up 4% of the 9900 heads-of-household in the census!  That's 1 out of every 25 households!  The aspiration is 100% coverage, and the next milestone will be 7%.

This project could eventually expand in many directions:

  • Creating an "expanded census". The project would enable the creation of a census substitute that gives names both of heads-of-household and of people who appear only as check-marks in the census
  • Pushing backward to create a census substitute for the previous generation.
  • Double-checking secondary sources and resolving outstanding questions about identities and dates.
  • Creating a repository of information on minorities in Rhode Island at the onset of the Revolution, specifically including African Americans and Native Americans, who were separately categorized and counted in the census, covering individuals both free and enslaved.
  • Verifying "completeness" of a small but extremely well-documented piece of WikiTree.

Perhaps you have other ideas!  Please jump on in if you do!

Minimal participation is simple.  Go look at your family trees, and if you see a line that includes a person who probably would have been head-of-househod in Rhode Island in 1774, include the following on a line above his/her biography:

[[Category: 1774 Census of Rhode Island]]

If you want to go further, there is more information on the project page:

Thanks to everyone who has already participated:  R. Greenup, Sue Hall, Mindy Silva, and Ellen Smith.  If I left you out, maybe I forgot, but maybe instead I didn't notice the new profiles you added and I should have!  Let me know in the comments and I'll give you a shout out!  

in Requests for Project Volunteers by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (305k points)
edited by Barry Smith
have not yet found anyone in that state , but a bunch are all around it so I bet I do - will look at those in that area this weekend and see if it leads there - meanwhile good work and keep on!
I have numerous ancestors on the 1774 census in Rhode Island, but are not on WikiTree yet. Contact me if you are interested.
@Anonymous Cottrell: Great!  I just sent you a PM.
Part of the project aims to make "attributions" of each census tally to a person, e.g. wife, child, etc.  But only people named in the census, i.e. the head of household, is being linked to the project for now.  The attributions are being made in the research notes section of the profile for the head-of-household.
Thanks Barry, I've marked my Staffords and some number of Stantons who maybe connected to my "brickwall" Barbara Stanton.

3 Answers

+9 votes
Hi Barry,  This is interesting.  I will try to connect the Smiths, or at least the ones I am pretty sure fit.  John Smiths will be hopeless, but maybe the Noah or Mercy Smiths. . . .
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (655k points)
If anything is hopeless, John Smiths probably will be.  But the proximity (in time) of the 1777 Military Census and the 1782 Census really form a powerful trio for disambiguation, or so I've found.  Thanks for your help!
Thanks for linking those Smiths!
+4 votes
Many or most of mine lived in Westerly. Will be happy to fast track them to you.
by Nancy Cottrell G2G3 (3.3k points)
Yes, that would be great!  Fast-tracking is easy -- just add [[Category: 1774 Census of Rhode Island]] above the == Biography == heading on the profile page.  If you can, try to ensure that the person is a head-of-household in the census first.  We aren't (currently) categorizing all of the additional children, etc. who appear just as tallies in the census.
I have Cottrells in Westerly, Stillmans, and Hubbards, etc. as time allows I will try to add to this project.
Some of my names as well.
+3 votes

My husband's Ballou family should be in the 1774 census you describe.  There are lots of them.  I will have to verify.  

Where can we see a a copy of the census?

Hi Laurie,

The most accurate transcription was published in the periodical Rhode Island Roots. You can search for a person in the publication at this link

Put in his/her first and last names and search.  If you see a hit that says "Text: 1774 Census of Rhode Island", then the "view image" link for that hit will take you to the appropriate page of the transcription.  Or it will if you are logged in.  You need an American Ancestors account to view the actual transcription, but the guest membership level, which is free, is enough to view Rhode Island Roots. If you don't have a membership, I highly recommend getting the free one.

Also, I recently hooked up some Ballous, so you might see if any of your husband's Ballous have the 1774 census category on the profile already.  If not, then I'd love it if you'd add it!

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