This compilation of family history articles from Rhode Island periodicals is unique in several respects. In the first place it ties together hundreds of articles devoted exclusively to Rhode Island genealogy. Second, it derives from publications that are completely out of the reach of the average researcher and almost entirely unknown, even to the professional. Third, it embodies the work of the most respected names in Rhode Island genealogy, among them James Arnold, John Austin, William W. Chapin, G. Andrews Moriarty, Sidney S. Rider, and Henry E. Turner. Finally, it contains the most complete register of arms of Rhode Island families ever published, featuring, in particular, the famous “Gore Roll of Arms.” In no other work can the genealogist find such a comprehensive body of literature on Rhode Island families, not even in Austin’s classic Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island.
The articles forming this unique collection were taken from a total of six Rhode Island periodicals. Three were issued by the Rhode Island Historical Society, namely Rhode Island Historical Society Collections, Rhode Island History, and Publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society. The remaining three were published privately and are the most difficult to find today. These are the Newport Historical Magazine, The Narragansett Historical Register, and Rhode Island Historical Tracts. Viewed as a collection–with dozens of articles on English origins and scores of other articles showing descent from immigrant settlers–the family history articles from these six periodicals offer the researcher an excellent chance of making ancestral connections in Rhode Island.
Following is a list of the families mentioned in the table of contents to the main body of the work: Adams, Allen, Arnold, Audley, Austin, Babcock, Bailey, Baker, Barker, Bartlett, Billings, Borden, Boss, Bowen, Braman, Bull, Burrill, Butler, Carpenter, Carr, Carter, Case, Chapman, Checkley, Clarke, Coddington, Coggeshall, Cole, Cook, Cornell, Cozzens, Cranston, Davis, Dexter, Dorr, Dyre, Ellery, Eyres, Fenner, Foster, Gardiner, Gilliam, Gorton, Greene, Grinnell, Haszard, Holden, Hopkins, Howard, Hoyle, Hubbard, Hutchinson, Jackson, Jenks/Jenckes, Jenkins, Langford, Langley, Langworthy, Latham, Lawton, Long, Mason, Maylem, Melville, Mew, Mott, Olney, Palmer, Peck, Percy/Perce/Pearcy/Pearce, Pemberton, Perry, Place-Knight, Potter, Power, Ray, Redwood, Rhodes, Richmond, Robert-Rodman, Saffin, Sanford, Sayles, Sherman, Slack, Smith, Stanton, Stewart, Taylor, Tillinghast, Torrey, Tripp, Uncas, Vars, Vernon, Viall, Walker, Wanton, Waterman, Weeden, Whaley, Whipple, Whiteman/Wightman, Wilcox, Williams, Wilson, Wright, and Yates. Hundreds of additional families, it should be emphasized, figure into the extensive Appendix following at the back of the second volume.