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Providence, Rhode Island Directories

RI-1900 directory ADSThe smallest state in land size in the United States but one with a long history. Along its Atlantic shores it has towns that date back to colonial America. Even with its small land size, many people have lived and still do in this state, making it the second most densely populated state.

So you could have had ancestors who lived or worked in Rhode Island, especially in the main city of Providence. The archives with a collection of Providence City Directories have been recently scanned and the original pages can be downloaded as a PDF document Free for anyone to view and have a copy on their computer. The dates of these directories is from 1895 to 1935 — some 40 years worth.

These are actually referred to as ‘House Directories‘ making them better than standard city directories. There are advertisements placed by local business, a complete listing of all streets and roads and which connect to which. Along each street listing is the building or house number and then the name of the family living in a residence or the shop / business at a specific location.

Each year’s house directory from 1895 to 1935 can be downloaded individually, saved and viewed anytime. Each year is many pages, so the download in PDF will be large, but all of the directory is scanned. If you had an ancestor living in Providence or one who had a business in town, this would be a wonderful, primary source to gather information. You could follow year by year places an ancestor lived and about their occupation or business.

Finding a business advertisement an ancestor paid to place in the directory would be an extra bonus. A good deal of information will be in any of those advertisements.

RI-1900-Names addressAlso listed are the schools, churches, civic organizations, fire and police departments, hospitals, etc. Just about anything in Providence was listed in each directory. Scroll down to view each year link and click on it to download that year.

>Photos: 1900 Providence, RI directory; advertisement page and a street with names and addresses.

Related genealogical blogs:

Occupations and City Directories

City Directories – Where Time Stands Still


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