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Land and Public Notary records

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: C#00481

Scope and Contents

Record of early deeds & land grants, conveyances or confirmation of titles between natives & colonists or among individual parties including some indentures, powers of attorney, wills & probate or other matters pertinent. First three volumes (1642 – 1721) appear to be a continuation of land evidences as recorded within the initial volumes of the Rhode Island Colony Records, 1646 – 1669 (see recording mandates, Part I, pp. 161; Part II, pp. 225, 234). Volumes 4 through 8 primarily consist of public notary documents as relating to maritime activities including ship protests, bonds & commissions granted, prize shares, bills of exchange or lading, testimony, copies of orders & receipts, bankruptcies, etc.


  • 1642-1796

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Biographical / Historical

Lands - transfers, recording requirements defined: C#0204 – Rhode Island Colony Records, Vols. 1, p. 161, Vol. II, pp. 225, 234

General Court of Election at Newport, 13th of the first month, 1644 "... all such Lands as were granted to any, they should be recorded in the State Book, which shall be their Evidence to Perpetuity…”

Acts & Orders made at General Court of Election held at Portsmouth, May 19 - 21, 1647 " Lands, Tenements, or other Hereditaments, shall pass, alter or change from one to another... except the same bargaine and sale be made by writing, indented, sealed and enrolled in a Meeting of the Town, where such Lands, or Tenements soe bargained and sold...Town clerk being for that time, shall sufficiently enroll and engross the same deed and writing indented as aforesaid, and a Coppie of the Rolls thereof, he shall at the end of the year deliver to the General Recorder for the Colony, there to remaine in his custody among other Records of the same Town…”

“Generall Recorder’s Office shall be in the generall, to keep a Coppie of all the Records or Acts of the Generall Assemblie, Generall and particular Courts of Judicature, Rolles of the Freeman of the Colonie, Records, Evidence, Sales and Bargains of Land…”

Lands – form of recordings defined – General Court of Commissioners for the Collony held at Warwicke, May 22, 1662

October, 1705 - Act establishing a public notary in the colony for the performance of all matters relating to the drawing of protests, etc., and providing that the general recorded of the colony fill the position (Rhode Island Colony Records, Vol. 11, p. 451; Digest of 1745, p. 37)


2.6 Cubic Feet (8 volumes)


Record of early deeds & land grants/maritime related matters

Rhode Island Digital Archives


No accruals are anticipated at this time.

Related Materials

Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island Land Evidences, 1648 - 1896, Vol. 1, Providence, 1921, 246 pp. / index

Bartlett, John Russell, Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, 1636 - 1663, Vol. 1, pp. 127 - 128, 177 – 178, 195 – 196, 477 – 479 [lands - recording requirments]
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Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA