|Cumberland Rhode Island Town Hall|
Vital records and land records are kept in the Town Clerk's office on the first floor. There is a large work area to lay out books and good light for photographing records. There is also a copy machine in the office.
|Death Record - Sarah A. (Gardner) Lawton|
4th Great Grandmother
Among other information found in the original record vs the transcribed volumes for Deaths are:
- full name of deceased with middle names sometimes spelled out
- street address of death
- informant's name
- burial place
- birth date
- full age at death (sometimes only the age in years was found in the record books
Some of this information was in the bound record books but in a more abbreviated form depending on the transcriber. I found several middle names that I had not known, and that were only initialed in the bound volumes and the online record index at FamilySearch.
|Grantee - Grantor Index|
Modern record indexes are computerized, but I don't know when this started. I was looking at records for the mid-late 1800s and early 1900s and these records are indexed in a card catalog. There are two different sets of records - one for Grantees and one for Grantors. The cards are filed by name, and then by year, making it somewhat easy to trace some transactions as I went through the indexed cards. However, the real details are in the original documents and I found some good name and relationship information in the deeds.
|Grantor Index card for Mortgage 1902|
I was able to photograph some of these cards in drawers where the cards were not packed too tightly. The cards were very informative and usually listed:
- type of transaction (mortgage, quit-claim, warranty, etc)
- grantor and grantee names
- year of transaction and book number and page
- brief description of property
|Deed books - Cumberland RI|
The Deed books are in the same room as the card catalog index and are located on the wall facing the card catalog. There is a double set of shelves with the front set on rollers so the back row can be accessed. The earliest records are handwritten and bound in large ledger books and later deeds are typed and reproduced in smaller white and black volumes. More modern records are in the red volumes