Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More RI Court Records

I mentioned last week that many of the courts in RI had changed names over time. Here's an example of a record from the "Court of Judicature Assize and General Gaol Delivery" from King's County in 1769. This court was one of the precursors to the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
  Court of Judicature Assize and General Gaol Delivery, King's County [Washington County], RI, Vol. B, 1763-1782, April 1769, pg 202, RI Supreme Court Judicial Records Center, Pawtucket, RI.
 This case summary names William Sachem, James Niles and a variety of other Narragansett Indians in a land dispute relating to 30 acres in Charlestown. Unfortunately, many of the case files associated with these record books are inaccessible, so this is the only information related to this case. This case refers to another court record, from the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in 1768, which has more information about the dispute.

In another case from the Court of Common Pleas, James Niles, Junior, an Indian man and Cooper, sues Michael Toby for trespass, but that it was later withdrawn.
Washington County, Court of Common Pleas, Record Book H, pg 134, 1770, Niles vs. Toby. RISCJRC, Pawtucket.

By the careful use of court records, you can often find interesting information relating to an ancestor's occupation, residence, neighbors and community. In colonial Rhode Island research in particular, I have found that court records and land records are some of the best resources when establishing relationships since so few vital records are available.

Next week, some cool examples of naturalization records found at the RI Supreme Court Judicial Records Center.

No comments:

Post a Comment