Message Boards > Localities > North America > United States > States > Rhode Island > Counties > Washington
Subject: Re: Dec 15, 1870, N. Kingstown RI Town Records Destroyed 160 yrs of birth, marriage & death records!! Wickford National Bank Fire
Date: Friday, December 26, 2014
Surnames: Bly, Carr, Tefft, Tanner, Greene
Further research on surnames from this area has found many families with "holes" in their genealogy from the North Kingstown surrounding areas. Missing records of names from Bly to Carr to Tanner and many others may have been lost to the fire. The Bly records missing run from late 1600s to at least 1760 with the exception of a partially reconstructed entry on Jonathan Bly. He is known to have several siblings but no birth, marriage or death records survived for his generation or his father's or grandfather's.
Researching the Fones records for deeds before and around 1709 helps connect descendants of these original settlers of Washington and Kent (Kings) County. Our family example is Daniel Bly, grandfather of Jonathan, proven through letters, wills and deeds. These documents mention siblings who lived in the immediate 20 mile area. There were Blys in nearby towns of Exeter, Greenwich, Coventry, Stonington and Voluntown, Ct. None of these people exist in the vital records.
When North and South Kingstown split, N Kingstown was declared the oldest and held the official records, though I believe S Kingstown may have created their own copy of their vital records. Consequently the Teffts, Greenes and others associated with my own research in that area seem to have better records.
Another helpful search may be to look at the surnames of these first deed holders and trace intermarriage of those names through the descendants. Noticing that friends and families migrated together gave some important clues in my own search.
A YDNA test of a male descendant of Jonathan Bly of N Kingstown 1732 and a male descendant of Benjamin Bly birthplace unknown 1736, revealed a 99.96% chance the two were brothers or first cousins. This is very helpful in calculating Benjamin's birthplace. If you have male participants willing to participate, this test is helpful to confirm incomplete evidence of your ancestor's birthplace.
I hope this helps your search.