Beginning in 1819, what came to be known as the Old Stone Bank served the people of Greater Providence, including those living in neighboring states. In the earliest years, little personal information was collected. But as Providence grew in population, more information was needed as a way of identifying customers. For example, Irish immigrants, who made up the vast majority of the state’s foreign base in the early years, came to be identified by their Irish county of birth. When Italians, Azoreans, Cape Verdeans and others arrived, their birthplaces were likewise noted. Additionally, people who lived elsewhere and did business in the state also banked at the Old Stone Bank, including sailors who made regular calls on the port city. In a nutshell, the Old Stone Records document migration patterns, family life and the changes taking place in Rhode Island., developments that reflect broader American patterns, as well.
The original records are located at the Rhode Island Historical Society's Robinson Research Center. In time, we hope that all the original pages will be available for viewing online.
A volunteer group of lovers of history and Providence are scanning and transcribing these records. This is a work in progress. There are sure to be errors. If discovered, please let me know.