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THE

NEWPORT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

No. l. July, 1880. Vol.1.

INTRODUCTORY.

BY THE EDITOR.

A few words of introduction to our patrons may be, probably is, expected from the management of this enterprize; but we hope to commend our work, rather by avoiding anything of a declamatory or argumentative character, and confining ourselves as closely as possible to the preservation and diffusion of such matters of history, and such genealogical data, as are founded on irrefragable evidence, and especially such as may otherwise be eventually lost. We propose, first, to publish the record of births and marriages in each town in Newport County, by itself, in chronological order, as near as may be, but alphabetical, inasmuch as each name will be in a list under its appropriate initial. The marriages will be duplicated, so the females as well as the males, will be in their proper list.

Second, these town registries will be supplemented by all the church records obtainable, and by burial-ground inscriptions, and by the obituary and marriage notices from old newspapers, all arranged, as far as possible, on the same general plan. In the case of Newport, this supplementary department of our work is especially valuable, as, besides the deficiencies arising from the fact, that until 1850 the registry of births and marriages was purely voluntary, most of the records of Newport are very defective from having been submerged in Long Island Sound, during the Revolution, and only recovered, after considerable lapse of time, in a wasted and progressively perishing condition. Many years ago, Miss Howland, daughter of Mr. B. B. Howland, with great industry, deciphered and transcribed all that was possible, relating to the births and marriages, and very much more than could now be accomplished in their constantly decaying condition. This copy by Miss Howland is the basis of our work. Of course, there are many deficiencies, possibly some inaccuracies, which the student will be enabled to fill up and correct, by the aid of the supplementary lists referred to. In many cases, also, there will be duplications and reduplications of the same entries. We propose to give the full lists, exactly as they are, varying in nothing, except in their systematic arrangement, which we believe to be essential to their usefulness.

In the lists of births, we have, as far as possible, grouped families together, giving the first birth in a family its place, in order of time, believing that this method will facilitate enquiries more than the more ordinary mode of precise, alphabetical arrangement. Our method has involved about as much labor as any other would have done, and we trust will meet the approval of our friends.

We do not propose to confine our exertions to Newport County, but if their results meet with favor, to extend them to the other counties of Rhode Island, on the same general plan, always selecting such matter as has not already been given to the public.

About half of each number will be devoted to the purpose above described; the balance will be open to contributions of such documents of a historical character, as

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