The Portsmouth Historical Society's long term vision is to protect and promote Portsmouth’s cultural heritage by creating a secure and sustainable facility, where, in conjunction with other local organizations, it stores, maintains and displays a collection of historic artifacts, offers lectures and research assistance to the public, and stimulates the study of the town’s history for future generations.
The Portsmouth Free Public Library is part of the statewide library system. It is open to the public and residents may obtain library privileges and access to the state library system. The library has many historical collections and also displays selected collection items from the Portsmouth Historical Society. The Portsmouth History Center is located in the library.
To honor the founding of our town and its subsequent history, the community of Portsmouth conducted a series of public events and observances over the course of the year. In planning for these events, much work was done and many volunteers participated in developing and conducting these civic events. Many friends and neighbors joined to help celebrate Portsmouth’s 375th year.
The Atlantic Compact was formed on an agreement between the municipalities of Portsmouth England, Portsmouth New Hampshire, Portsmouth Rhode Island and Portsmouth Virginia to enhance economic, educational and cultural opportunities. We have formalized the compact and, in the coming months, plan to expand on the basic precepts on which the alliance will be built.
The Portsmouth 375th Legacy Group, working with the Portsmouth Free Public Library and the Portsmouth Historical Society, the goal of THE PORTSMOUTH HISTORY CENTER DIGITAL ARCHIVE PROJECT is to preserve our Town’s long and rich history.
In cooperation with The Digital Ark Corporation, the Center’s digitization program, allows close examination of historic documents and fragile artifacts without risking damage or deterioration of the originals.
The John T. Pierce, Sr., Historical Collection is a digital project started in 2007 by Portsmouth Free Public Library to preserve and provide public access to collected materials documenting the history of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Materials for this site were donated to the Library by retired Portsmouth Police Chief John T. Pierce Sr. and was funded by a grant from BankNewport.
Jim Garman is the Portsmouth Historian and the President of the Portsmouth Historical Society. During the Portsmouth 375th Celebration in 2013, he delivered a series of lectures on the history of the town. Videos of those lectures, as well as other 375th videos are available here.
PHS Events and Lectures are documented on Videos that are available on the Portsmouth Historical web site Video Theater
A Hub for History
This site is your “jumping off point” for information and resources for Portsmouth, RI’s rich history. Click on the sites above to be directed to the major sites that provide important information and services that support the preservation of our historical documents, artifacts and other important information.
Hello, My name is Erick Taylor and I’m in the midst of doing a family geological project that leads me to you. I’m looking for the location of a family cemetery from the period of the late 1700’s to about 1833. I’ve located in the Portsmouth Town Hall “back vault” the Probate Record that describes in detail the size and location of a 2 acre site that includes a cemetery at the Portsmouth Middletown line. The graves are of my relatives from the late 1700’s early 1800’s. One Reuben Taylor died 1810 his daughter Martha Taylor is also buried there according to family letters I have. I also have a description of the cemetery “4 rods square” and “bounded by southerly by land of “Richard Mitchel” and every other way by land given to my grandson Peleg Taylor” I also found a description of the land in the Middletown Land Evidence Book. My hope is that with your local knowledge you might be able to put together what I have and narrow down the area where it might be. I have more details but it would be easier to share in person or over the phone but I don’t have your number.
From what I gather the property overlaps the Portsmouh/Middletown town line and abuts East Main Rd. If you have an Earlier Map then 1850 that shows property owners in that area that would be really helpful. Yesterday I actually spent a good portion of the day in the Middletown Town Clerks Office and unfortunately they only have a Map that goes back to 1850 nothing earlier. I also left a voice mail at the Middletown Historical Society and emailed them but I haven’t heard back as of yet.
I have a deed from the Land Evidence Book that describes in great detail where the property and the abutters names from that period (1762-!835). It mentions that it’s on the line between Portsmouth and Middletown and on the highway.
These relatives were very likely Quakers and I wonder if the Quaker Meeting House in Portsmouth has any records of Quakers in the area?
Thank you Mr. Taylor.
We have forwarded your information and request to our Cemetery Group and will get back to you.
Hello Mr. Garman,
I do the calendar of events at Newport This Week and am hoping you will be able to give me details or contact information re: a Barton’s Raid event that could be coming up soon.
I am currently working on the calendar for next week’s issue; the calendar will cover July 4-14.
It would be great if I could get the details/contact info. by my deadline, which is tomorrow night. If not, please send ASAP because I still might be able to get it in.
Thanks so much,