Otis E. Dyer Jr. Research Center

The Dyer Research Center is inside the Carpenter Museum and holds the same open to the public hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00 – 4:00 PM and the 1st Saturday of the month 1:00-4:00 PM

Materials housed in the Research Center include:

  • Rehoboth Baptist and Congregational Church records
  • General information about genealogical research
  • Family genealogies
  • Early Bristol County Probate Records
  • Vital Records of Rehoboth and 60 other towns in MA
  • American Revolutionary Vital Records and History
  • MA Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War, 8 volumes
  • MA Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, 17 volumes
  • Early Census Records of Rehoboth and some other states
  • Cemetery records of Dighton, Swansea and the early Newman, Hunt and Carpenter Cemeteries in East Providence, Attleboro, Barrington, & Swan Point
  • Cemetery Records and locations of over 50 cemeteries in Rehoboth
  • Rehoboth School history
  • Histories of Rehoboth by several authors
  • History of Seekonk, MA

Are you a student doing a project?  Learn about what we have to offer: Research Room Student Invite

About E. Otis Dyer Jr. 

E. Otis Dyer, Jr., for whom the Research Center is named, was a life-long Rehoboth resident and was fascinated by the history of his hometown. As teen-ager, he volunteered at a local archaeological dig, and he served the Rehoboth Historical Commission and the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society throughout his adult life. Otis researched and wrote many articles which were published in the Antiquarian Society newsletter and elsewhere, was one of our most reliable volunteers, and served on the Collections Committee and on the Governing Board. His work as a professional land surveyor, combined with his knowledge of the Rehoboth Proprietor Records and later history, gave him a unique understanding of what happened where in town and who was involved. His collection of genealogical reference books now forms part of the RAS research collection.

About Robert S. Trim:

Robert Sheldon Trim, a registered genealogist, devoted much of his life to researching and recording genealogical information: making gravestone records of Rehoboth and surrounding towns, compiling histories of Rehoboth churches, compiling family genealogies, collecting books on genealogy, listing Revolutionary and Civil War veterans of Rehoboth with their vital records and places of burial, compiling lists of unrecorded vital records and Rehoboth arrivals and removals, plus keeping records of his correspondence with over 600 families.

Upon Trim’s death in 1988, the RAS made sure that his labors were not in vain by preserving his works. Patrons from across the country send letters of inquiry or visit the E. Otis Dyer, Jr. Research Center to view the Trim collection that includes vital records and family history of their early ancestors who lived in Rehoboth.

Research Questions:

Museum staff are available to answer questions regarding the Museum’s collections, which include genealogical resources, archival materials, and museum objects. We are happy to assist researchers both on-site and off-site.

Museum staff are happy to answer specific questions about the history of Rehoboth and resources in our collections that can be addressed in no more than 30 minutes of staff research.

Due to the volume of queries we receive, it can take up to two weeks to receive a response from staff.

To submit an inquiry, please use this form.


Rehoboth Historical Research

The following resources may be useful to patrons conducting research on Rehoboth’s history:

For a detailed history of Rehoboth’s roads by Otis Dyer, Sr., please visit this link.