I am researching the histories of a number of Rhode Island families. It would be very useful for me if I had historical data on the distribution of last names in Rhode Island at any point before the Civil War. I could then use this as a baseline to make comparisons against other distributions I've collected data on (e.g. "the Aldrich family is overrepresented in charitable organizations relative to their actual numbers in the population").
Is there anywhere I could get such data? Or even just a raw list of the last names of everyone interviewed in the old Censuses?
Any sort of lead would be enormously helpful. If you know of something like this for another state, I'd still be interested.