Louisiana, Orleans Court Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.


Record Description

The records includes civil case files from the Parish Court, 1822-1840; Commercial Court, 1839-1846, First Judicial District Court, 1839-1842; Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Judicial Court, 1846-1880 and the Sixth and Seventh Judicial District Courts, 1854-1880. This collection is being published as images become available.

For a list of records by dates currently published in the Louisiana, Orleans Parish Second District Judicial Court Case Files, 1846-1880 collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

For a list of records by dates currently published in the Louisiana, Orleans Court Records, 1822-1880 collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Record Content

Information found in this collection may include:

  • Name
  • Death or recording date
  • Death or recording place
  • Name of administrator

Records may also contain the following:

  • Names of heirs or other family members
  • Witnesses
  • Guardians
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Property descriptions
  • Inventory of the estate

How to Use the Record

Search the Collection

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

To search the collection image by image
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select "Court"
⇒Select "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The name of the deceased

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the names along with the residence to locate census, church, and land records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The information in the records may give clues to, or the names of relatives. *You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the primary individual; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but can occasionally be subject to errors by the transcriber.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties. 

General Information About These Records

Between 1846 and 1880, New Orleans had a system of nine numbered district courts. Despite their name, these district courts weren't divided by geographical location; each district covered the entire Orleans Parish. After 1853, however, each court handled civil mattersuits of a specific type:

  • First District Court -- Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Second District Court -- Probate Matters
  • Third District Court -- Family Matters
  • Fourth/Fifth District Court -- General Civil Jurisdiction
  • Sixth District Court -- Cases Pending in the City of Lafayette/General Civil Jurisdiction
  • Seventh District Court -- Possibly shared Family Matters with Third District Court
  • Eighth District Court -- Disputed Election Cases during the Reconstruction
  • Superior District Court -- Tax-related Cases
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Don't overlook FHL Place United States, Louisiana, Orleans items or FHL Keyword Louisiana, Orleans items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Louisiana Archives and Libraries.

Related Websites

Guide to Genealogical Materials, Appendix D: The New Orleans Parish Court System

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Louisiana, Orleans Court Records, 1822-1880" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing District Court. New Orleans City Archives.


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  • This page was last modified on 18 August 2014, at 20:51.
  • This page has been accessed 4,831 times.