Louisiana Deaths Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Louisiana Deaths Index, 1850-1875, 1894-1956 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Louisiana, United States
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Flag of Louisiana
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Location of Louisiana
Record Description
Record Type Death Index
Collection years 1850-1956
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a name index to Louisiana deaths. The statewide records for all parishes cover 1911-1956. Coverage outside these dates for individual Parishes varies. This collection does not include records for deaths from 1875-1893 and has only a few entries for 1894-1904. Death records for 1850-1875 are for Jefferson Parish only. Additional death records that are not yet published online can be viewed on microfilm at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers.

Collection Content

Sample Image

Information that may be found in the Louisiana Death Records, depending on the time period, include:

  • Full name
  • Place and date of death
  • Age and birthplace (city or town, state or foreign country)
  • Marital status and sometimes name of spouse
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Names and birthplaces of parents
  • Occupation
  • Place and date of burial
  • Cause of Death
  • Name of informant
  • Social Security number (later records)
  • If veteran, name of war (later records)
  • Length of stay in community (later records)
  • If the deceased is a citizen of a foreign county, the name of the country (later records)

How Do I Search the Collection?

When searching the records it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person at the time of death
  • Identifying information such as the death date and place

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s death 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 birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • 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 these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

An index to the Orleans parish death records beginning in 1804 can be found at The USGenWeb Archives Project: Louisiana, Orleans Parish. An index to these records and the Orleans parish death records is available at the Louisiana Government website.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Related Collection

The New Orleans Public Library, has acquired the Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index references obituaries and death notices published in New Orleans newspapers from 1804-1972 and biographical information published in older Louisiana collective biographies. The original index, housed in the Louisiana Division of New Orleans Public Library, is an alphabetical card file of more than 650,000 names. This information can be accessed by following these steps:

  • Go to New Orleans Public Library
  • Click on City Archives and Special Collections
  • Scroll down to Genealogy
  • Click on Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index
  • Click on the large red words 'Search the Index'
  • Enter a name

If you only enter a surname you get every result for that surname. Also, if you only enter the surname married women who were born as that surname may also come up, if the obituary gave her maiden name.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation

"Louisiana, Deaths Index, 1850-1875; 1894-1956." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. State Archives, Baton Rouge.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Louisiana Deaths Index, 1850-1875, 1894-1956.

How You Can Contribute

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