Louisiana Church Records
Before statehood in 1812 the Roman Catholic Church was dominant in Louisiana. Few Protestant churches flourished. From 1812 to 1900, the largest religious groups in Louisiana were the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches.
The earliest church records were Roman Catholic marriage records that began in 1720 and baptism records that began in 1729. Most records are kept at the local churches. The Family History Library has a small collection of Louisiana church records, including Roman Catholic and Baptist sources. Also see the 45 volumes of civil and church records from southern and southwestern Louisiana published by Donald J. Hebert (see the “Vital Records” section of this outline).
Guides to help you locate Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish records are:
Hebert, Donald J. A Guide to Church Records in Louisiana, 1720-1975. Eunice, Louisiana.: D. J. Hebert, 1975. (Family History Library book 976.3 K23h fiche 6051420 or 6010583.)
Guide to Vital Statistics Records of Church Archives in Louisiana. New Orleans, Louisiana: Louisiana State Board of Health, 1942. (Family History Library book 976.3 V2w; film 1305374 items 2-3; fiche 6051101.)
You can also write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:
Drouin Collection 1621-1967 of French Canadian records indexed at Ancestry.com. This collection has over 15 million entries for French Canadian genealogical and vital records. Be sure to search for spelling variations of the ancestor's name. This index includes Quebec notarial, vital, and church records, Acadian Catholic records, Ontario French Catholic records, early French Catholic records in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin.
Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives
7887 Walmsley Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70125-3496
This archdiocese includes the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, and Washington.
Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport
4400 Coliseum Boulevard
Alexandria, LA 71303
Diocese of Baton Rouge Archives
1800 South Acadian Thruway
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
P.O. Box 2028
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2028
This diocese has collected all parish registers in its area and indexed them.
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203-3630
Centenary College of Louisiana
Magale Library, Cline Room
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188
P.O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188
University of New Orleans
Earl K. Long Library—Archives and Manuscripts Division
New Orleans, LA 70148