Directories of heads of households were published for major cities in Louisiana. Directories were created for salesmen, merchants, and other interested in contacting residents of an area. They are arranged alphabetically giving lists of names and addresses.
These are generally published annually and may include an individual's address, occupation, spouse's name, and other helpful facts. An individual's address can be very helpful when searching an unindexed census of a large city. See the wiki page United States Directories for more information.
Why Use Directories
- Directories are particularly helpful for research in large cities, where a high percentage of the people were renters, new arrivals, or temporary residents.
- A directory may be the only source to list an ancestor if he or she was not registered to vote and did not own property.
- Learn the exact years your ancestor inhabited a place.
- Locate ancestor in a census that hasn’t been indexed (esp. state census).
- Estimate year of immigration.
- Learn occupation and employer as identifiers
- Find other family members.
Resources for Louisiana Directories
Libraries and Archives
- The New Orleans Public Library collection holds New Orleans city directories for most years since 1805.
- Fold3.com ($) has New Orleans City Directories 1861 and 1866-1923 (3 yrs. missing) available online.
- Ancestry.com ($) has Louisiana directories available online in its U.S. City Directories collection.
The Family History Library
The Family History Library has city directories of New Orleans for:
- 1805-11, 1822-24, 1832-61 FHL fiche 6044250 (first of 158 fiche)
- 1861-1935 FHL film 1377153 (first of 38 films)
- 1874-1900 FHL film 1000770-76
- 1917, 1945, 1965 FHL book Q 976.335/N1 E4p
- The New Orleans Public Library web site has New Orleans city directories for most years since 1805.
- US City Directories This web site identifies printed, microfilmed, and online directories and their repositories.