New Orleans, Louisiana

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See also Orleans Parish, Louisiana.


The city was incorporated in 1805 and became the State capital in 1812. In 1815, at the close of the War of 1812, the city was attacked by a British force. General Andrew Jackson commanded an American army that decisively defeated the invaders in the Battle of New Orleans, on January 8, 1815.

During the following four decades New Orleans enjoyed great prosperity. Trade was tremendously increased by the advent of the steamboat and railroads, and by 1852 the city was the third largest in the United States.

During the Civil War, New Orleans, as the chief Confederate port and a military center, was a focal objective of Union troops. Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, commanding a Union fleet, captured the city in April 1862, and the port was held by the Union until the end of the war.

From 1865 5o 1877 the history of New Orleans was characterized by racial and political strife incited by so-called carpetbaggers, who encouraged the freed slaves to persecute their former masters. Riots became so frequent that the Federal government declared maritial law in 1874. The government forces were withdrawn in 1877.

During the period of Reconstructin the city slowly recovered. The capital was transferred to Baton Rouge in 1880, and civic enterprise devoted itself to commercial development and public works.


African American


  • The Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, edited by Earl C. Woods and Charles E. Nolan are invaluable. there contain birth, baptism, marriage, and death information. Currently there are 19 volumes covering 1718 to 1831.

Laws and Legislation

  • The following site[1] contains short descriptions of various city government charters for the City of New Orleans and provides an inventory of minutes, ordinances, and resolutions.

Local Histories

  • A good online history of New Orleans is located at  The authors are Donnald McNabb and Louis E. Madere.  The timeframe covered is founding of New Orleans to the Civil War.

Vital Records


  • The Public Library of New Orleans has a wealth of online information at including
    • Louisiana Biography/Obituary Index
    • Guide to Genealogical Materials
    • Digging Up Roots in the Mud Files
    • NOVA Transcriptions of City Archives Records
    • Index to Deaths in the Daily Picayune, 1837-1857
    • Index to the Justices of the Peace Marriage Records, 1846-1880
    • New Orleans Newspaper Marriage Index, 1837-1857
    • Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New Orleans
    • Naturalization Records in New Orleans
    • Birth Records for New Orleans
    • Hints on Using the 1850 Census
    • Hints on Using the 1860-1920 Censuses
    • New Orleans City Directories
    • African-American Genealogical Sources


  1. Dick Eastman, "New Orleans Archdiocese Publishes Online Baptism, Marriage Records of Slaves," Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 1 February 2011.