Louisiana Parish records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some Louisiana records have simply disappeared.
For genealogists doing research in Louisiana there is no effective replace for an on-site search of parish courthouse records.
Probate and land records are also recorded that way. Parish clerks should be consulted for information concerning those records.
However, district court clerks and registers of conveyances also exist in some parishes. Their records should be consulted as well.
The FHL has many records on file for Louisiana. Those records were compiled by the Genealogical Society of Utah and may include the following record types: Court, Property, Notarial, Probate, Tax, Vital.
Information on the formation of parishes can be found at the State Library of Louisiana. The Parish Clerks of Court and State Office of Vital Records can provide copies of birth certificates.
List of Louisiana Counties with Burned Courthouses
The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way.
Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others.
Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too.
However, not all records were damaged or lost in some counties.
Avoyelles Parish Courthouse – There was records destruction in 1856? from Unknown causes.
Bossier Parish Courthouse – In 1888, the courthouse at Bellevue was partly burned.
Calcasieu Parish Courthouse– Courthouse was destroyed by a disastrous fire on April 23, 1910, as well as most of downtown Lake Charles, and many of the records of the parish were burned or damaged.
Catahoula Parish Courthouse – There was a total records destruction in the early 1900’s due to unknown causes
Claiborne Parish Courthouse – The courthouse at Old Athens along with all parish records were destroyed by fire on November 6, 1849
Concordia Parish Courthouse – A tornado destroyed the courthouse around 1843 (most records were destroyed) and it was destroyed by flood in 1927.
Grant Parish Courthouse – The Courthouse had an unknown records loss in the 1880’s.
Jackson Parish Courthouse – A courthouse fire in Vernon, before the parish seat was moved to Jonesboro, destroyed most of the records prior to then. The first courthouse, built in Jonesboro in 1912, was almost completely destroyed by an explosion. Fortunately few, if any, of our records were destroyed.
Livingston Parish Courthouse – On October 15, 1875, the parish courthouse at Port Vincent burned, apparently destroying the official records which were maintained there.
Madison Parish Courthouse –
Morehouse Parish Courthouse – Had a Record Loss in 1870 due to unknown reasons.
Ouachita Parish Courthouse – In April of 1864, Yankee gunboats partially destroyed the second courthouse. In 1882 the third courthouse was destroyed by fire.
Plaquemines Parish Courthouse – Courthouse destroyed by a fire in 2001.
Rapides Parish Courthouse – 1864?
Vermillion Parish Courthouse – The Courthouse suffered a total records Loss in around 1885.
Washington Parish Courthouse – The courthouse burned twice, first in 1854, then again in 1897. The fires resulted in a loss of nearly 68 years worth of records. Records from the 1820-1830 decade were kept on file in the state land office and escaped the fire. Some of the records from the second fire were salvaged and others were brought in to be re-recorded. So, only the records from the 1840-1860 period are completely lost.