Background Sources for Louisiana

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This entry was originally written by Beth A. Stahr, CGRS and Sharon Sholars Brown for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Louisiana sil.png
the Louisiana Family History Research series.
History of Louisiana
Louisiana Vital Records
Census Records for Louisiana
Background Sources for Louisiana
Louisiana Maps
Louisiana Land Records
Louisiana Probate Records
Louisiana Court Records
Louisiana Tax Records
Louisiana Cemetery Records
Louisiana Church Records
Louisiana Military Records
Louisiana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Louisiana Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Louisiana Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Louisiana
Louisiana Parish Resources
Map of Louisiana

Researchers interested in Louisiana have a number of excellent histories, archival guides, and source references available to them. The following are particularly useful:

French Period

  • Conrad, Glenn R., and Carl A. Brasseaux, eds. A Selected Bibliography of Scholarly Literature on Colonial Louisiana and New France. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1982.
  • . First Families of Louisiana. 2 vols. Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1970.
  • De Ville, Winston. Gulf Coast Colonials: A Compendium of French Families in Early Eighteenth Century Louisiana. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.
  • Giraud, Marcel. Histoire de la Louisiane française. 4 vols. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1953'1974. The first volume of this series has been translated into English and is available as Joseph C. Lambert, trans., A History of Louisiana, vol. 1: The Reign of Louis XIV, 1698'1715 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1974).
  • Leland, Waldo G. Guide to Materials for American History in the Libraries and Archives of France. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1932.
  • Robichaux, Jr., Albert J. German Coast Families: European Origins and Settlement in Colonial Louisiana. Rayne, La.: Hébert Publications, 1997.

Spanish Period

  • Bancroft Library. Spain and Spanish America in the Libraries of the University of California. 2 vols. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, 1928 and 1930.
  • Bolton, Herbert Eugene. Guide to Materials for the History of the United States in the Principal Archives of Mexico. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1913.
  • Buckely, Eleanor Claire. 'The Aguayo Expedition into Texas and Louisiana, 1719'1721,' The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 9 (July 1911).
  • Castañeda, Carlos E. Our Catholic Heritage in Texas. 6 vols. 1936'50. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1976.
  • Cox, Isaac Joslin. 'The Louisiana-Texas Frontier,' The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 10 (July 1906): 8-10.
  • Cuba. Documents Pertaining to the Floridas Which Are Kept in Different Archives of Cuba. Appendix No. 1: Official List of Documentary Funds of the Floridas'New Territories of the States of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Kept in the National Archives. Havana, 1945.
  • Haggard, J. Villasano. Handbook for Translators of Spanish Historical Documents. Austin, Tex.: University of Texas, 1941.
  • Hill, Roscoe J. Descriptive Catalogue of the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, deposited in the Archivo General de Indias, Seville. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1916.
  • Holmes, Jack D. L. A Guide to Spanish Louisiana, 1762'1806. New Orleans: Louisiana Collection Series, 1970.
  • Notre Dame University. Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Records of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, 1576'1803. Notre Dame, Ind.: Pub. the compilers, 1967.


  • Carter, Clarence E. The Territory of Louisiana, 1803'1812. In The Territorial Papers of the United States. 28 vols. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1940.
  • Foote, Lucy B. Bibliography of the Official Publications of Louisiana, 1803'1934. Baton Rouge: Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University, 1942.
  • Korn, Bertram Wallace. The Early Jews of New Orleans. Waltham, Mass.: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969.
  • Laws of the United Stales of America, from the 4th of March 1789 to the 4th of March 1815. Washington, D.C.: R. C. Weightman. Philadelphia: W. John Duane, 1815.
  • Mills, Elizabeth Shown, and Gary B. Mills. Tales of Old Natchitoches. Vol. 3. Cane River Creole Series. Natchitoches: Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, 1978.
  • Nolan, Charles A. A Southern Catholic Heritage. Vol. 1: 1704'1813. New Orleans: Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1976.
  • Poret, Ory G. History of Land Titles in the State of Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, 1972.


  • DeVille, Winston. 'Louisiana.' Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources, ed. Kenn Stryker-Rodda. Vol. 2. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: American Society of Genealogists, 1983.
  • . Mississippi Valley Mélange: A Collection of Notes and Documents for the Genealogy and History of the Province of Louisiana and the Territory of Orleans. Ville Platte, La.: the author, 2000.