How do I start my own family research?

Get started on these links to find your Louisiana Ancestors:


http://archives.nolalibrary.org/~nopl/spec/speclist.htm

Begin with the Genealogy section and go through the links on the page. Many of the links are searchable and will bring you to initial catalogue information that you can follow up in the library.

Here is another great starting point. http://www.usgwarchives.net/la/lafiles.htm#OGo to the parish where you think your ancestor lived. Put in the name and voila! You will get many dates of marriages, births, deaths. These records are not complete. But they might get you some good initial information.  

Another starting point is this link http://www.usgwarchives.net/la/orleans/directry.htmYou can look for your ancestor by name or address. (These directories do not include everyone in every year. Still, they are very helpful.)

One more good starting point is https://www.familysearch.org/en/It is almost as good as Ancestry.com and it is free. You must register.

Great paid sites are Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank.com You can surely find Ancestry in the library. Some places may have GenealogyBank or something equivalent like America’s Historical Newspapers. You may search for family names on both sides.

With Ancestry, you will need to try different techniques to get your best information. Start by making a broad search—you’ll get too much info. But you’ll see the possibilities. Then do a narrow search—you’ll also see the possibilities. Then search among these by changing the variables of spellings, locations, years.

Don’t forget this site that is a cooperative effort with LSU. It is especially dedicated to free colored ancestors.  https://lib.lsu.edu/sites/all/files/sc/fpoc/

And one of the best sites for looking for New Orleans slave ancestors is the Land Records Division of the Clerk of Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans—formerly the Conveyance Office. (Don’t be intimidated by the name of the office.) It’s basically where you would do a title search for your home. It is a well-kept secret that the Vendor (Seller) and Vendee (Purchaser) indexes are the quickest way to find a sale (without knowing the notary. ) You will need an idea of the time period and a name of one of the owners though. You can go through a few possible years and see if you recognize any names—and you might see an ancestor’s name once you go to the complete document given to you by the index. It could be a time-consuming process. But it could be very lucrative. The sales of the enslaved through most of the 19thcentury before emancipation are listed in these indexes. They are a treasure! (Let’s advocate to get them digitized.)  You can also find your free ancestors purchases and sales of property too.

The Property Records are also excellent for finding out the details of places that you know already exist. The best property records are found in the Notarial Archives.

http://www.orleanscivilclerk.com/research.htmYou will need some basic info to use this link—a notary, a person selling or buying property (including the enslaved) or a date of the exchange. With one of these, you can go to the archives and get advice to get a sale document. Those documents contain a wealth of information. (You can start out with an address but that is much more complicated and will involve, often, going to city hall. Too much to explain right here.)

Have fun researching!                                                            LA Creole Research Association, fs.


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