This year we will all be invited to participate in the 2020 Federal Census, opens a new window, marking the 24th time that the United States has conducted a national census since 1790. For Louisiana, though, this will actually be the 22nd time the state has been included in the count. As Louisiana did not become a state until 1812, its residents were first counted in the 1810 census.
Census records, opens a new window provide a snapshot of a household at a given moment in time, and can provide a wealth of information, including name, age, home address, family relationships, profession and birthplace. In later census years, you can see details like whether someone was illiterate, whether they owned their home, whether they were a veteran, and even (in 1930), whether they owned a radio or not. Louisiana census records can be an invaluable resource for researching your own ancestors and local history, and the library has a number of ways for you to access them.
You can view the federal census schedules for Louisiana on microfilm from 1810-1930. Online, opens a new window, you can search digitized images of the 1810-1940 censuses through Ancestry, FamilySearch, American Ancestors and Heritage Quest, all of which you have access to through the library. We also have some published indexes to Louisiana census records, arranged by year and by parish.
Special federal censuses were also conducted in Louisiana:
|Dependent, Delinquent & Defective Classes Schedules||1880|
|Agricultural Schedules||1850, 1860, 1870, 1880|
|Mortality Schedules||1850, 1860, 1870, 1880|
|Slave Schedules||1850, 1860|
|Social Statistics Schedules||1850, 1860, 1870|
|Union Veterans Schedules||1890|
All of the special censuses for Louisiana are available for research through Ancestry. In the Genealogy Room, we have the 1850-1880 mortality schedules on microfilm, the Union veterans schedules on microfilm and in print, and the 1860 agricultural schedules in print.
Prior to 1810, we do have Louisiana census records from the French and Spanish periods. See the list below for our published holdings. Happy hunting!
"This is a compilation of the twenty-eight earliest census records of Louisiana...These particular census records cover, at one period or another, Fort Maurepas, Biloxi, Mobile, Natchez, New Orleans, and other locations. The records are both civilian and military, mainly the former, and they extend from 1699 through 1732. Besides census records, the reader will find lists of 1,704 marriageable girls, a 1726 list of persons requesting negroes, landowner lists, and a list of persons massacred at Fort Rosalie in 1729. Other features include a synopsis of Louisiana's colonial history, tips on French colonial naming practices, and a comprehensive index of 5,000 names."
Index to the 1766, 1769 and 1777 censuses of the Acadian Coast, with annotations from other source records.
"Census records acquired from the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba deposited in the General Archives de Indies in Seville, Spain." Includes the 1770 militia lists of New Orleans, the 1777 general census of New Orleans, the 1770 militia lists of the German Coast, the 1784 general census of the Second German Coast, the 1785 militia list of St. Charles Parish, the 1770 general census for "below New Orleans", and the 1789 general census of Lafourche.
General census of the residents of Pointe Coupee in 1745. The census has been cross-referenced with the First Settlers of Pointe Coupee and Colonial Louisiana Marriage Contracts, Vol. III.
1785 Spanish Census for the posts of Attakapas and Opelousas, derived from the Papales Procedentes de Cuba at the General Archives of the Indies.
1777 census for the posts of Attakapas and Opelousas, derived from the Papales Procedentes de Cuba at the General Archives of the Indies.
An annoted listing of Louisiana colonial families traced back to German origins.
"The frontier outpost of Natchitoches was the oldest settlement in all the 828,000 square miles of the Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was built by France along the Texas border as a buffer against Spanish and Indian aggression. For the next century and a half, it would be the hub for colonial trade with the Southwestern tribes and then the gateway to the west for hordes of Américains seeking new land after the Revolution. Censuses, tax lists, and muster rolls for citizen soldiers and regular troops are prized “people finders.” Natchitoches Colonials brings together an astounding number of them for colonial years–gleaned from archives in France, Spain, Cuba, and Mexico, as well the United States." Includes the following censuses: 1722, 1726, 1766, 1774, 1787, and 1795–of which the 1787 census provides names and ages of every free man, woman, and child.
Index to Acadian church records by Winston Deville, the Reiders, and Diocese of Baton Rouge; Histoire et généalogie des Acadiens by Bona Arsenault; Acadians in exile, by Donald Hebert; The Acadian exiles in St. Malo, by Albert Robichaux; Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, by Cyprien Tanguay.