Genealogy for People of Color in Louisiana and Mississippi

Did you miss our latest Google+ Hangout? Get the goods on genealogy research for people of color with ancestry from Louisiana and Mississippi in the latest BlackProGen Google+ Hangout.

The third of the 2016 Google+ Hangouts hosted by me and sponsored by #BlackProGen took place on Tuesday, March 8. Panelists were from California, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Panelists during this session included:
Nicka Sewell-Smith –
True Lewis:
Angela Walton-Raji:
Shelley Murphy –
Bernice Bennett –
James Morgan, III
Linda Buggs Simms –
Yvette Porter Moore –

Click this link to view a playlist of all #BlackProGen Hangouts.


  • What successes have you had in researching your ancestry in Louisiana and Mississippi?
  • What challenges have you encountered while researching in Louisiana and Mississippi?
  • What hidden gems did we forget?
  • What’s one piece of advice that you would give someone who is beginning their research in either state?

Information presented in this hangout:

State of Louisiana Facts

  • Admitted into the union on April 30, 1812 (18th state)
  •  The state has been governed under 10 different flags beginning in 1541 including Spain, France, Great Britain, Republic of West Florida, United States.
  • Broken into 64 parishes.Uses the this term instead of county (holdover from Spanish rule)
    Earliest parishes: Ascension (1807), Assumption (1807), Avoyelles (1807), Concordia (1807), Iberville (1807), Lafourche (1807 – was named Interior Parish until 1812 and Lafourche Interior Parish until 1853), Natchitoches 1807, Orleans (1807), Ouachita (1807), Plaquemines (1807), Pointe Coupee (1807), Rapides (1807), St. Bernard (1807), St. Charles (1807), St. James (1807), St. John the Baptist (1807), St. Landry (1807), St. Martin (1807), West Baton Rouge (1807, Was named Baton Rouge Parish until 1812).
  • Single Clerk of Court for each parish.
  • Has a state archives located in Baton Rouge, LA


State of Mississippi Facts

  • Admitted into the union on December 10, 1817 (20th state)
  • 82 counties – “Earliest counties include: Adams (organized in 1798), Amite (1809), Claiborne (1802), Franklin (1809), Greene (1811), Hancock (1812), Jackson (1812), Jefferson (1799 – as “Pickering;” named “Jefferson” in 1802), Lawrence (1814), Marion (1811), Pike (1815),
    Warren (1809), Washington (1800), Wayne (1809), and Wilkinson (1802).”
  • Has two clerks of court for each county – Chancery Clerk (land, disputes in matters involving equity; domestic matters including adoptions, custody disputes and divorces; guardianships; sanity hearings; wills; and challenges to constitutionality of state laws”. Circuit Clerk (marriage licenses, jury lists, civil and criminal trial dockets, and licenses for doctors and certain other professionals)
  • Has a state archives located in Jackson, MS


Hidden Gems

1 thought on “Genealogy for People of Color in Louisiana and Mississippi”

  1. RV Schexnayder (SchexDumas Ancestry)

    Diocese of Baton Rouge archives are invaluable as well. The are publishing slave baptisms, marriages, etc in parishes of the archdiocese Pointe Coupee already printed. Last I checked they were working on St. James Parish. Staff very helpful. I also compiled African American records filtered from the Diocese Records at chiefly Our Lady of Peace in Vacherie. Donated a copy to the archive office.

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