New Orleans Public Library
City Archives

Louisiana. Court of Probates (Orleans Parish)
General Index of all Successions, 1805-1846

Link here for information on ordering copies of these records from the Louisiana Division.
Link here for information on the digitization of these records.

The Court of Probates was established in 1804 to provide for the judicial supervision of the disposition of the estates left by deceased property owners in Orleans Parish. The court ceased operation in 1846.

In 1849, P.M.Bertin compiled the General Index of all Successions, Opened in the Parish of Orleans, From the Year 1805, to the Year 1846, printed in New Orleans by Yeomans & Fitch. The index presented here is a transcription of Bertin's index. However, rather than reproduce the rather unwieldy chronological/alphabetical arrangement of the original volume, we have sorted the names into simple alphabetical order.

The transcribed index, like Bertin's original, reflects the arrangement of the Court of Probates records, which are divided into three separate series: successions (and related matters), wills, and inventories of estates. The court did not assign docket numbers to successions or estate inventories but simply filed them by the first letter of the deceased's last name within the year that the succession or inventory was filed with the court. Wills were copied by the Orleans Parish Recorder of Wills into Will Books as they were filed.

Bertin's index was transcribed for NUTRIAS by Louisiana Division volunteer Linda Angelocci. Copies of the original published index are also available in the Louisiana Division and in various other libraries and archives. The index was previously transcribed in New Orleans Genesis volumes I-V, VII-VIII and X.

The Court of Probates records were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah.

Go to names beginning with
[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [ M] [Mc] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [XYZ]

Note: The Bertin index does not include suits in the Court of Probates brought against executors, administrators, tutors, curators or heirs of estates. Civil actions of this sort were assigned docket numbers and filed separately from the successions, wills, and inventories.

Link here for the index to this Court of Probates, Numbered Series.

The successions and will books for the Court of Probates have been digitized
and are now available, free of charge, at

Please read the explanation below.

In order to see the images, you must first create a Family Search account and sign in to the site. This account is FREE. To create an account, click on the "Sign In" link at the upper right corner of the screen.

LINK HERE to go directly to the successions. (The successions have been cataloged generically as "Louisiana, Orleans Parish, Estate Files, 1804-1846.) From this page, you can search by name or browse the index alphabetically (to browse, look for the link that says "Browse through 353,230 images").

LINK HERE to go directly to the wills. (The wills continue to 1920.) From this page, you can browse to the individual volumes of the wills. The index below will give you a volume/page reference to the books from 1804-1846. For wills after 1846, choose the volume that includes the year of death for the individual you're seeking. An index to the wills in each volume can be found at the beginning of each book.

The inventories from the Court of Probates are also being digitized but are not yet available online. We'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, for copies of inventories, see below for information on ordering photocopies from the Louisiana Division.

Before you order Probate Court records from us, please read this carefully:

If you request a copy of a Court of Probates record, your request must be sent by regular mail to the Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112. Our fee is $3.00 to search each type of probate record you are seeking -- i.e., succession, will, or inventory. (In other words, if you request a copy of the succession of John Doe, the fee is $3.00. If you are also seeking his will and inventory, you need to send an additional $3.00 for each.)

For this initial search fee, payable by check or money order to New Orleans Public Library, we will locate each record and report the total cost of copying it in full (at $2.00 per page). You must then send a second request, asking that we copy the record(s) and including the total copy fee. We cannot copy selectively from the record, but will copy the entire record only.

Since we must receive payment before we can respond to a request, we cannot take orders by email. However, we will respond by email to your letter inquiring about copy costs, provided you have sent the $3.00 search fee with your inquiry. Please include your email address in your mail request.

More detailed information on ordering records from other courts held by NOPL can be found here.

PLEASE NOTE that the records indexed here were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Microfilm of the record can be borrowed at Mormon Family History Centers around the world.

  • Link here to find a Family History Center near you.
  • Link here to find the Family History Library Catalog entry for Court of Probates Successions.
  • Link here to find the Family History Library Catalog entry for Will Books.
  • Link here to find the Family History Library Catalogy entry for Inventories of Estates.

Since succession records are often quite long (typically at least 10-20 pages and sometimes running to several hundred pages), we strongly advise that you order microfilm directly from the FHC nearest you and make the copies yourself. We reserve the right to decline to copy excessively long records for you.

Return to Orleans Parish Courts Finding Aids

Return to Archival Inventories

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3/29/2002; updated 6/10/2013