African Americans in New Orleans:
Family History Sources
Part IV

Certain African Americans of free status were required to register with the Mayor in order to be permitted to remain within the state of Louisiana. While not all free people of color are recorded in the four-volume series (1840-1864) the information provided for those who are listed is of great value for family history purposes. In addition to identifying free black individuals by name, age, color, profession, place of birth, and year of arrival in New Orleans, the registers also include, in most instances, a reference to the proof of free status, be it an act of manumission, the affidavit of a white person, or a baptismal certificate or other document. View text of document

The City Archives holds original marriage licenses and certificates for the period 1846-1880 as well as microfilm copies of later marriage records through 1915. This 1862 license from the Fifth Justice of the Peace is unusual in that the adult bride's age and father are listed, a practice that did not become standard until 1870. View text of document

"African Wedding," Audubon Park, ca. 1980
Keith Weldon Medley Collection

The City Archives holds autopsy and other death records from the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office for the period 1844-1979. This 1918 Record Book Journal records the deaths of six African American citizens and provides important details such as length of time in the city and the place at which the deceased last resided. View text of document

During the period 1809-1843 the Mayor of New Orleans recorded indenture agreements, most of which were actually apprenticeship agreements made between minor children and established artisans, tradesmen, or professionals. Many of the apprenticed children were African Americans of free status. The document displayed here provided for the training as a tin smith of Louis, a native of St. Domingue (now Haiti), the thirteen year old son of Amant Morin. An index to the indenture records is available in the Louisiana Division. View text of document

Louisiana Photograph Collection, General Interest Series

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