African American Resource Center
New Orleans Public Library

African American Genealogical Research in New Orleans

Ever since Alex Haley's groundbreaking book Roots, more and more African Americans have begun to trace their family history. For many, genealogy can be a rewarding experience that can shed light on your family's past triumphs and tragedies. In Louisiana, we are very fortunate to have rich archival information on people of African descent.

This guide was developed to assist the novice conducting genealogical and biographical research on African-Americans in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Louisiana's French and Spanish Colonial governments and religious institutions generated a multitude of records on people of African descent both free and enslaved.

The sources of such information can be found in various Louisiana parish courthouses, the New Orleans Notarial Archives, the Historical Center of the Louisiana State Museum (The Old U. S. Mint), the New Orleans Public Library, the Louisiana State Archives, the archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, as well as numerous individual Roman Catholic churches and various other archives and libraries.

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