Richland Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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Guide to Richland Parish, Louisiana ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Richland Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Richland Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the U.S.
Founded September 29, 1868
County Seat Rayville
Richland Parish Courthouse.jpg
Address 708 Julia St.
Rayville, La. 71269
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Parish Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Rich fertile land. The County has Rayville as its seat and the County was created September 29, 1868. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

Richland Parish, Louisiana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1869 1914 1869 1869 1869 1700s
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1914. General compliance year unknown. (website says 1918 births; 1911 deaths)

Parish Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Richland Parish Courthouse
108 Courthouse Square; PO Box 119;
Rayvillle, LA 71269
Phone: 318.728.4171

Parish Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records from 1869.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Richland parish was organized by an act of the state legislature in 1868, out of Ouachita, Franklin, Carroll and Morehouse parishes.

Rayville was at once selected as the parish seat of justice, and a California plank house was immediately erected to serve for court purposes. This frame building was used for several years, until a substantial two-story brick building was completed. A strong, two-story brick jail also occupied a site beside the courthouse in courthouse square.

The parish has an area of 578 square miles, nearly all of which is susceptible of cultivation, and the remainder is covered with a thick growth of valuable timber, comprising many varieties of oak, hickory, ash, cypress, red gum and many others.

Rayville, Delhi, and Mangham are its only incorporated towns. Delhi and Rayville were incorporated under the act of the statelegislature of 1882.

When Rayville was selected as the site for the seat of justice it was "in the timber." As the parish site it soon grew into a flourishing village and secured a charter of incorporation about 1884. It was visited by a very destructive fire in the fall of 1890, when one-half or more of the business portion of the town was consumed. Again, in 1891, it was visited by a similar disaster.

The first newspaper published in Richland parish was the "Richland Beacon," established at Rayville about 1869 by Thomas J. Mangham. The first sheriff and clerk of the parish was A.J. Lidell and J. Newt Pitts, respectively.

Parent Parish[edit | edit source]

  • 1868--Richland Parish was created 29 September 1868 from Ouachita, Carroll (Old), Franklin, and Morehouse Parishes.
    Parish seat: Rayville [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Louisiana Parish boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Louisiana Parish Boundary Maps" (1805-1990) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Parishes or Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Richland, Louisiana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the Parish
See Louisiana Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on Richland Parish cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 5,110
1880 8,440 65.2%
1890 10,230 21.2%
1900 11,116 8.7%
1910 15,769 41.9%
1920 20,860 32.3%
1930 26,374 26.4%
1940 28,829 9.3%
1950 26,672 −7.5%
1960 23,824 −10.7%
1970 21,774 −8.6%
1980 22,187 1.9%
1990 20,629 −7.0%
2000 20,981 1.7%
2010 20,725 −1.2%
Source: "".

Church[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Louisiana denominations, view the Louisiana Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Louisiana Land and Property for additional information about early Louisiana land ownership. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse where records are also currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Richland Parish, Louisiana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Louisiana Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Morehouse ParishWest Carroll ParishEast Carroll ParishMadison ParishFranklin ParishCaldwell ParishOuachita ParishLA RICHLAND.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Richland Parish, Louisiana Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Probate records before 1845 were kept in probate courts. Since 1845, they have been kept by the Richland Parish, Louisiana Genealogy clerk of the district court. Many of the probate records are included in the notarial records with the deeds and mortgages. In some parishes they are known as “succession” records.

See the Wiki page Louisiana Probate Records for more information about probate records in Louisiana.

Content: Probate records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Louisiana Probate Records

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Schools[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Louisiana tax records can be used in place of missing censuses and provide lists of residents during years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see Louisiana Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

Louisiana statewide registration of birth and death records began in 1911. Births and deaths are kept by the Louisiana Vital Records Registry. Marriages were recorded by each parish, and the records are at the parish clerk of court office. See also How to order Louisiana Vital Records or order electronically online.

See Louisiana Vital Records for more information on getting Louisiana records.

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Richland Parish Data
  • Richland Parish Library
  • Louisiana Historical Society
    428 Hector Ave
    Metairie, La. 70005-4412
  • Louisiana Historical Association
    101 LSU Student Union
    LSU Box 25435
    Baton Rouge, LA 70803
  • Richland Parish History Facebook Group

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Richland Parish," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Louisiana."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Richland Parish, Louisiana. Page 289-293 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 267-268.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed., Richland Parish, Louisiana p 292 (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Richland Parish, Louisiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Louisiana, accessed 6 January 2020.