DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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DeSoto Parish

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


DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting DeSoto Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1843
County Seat Mansfield
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Parish Information


The County was named for the settler, Marcel DeSoto. The County has Mansfield as its seat and the County was created 1843. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[1]

DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major Parish Records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1843 1810 1843 1843

Parish Courthouse

DeSoto Parish Courthouse
Parish Courthouse
Mansfield, LA 71052
Phone: 318.872.3110 

Parish Clerk has marriage and land records
from 1843, divorce, probate and court records. [3]

Parish Courthouse



Quick Facts

  • Named for Hernando deSoto (small "d"), the Spaniard who explored the future southeastern United States, discovered and named the Mississippi River.
  • The first Parish courthouse was a log house.

Parent Parish

  • 1 April 1843: DeSoto Parish was created from Natchitoches and Caddo Parishes.
    Parish seat: Mansfield [4]

Boundary Changes

  • Eastern part of the parish was set off 2 March 1871 to form Red River Parish

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

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

  • City: Mansfield
  • Towns: Keachi . Logansport . Stonewall
  • Villages: Grand Cane . Longstreet . South Mansfield . Stanley

Neighboring Parishes or Counties


African American

Archives and Libraries

Bible Recortds



Cemeteries of DeSoto, 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 DeSoto Parish cemeteries.


Census Pop.
Est. 200626,390[5]3.5%
De Soto Parish Census Data[6]


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.



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

Local histories are available for DeSoto 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.


Caddo ParishRed River ParishNatchitoches ParishSabine ParishShelby CountyPanola CountyLA DE SOTO.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Civil War

Online Records

Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battles were fought in DeSoto Parish:

Map showing Civil War battles in Louisiana.
World War I
World War II


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



Probate records before 1845 were kept in probate courts. Since 1845, they have been kept by the DeSoto 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  ~  information on.

Online Probate Records



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.

  • 1861 Tax List - Slave Owners of nine or more slaves in 1861. (USGenWeb Archives)

Vital Records

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.


Societies and Libraries

Desoto Historical Society
PO Box 447
Mansfield 71052-0447

Desoto Historical Society
PO Box 300
Stonewall, LA 71078-0300

See also a List of Louisiana Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "DeSoto, Louisiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Louisiana."
  2. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 264-278. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. DeSoto Parish, Louisiana p 290 (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. United States Census Bureau. "De Soto Parish Quickfacts". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  6. United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State
  8. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State