Louisiana, Orleans Parish Will Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Louisiana, Orleans Parish Will Books 1805-1920
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Orleans, Louisiana, United States
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Flag of Louisiana
US Locator Map Louisiana Orleans.PNG
Location of Orleans, Louisiana
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Location of Louisiana
Record Description
Record Type Wills
Collection years 1805-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection of will books for Orleans Parish courts include copies of all wills filed in Orleans Parish, 1805-1920. The will books comprise 39 bound volumes. Each volume is individually indexed at the front of each book. The will books were created in several courts including the Court of Probates (1805-1846), Second District Court (1846-1880) and Civil District Court (1880-1920). Volume 31, No. 11 is missing.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Louisiana, Orleans Parish Will Books 1805-1920.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Parish Will Books

  • Name of deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Name of spouse
  • Wife’s maiden name
  • Name of children
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of burial
  • Date of will
  • Occupation
  • Names of witnesses

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the deceased
  • The approximate date of death
  • The approximate date of probate
  • The place where your ancestor lived
  • The names of family members who may be named in the will

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the Volume Title and Year to view the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Now?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use a probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives
  • Use a probate record to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate
  • For earlier years, use the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records
  • Use the information found in the record to find vital records such as birth, baptism and marriage
  • Use the information found in the record to find immigration and land records
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in census records

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now

  • Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. You could get a copy of the original record from the New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Record Finder

Consult the Louisiana Record Finder to search other records

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Louisiana, Orleans Parish Will Books, 1805-1920." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. City Archives & Special Collections, New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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