Louisiana, Parish Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Louisiana, United States
Louisiana flag.png
Flag of Louisiana
US Locator Louisiana.png
Location of Louisiana
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1837-1957
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Parish courthouses, Louisiana


What is in This Collection?

The collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations and marriage stubs for the years 1837 to 1957.

The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.

Marriages were usually recorded by the clerk of the district court for each parish (county) from the time the parish was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.

The form type varies between register style and certificate style. Clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.

Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property. The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information found in these marriage records may include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name of groom
  • Groom's birth date and place of birth
  • Groom's current residence, occupation and race
  • Names of groom's parents, including mother's maiden name
  • Birthplace of groom's parents
  • Name of bride
  • Bride's birth date and place of birth
  • Bride's current residence, occupation and race
  • Names of bride's parents, including mother's maiden name
  • Birthplace of bride's parents
  • Number of previous marriages, if any
  • Court where legal proceedings of any divorce were finalized
  • Name of officiator
  • Names of witnesses

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Louisiana marriages, click here.

Sample Image

Digital Folder List

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. These collections do not include any human-readable waypoint data making them difficult to use. A table showing each DGS number and its contents can be found in Louisiana, Parish Marriages Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, certificate type, year, and volume.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the bride or groom
  • The approximate date of the marriage
  • The place where the marriage occurred

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

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.


What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses. Witnesses were usually family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • 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. Try searching for these names as well.

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, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957." Database with images.FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 1 August 2017. Parish courthouses, Louisiana.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
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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