Richland Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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Richland Parish

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
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


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

Beginning Dates for Major Parish Records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1869 1810 1869 1869

Parish Courthouse

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]


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

Boundary Changes

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

  • Alto, LA
  • Archibald, LA
  • Delhi, LA
  • Dunn, LA
  • Holly Ridge, LA
  • Mangham, LA
  • Rayville, LA
  • Start, LA

Neighboring Parishes or Counties


African American

Bible Records



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 Pop.
Richland Parish Census Data[5]


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 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.


Morehouse ParishWest Carroll ParishEast Carroll ParishMadison ParishFranklin ParishCaldwell ParishOuachita ParishLA RICHLAND.PNG
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for more resources


Civil War

Online Records

World War I
World War II


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Richland 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 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  ~  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.

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

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, "Richland Parish," 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., 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. United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2008-02-02.