Tensas Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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Tensas Parish

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


Tensas Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Tensas Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the U.S.
Founded March 17, 1843
County Seat St. Joseph
Address 201 Hancock St.
St. Joseph, LA 71366
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Parish Information


The County was named for the Taensa people. The County has St. Joseph as its seat and the County was created March 17, 1843. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

Tensas Parish, Louisiana Record Dates

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

Parish Courthouse

Tensas Parish Courthouse
Courthouse Square; PO Box 78;
Saint Joseph, LA 71366
Phone: 318.766.3921 

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


Parent Parish

  • 1843--Tensas Parish was created 17 March 1843 from Concordia Parish.
    Parish seat: Saint Joseph [4]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Parishes or Counties


African American

Bible Records



Cemeteries of Tensas, 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 Tensas Parish cemeteries.


Census Pop.
Tensas Parish Census Data[5]




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 Tensas 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. Biographical And Historical Memoirs of Louisiana: Embracing an Authentic And Comprehensive Account of the Chief Events In the History of the State, a Special Sketch of Every Parish And a Record of the Lives of Many of the Most Worthy And Illustrious Families And Individuals ... Chicago: The Goodspeed publishing company, 1892. (Tensas Parish is described on pages 203-204 in Volume 2. In addition, a search for "Tensas" in this book  will bring up brief biographies of several residents of the parish.)

Louisiana Works Progress Administration (WPA). St. Joseph in Tensas Parish, Louisiana from the 1930s. 1936.


Franklin ParishMadison ParishCatahoula ParishConcordia ParishWarren CountyClaiborne CountyJefferson CountyAdams CountyLA TENSAS.PNG
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Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Service men in Tensas Parish, Louisiana Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Tensas Parish, Louisiana Genealogy:

- 3rd Regiment, Louisiana Cavalry (Harrison's)(Confederate), Company A
- 4th Field Battery, Louisiana Artillery (Confederate)
World War I
World War II
Korean War


Current Newspapers:

Louisiana Newspaper List - USNPL lists newspapers by city, name.

Historical Newspapers:

The original weekly Tensas Gazette was founded in 1852 in St. Joseph, Louisiana. Since that time it has operated under various owners and names. One of the oldest newspapers in Louisiana, it is still in publication under its orginal name. The Library of Congress has digitized the issues from 1894 to 1922 which can be browsed or searched at its Chronicling America website.

See the Chronicling America website for a full history of the Tensas Gazette, as well as information on the Waterproof Enterprise which was published in the early 1900s.

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

Museums and Historic Sites

National Register of Historic Places: Lousiana: Tensas

Winter Quarters State Historic Site, St. Joseph, Louisiana: The only plantation left standing in Tensas Parish after Grant's troops marched through in 1863.


Wikipedia has more about this subject: Tensas Parish, Louisiana


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Tensas Parish, Louisiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensas_Parish,_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., Tensas Parish, Louisiana p 293 (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". http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/la190090.txt. Retrieved 2008-02-02.