Louisiana Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Louisiana Deaths Index, 1850-1875, 1894-1954 .
This Collection will include records from 1850 to 1956.
The collection consists of a name index to Louisiana deaths. The statewide records for all parishes cover 1911-1956. Coverage outside these dates for individual Parishes varies. This collection does not include records for deaths from 1875-1893 and has only a few entries for 1894-1904. Death records for 1850-1875 are for Jefferson Parish only. Additional death records that are not yet published online can be viewed on microfilm at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Louisiana Bureau of Vital Statistics. Louisiana death records/certificates. Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Key genealogical facts that may be found in the Louisiana Death Records, depending on the time period, include:
- Full name
- Place and date of death
- Age and birthplace (city or town, state or foreign country)
- Marital status and sometimes name of spouse
- Date of birth
- Names and birthplaces of parents
- Place and date of burial
- Cause of Death
- Name of informant
- Social Security number (later records)
- If veteran, name of war (later records)
- Length of stay in community (later records)
- If the deceased is a citizen of a foreign county, the name of the country (later records)
How to Use the Records
When searching the records it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the death occurred
- The name of the person at the time of death
- The approximate death date
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. Look at the list of entries created by your search. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local historical and genealogical societies also often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
An index to the Orleans parish death records beginning in 1804 can be found at The USGenWeb Archives Project: Louisiana, Orleans Parish. An index to these records and the Orleans parish death records is available at the Louisiana Government website.
The New Orleans Public Library, has acquired the Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index references obituaries and death notices published in New Orleans newspapers from 1804-1972 and biographical information published in older Louisiana collective biographies. The original index, housed in the Louisiana Division of New Orleans Public Library, is an alphabetical card file of more than 650,000 names. This information can be accessed by following these steps:
- Go to New Orleans Public Library
- Click on City Archives and Special Collections
- Scroll down to Genealogy
- Click on Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index
- Click on the large red words 'Search the Index'
- Enter a name
If you only enter a surname you get every result for that surname. Also, if you only enter the surname married women who were born as that surname may also come up, if the obituary gave her maiden name.
- Genealogical Research of New Orleans
- Winn Parish Genealogical Historical Association
- The USGenWeb Archives Project: Louisiana, Orleans Parish
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.