Louisiana Emigration and Immigration

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Pre-statehood settlers of Louisiana generally came from eastern Canada, France, Germany, the West Indies, Spain, and Africa. During the Revolutionary War many other immigrants arrived from the Atlantic states. When the territory was formed, large numbers of Americans from southern Ohio moved to this new acquisition.

The Irish were the largest immigrant group in Louisiana during the nineteenth century. They settled mainly during the 1840s and 1850s. Large numbers of Germans arrived in two waves, one just after 1810 and the second between 1840 and 1860. Small numbers of Scandinavians came in the 1820s. Some Mexicans settled here in the 1830s. Later immigrant groups included Italians, Hungarians, and Slavs.

Records and histories of ethnic groups in Louisiana, including Acadians (“Cajuns”), Blacks, Canary Islanders, Chinese, Creoles, French, Germans, and Yugoslavs, are listed in the catalog under LOUISIANA - MINORITIES.

Passenger Lists

The major port of entry to Louisiana has been New Orleans. Lists of some of the colonial passengers have been published and are at the Family History Library. The Family History Library and the National Archives also have microfilms of:

  • Original passenger lists for New Orleans (1820-1921)
  • Indexes (1820-50, 1853-1952)
  • Quarterly summaries of passenger lists for New Orleans (1820-75)

The National Archives also has:

  • Passenger lists for New Orleans (1903-45)
  • Five of the six volumes of Passenger Lists . . . Port of New Orleans. These are typescripts of lists from some years between 1813 and 1867. Each volume contains an index.

Further information on immigration sources is in the "Emigration and Immigration" section of the United States Research Outline.