G U I D E    T O    G E N E A L O G I C A L    M A T E R I A L S     
in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division & City Archives     

          C E N S U S   Records
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Guide to Genealogical Materials Home
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Note on Vital Records
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Hospital & Insanity Records
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Additional Sources
Appendix A: Ordering By Mail
Appendix B: Genealogical Periodicals
Appendix C: Soundex/Miracode System
Appendix D: Orleans Parish Civil Courts

Federal | Local

Federal Census Records

Louisiana federal census records are released to the public for the years 1810-1880 and 1900-1930. (The 1890 census was destroyed in 1921 by a fire in Washington, D.C. A copy of the Ascension Parish 1890 census was discovered in the parish courthouse, however, and microfilmed.) The complete Louisiana census (together with the Soundex and Miracode indexes) is available in the Louisiana Division.

Federal Census Records Online

  Ancestry Library Edition provides online access to Federal Census images and indexes for 1790 to 1930 nationwide, as well as to the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules. In-house users may access all of the federal census records through Ancestry Library Edition at any facility of NOPL.

  The 1850-1870 and 1900 federal censuses and the 1850 slave schedule have been digitized and are available (FREE) at beta.familysearch.org. The site also provides indexing to the 1880, 1910 and 1920 censuses.

Published or Microfilmed Federal Census Records

In addition to the census records that can be accessed online, published or microfilmed versions of many federal census schedules and indexes are also available in the Louisiana Division – the focus of the collection being the Southern and Southeastern states. Below is a list of our holdings in federal census schedules and indexes in book form or on microfilm. Call numbers for published indexes and/or schedules can be found in our automated card catalog. A list of the call numbers for microfilm is posted on the microfilm cabinets and at the Reference Desk. Unless otherwise indicated, the dates of coverage include the census schedules and available indexing (either Soundex or published volume).

An explanation of the Soundex/Miracode System can be found in Appendix C.

Alabama 1830 – 1920v
Arkansas 1830 – 1840 (indexes only)
California 1850 (index only)
Connecticut 1790 (index only)
Delaware 1800, 1850 (index only)
Florida 1830 – 1880
Georgia 1820 – 1880
Illinois 1870 (Chicago, index only)
Indiana 1820
Kentucky 1810 – 1880
Louisiana 1810 – 1930
1850 – 1880 (Mortality Schedules)
1850 – 1860 (Slave Schedules)
1890 (Ascension Parish only)
1890 (Special Census of Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans)
Maine 1790
Maryland 1790, 1810 – 1850
Massachusetts 1790 – 1800
Mississippi 1820 – 1920
New Hampshire 1790
New York 1790, 1800 (index only)
North Carolina 1790 – 1880
Ohio 1820 (index only)
Pennsylvania 1790 – 1810
Rhode Island 1790
South Carolina 1790 – 1880
Tennessee 1810 – 1880
Texas 1860 – 1880
Vermont 1790
Virginia 1790, 1810 – 1880
West Virginia 1870 – 1880

Additional Resources for the Federal Census

National Archives and Records Administration. Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumeration Districts, 1900 Census.
This series, covering the entire country, describes the geographic area covered by each enumeration district for the 1900 census. For each district, the records give the enumeration district number, bounding streets (or other geographic description), number of persons enumerated, name of the enumerator, enumerator’s post office address, and rate of pay. mf T1210

National Archives and Records Administration. Census Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumeration Districts [Louisiana only], 1830-1890, 1910-1920.
For this series, similar to the one above, the Louisiana Division holds only rolls that include the state of Louisiana. mf T1224

  The geographic boundaries of enumeration districts for the 1880, 1900, 1920, and 1930 censuses can also be found at www.ancestry.com (free) and at Ancestry Library Edition, accessible in all NOPL facilities.

  A search engine that allows researchers to find an enumeration district in the 1900-1930 censuses by street address can be found at www.stevemorse.org/census.

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Local Census Records

Two early census records, pre-dating the federal census for Louisiana are preserved in the City Archives. The City Archives also houses several censuses taken of licensed merchants in New Orleans and its Jefferson Parish suburbs.

Note: Although Louisiana conducted several state-level censuses, the information available is statistical only. Lists of names (if any) derived from these censuses are not available.

Census of New Orleans, 1791.    Finding Aid
This census, in Spanish, is dated November 6, 1791 and arranged by street of residence of the enumerated individuals, apparently the heads of households. In addition to the named individuals, each entry also records the numbers of other members of the household by category as follows: white men, white women, free men of mixed blood, free women of mixed blood, free negro men, free negro women, male slaves of mixed blood, female slaves of mixed blood, negro male slaves, and negro female slaves. Within each of these categories, the numbers are further broken down into age groups (although the age groupings themselves are not specified). Also recorded is the occupation of each white head of household, the number of members of the militia resident in each household, and the total number of persons living in each. mf AA840

An English translation, made by the City Archives Department, is filed under call number mf AA840. The census is indexed in New Orleans Genesis, vol. 1; the original index to the census is housed at the Louisiana State Museum.

New Orleans (La.) Commissary of the Second District. Census of the Second District of the City of New Orleans, 1804.    Finding Aid
The record is in English and French and counts residents in three broad categories: whites, free persons of color, and slaves. For whites and free persons of color, the following information is recorded: the names of male residents (sometimes only a surname) and their wives (usually listed only as "Madame ...") or other adult women living in the household, the profession and employment of the male (the distinction between these two categories is blurred), the age of males and females, the number of boys and girls living in the household, and, usually, their ages. The number of male and female adult and juvenile slaves in each household is also tallied; no names are recorded for slaves. A final column, labeled "Observations," indicates the head of household's military status, listing the company in which he served.

Note: It is not clear from the record or from available sources what area of the city was encompassed by the Second District in 1804. It may correspond to the "Second Ward," identified in the Deliberations of the Cabildo as follows: "From [Cavilier's] residence on Orleans Street to Bourbon Street – follow the sidewalk to Bienville Street – down to the river, and up to the Plaza, ending at the Capital House." mf TK840 1804

New Orleans (La.) Street Commissioner’s Office. Census of Merchants and Persons Following Professions Requiring Licenses, 1855-1856.    Finding Aid
One of the varied duties of the Street Commissioner was to take a census of all persons subject to the license taxes (every March and between November 15 and December 15 of each year).

These volumes, covering only two years, give name, residence or place of business, callings or professions, number of license, amount paid, and remarks; individuals are listed together by square of property occupied; related forms are also included at the front of each volume. Volume one (1855) is for the Second Ward; volume two (1855) covers the Third Ward; and volume three (1856) is for the Third Municipal District. Indexed. mf LC840

Lafayette (La.) Commissary of Police. Census of Licensed Merchants, 1844-1846.
The City of Lafayette, covering the area now known as the Garden District and the Irish Channel, was incorporated as part of Jefferson Parish in 1833. In 1852, it was annexed to the City of New Orleans as the Fourth Municipal District. Its original boundaries were the River, Toledano Street, St. Charles Avenue, and Felicity Street. This census, arranged by type of business (e.g., coffee houses or taverns; dry goods merchants), gives the name and location of businesses, the date the license was issued, the term of the license, and its expiration date. mf II LM430 1841-1849

Carrollton (La.) Census, 1854-1857.
The City of Carrollton was incorporated in 1845 as part of Jefferson Parish and, in 1874, was annexed to the City of New Orleans. The boundaries of Carrollton were the River, the present Jefferson Parish line, the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and Lowerline Street (and its projected extension to the Lake). This census gives the name and occupation of householders in the City of Carrollton and tallies the number of males and females in each household, and the number of children in general age groups. The names are grouped alphabetically by first letter of the name only.
Volume 1:   IV TK840 1854-1855 Unfilmed.
Volume 2:   mf IV TK840 1854-1857

Note: Several additional volumes of the Carrollton Census are housed at Tulane University.

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