Louisiana Division/City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Sources for Researching the History of Your House (Or Other Building) in New Orleans

The Chain of Title Search: Notarial Archives in the Land Records Division of the Office of the Clerk of Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans

The Notarial Archives (1340 Poydras St., Suite 360) houses the records of Orleans Parish notaries, 1733 - 1970, including acts of sale for all real estate (and, before the Civil War, for sales of enslaved persons). The Notarial Archives' website is http://www.orleanscivilclerk.com/research.htm.

Acts of Sale
The act of sale provides a more complete record of the transaction than that recorded in the Conveyance books. In many cases the act of sale will be bound with other documents such as tax and mortgage receipts and possibly copies of surveys made in connection with the sale or a previous sale.

Acts of sale are arranged by the notary and, thereunder, by date. If you have previously traced the chain of title in the Conveyance books, you will have recorded the notary's name and the date of the act of sale, which will allow you to locate the act in the notary's records.

Annual indexes to the notaries' volumes are also available at the Notarial Archives website at http://www.orleanscivilclerk.com/notaryalpha.htm.

After 1970, notarial acts (housed in the Office, 1340 Poydras St., Suite 500) are retrieved throught their "NA number," rather than by notary/date. These records can be accessed online through a fee based service. Information can be found on the Civil District Court website at http://www.orleanscivilclerk.com/onlinerecords.html

Building Contracts
The Notarial Archives also houses building contracts, 1767-1970. A multi-volume Index for these contracts is available in the Louisiana Division (and the Notarial Archives).

Plan Book Plans
Also located at the Notarial Archives are the Plan Book Plans, more than 5000 19th century watercolor lot surveys, many containing architectural drawings with floor plans, landscape designs, or other details (1803-1918, bulk 1830-1860). Samples of the Plan Book drawings can be found on the Notarial Archives' website, along with additional information about them. Computerized indexing is available in-house at the Notarial Archives, and an older, published index, arranged by municipal district and square, with dates and other identifying information, is available in the Louisiana Division. (976.31 O72p)

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