First State Court System, 1813-1846

In 1812, Louisiana became a state and passed its first constitution, which established its first "state court system."

The Court of Probates continued uninterrupted from the Territorial system.

The Parish Court and the First Judicial District Court carry records of genealogical significance and will be examined more closely in the next pages.

Two additional courts were added later. The City Court of Appeals, established in 1825, handled appeals from the Justices of the Peace; the records of this court are interfiled with other City Court records, making their use currently difficult. A project is underway to separate these records into their own series.

The Commercial Court, created in 1839, did what its name implies--it handled suits of a commercial nature, including the many disputes that grew out of business transactions originating in the great port of New Orleans.

While most suits involving property, personal or business damages, and the like will not have traditional genealogical information (i.e., the date or place of birth, marriage, or death nor the names of children or other family members), they can be useful in fleshing out the lives of individuals. If you are interested in knowing not only who your great, great, great grandfather was but also what he did, the records of courts like the Commercial Court can often supply details unavailable elsewhere.


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