censuses were taken throughout the 1700's. Some were taken of certain areas,
like the German Coast. 18th century census data from the German
Coast is available in Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana (Deiler) and The German Coast During the Colonial Era, 1722-1803(Blume).
A new book, German Coast Families (Robichaux), contains the
early census material and well as data on the European origin of the Germans.
Others covered larger areas. Check a periodical
index for census data published in genealogical periodicals.
census material from 18th century Louisiana consists of French and Spanish
documents stored in archives. The Center for Louisiana Studies in Lafayette
Louisiana has microfilm copies of much of the material. The census
data from the latter half of the century has been compiled into published
books. These include two by Albert Robichaux [Louisiana Census and
Militia Lists, 1770-1789 and Colonial Settlers Along Bayou
Lafourche, 1770-1798] and Some Late 18th Century Louisianians:
Census Records, 1758-1796 by Jacqueline Voorhies. You will
find Acadian census material, as well as Acadians mixed in with other censuses.
has also compiled lists of soldiers from that era in two books: Louisiana Troops, 1720-1770 and Louisiana
Recruits, 1752-1758. He also has compiled several books
with lists/census information that includes Acadians, such as The
Acadian Coast in 1779, Attakapas Post: The Census of 1771, and Opelousas Post: The Census of 1771.
Please remember that census
records are notarious for inaccuracies ... some on the part of the people
and some on the part of the census takers.
You will find Acadian church
records starting to appear in Louisiana Catholic churches in 1765.
The best resource for these records are the multi-volume sets done by Rev.
Donald Hebert, the New Orleans Diocese, and the Baton Rouge diocese.
These four works cover the Catholic churches and many civil records (for
Father Hebert's books) in the area of Louisiana known as the Acadiana region.
All of the Acadiana Catholic church records of the 18th century can be
found in these books.
Father Hebert has two series, South Louisiana Records and Southwest Louisiana Records.
There are 12 volumes of South Louisiana Records, which
cover Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. There are 42 volumes of Southwest
Louisiana Records, which cover the western side of Acadiana.
Father Hebert is presently working on putting the Southwest Louisiana
Records records on CD-ROM.
The New Orleans Diocese has
12 volumes in print and is working on number 13. These records cover
the churches of the New Orleans area from 1718 to 1817. The
Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese has 17 volumes in print and is working on
number 18. These records cover the churches of Donaldsonville, Plattenville,
Pointe Coupee, St. Gabriel, St. James, and Baton Rouge from 1707 to 1888.
The earliest records back to 1707 are from the Grand Pre church in Acadia
(found in V. 1). The books contain basic abstracts of the records.
You can write or visit the Catholic Archives in each diocese to get a more
complete transcript of the record.
in Louisiana Protestant records are non-existant. During the 1700's, Louisiana
was owned by either France or Spain ... both Catholic nations. So the official
religion of Louisiana was the Roman Catholic religion.
The first courthouse
records start appearing at this time, but they are not numerous and are
usually in French or Spanish. Some parishes have translated them into English,
and some parishes have indices. Check out Cajun
Genealogy in the 19th Century for a more thorough description of
the various courthouse records.
The major set
of ship lists is the listings of the seven ships that brought over 1600
Acadians from France in 1785. The lists are available in The
Crew and Passenger Registration Lists of the Seven Acadian Expeditions
of 1785 (Milton & Norma Reider).
Another book, Acadian Families in Exile (Rev. Hebert), has
the lists of passengers as they boarded the ships and as they left the
ship. The passenger lists of the seven ships are also online at this website.
The ship lists of the Canary
Islanders (Islenos) who came to Louisiana from 1779 to 1783 can
be found in a couple of sources, such as Din's The Canary Islanders
of Louisiana.. Many of these people and their descendants
married into the Acadian population.
The Acadian works,
such as Bona Arsenault's works, mentioned in Acadian
Genealogy contain material on some of the Acadians even after they
arrived in Louisiana. Please remember to check them out.
The best book for learning about the Acadian resettlement in Louisiana
is Carl Brasseaux's The
Founding of New Acadia. It also has some genealogical
information on the first settlers in its appendix. Sidney
Marchand's Acadian Exiles in the Golden Coast of Louisiana is about Acadians along the Mississippi River. Books on the Opelousas
area include The Opelousas Post, 1776-1789 (Gladys de Villier)
and Opelousas Post, 1764-1789 (Jacqueline Vidrine).
work on non-Acadians of 18th century Louisiana can be found in The
First Families of Louisiana (Conrad) and First Settlers of
the Louisiana Territory (Ericson and Ingmire). Phoebe Chauvin
Morrison has 2 volumes of genealogy from the eastern Acadiana area known
as Generations .... Past to Present.
are a number of books that concentrate on certain areas or settlers of
Louisiana. The works mentioned above on the German Coast contain
material on the German population along the Mississippi River. Stanley
Arthur's Old Families of Louisiana has chapters on a number
of early Louisiana families.
not concentrated on Acadians, some books contain a good number of Acadian
records. Some of these are St. Charles: Abstracts of the Civil
Records of St. Charles Parish, 1700-1803 (Glenn Conrad), St.
James Parish Colonial Records, 1782-1787 (Eileen Behrman), and Marriage Contracts of the Opelousas Post, 1760-1803 (Jaqueline
notarial records of Louisiana at this time exist, they have not been put
into print, for the most part. There are 2 volumes, extracted by
Elizabeth Gianelloni, on the Notarial Acts of Estevan de Quinones.
Volume 1 covers 1778 to 1784, and volume 2 covers 1785 to 1786.
general book is the Atlas of Louisiana Surnames (West). This
book gives a brief background for dozens of Cajun and Acadian names.
For more books, consult the Book List.