Ethnic Groups of Louisiana

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This entry was originally written by Beth A. Stahr, CGRS and Sharon Sholars Brown for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Louisiana Family History Research series.
History of Louisiana
Louisiana Vital Records
Census Records for Louisiana
Background Sources for Louisiana
Louisiana Maps
Louisiana Land Records
Louisiana Probate Records
Louisiana Court Records
Louisiana Tax Records
Louisiana Cemetery Records
Louisiana Church Records
Louisiana Military Records
Louisiana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Louisiana Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Louisiana Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Louisiana
Louisiana Parish Resources
Map of Louisiana


African American

An impressive array of primary source materials exists, in addition to the census materials cited above, in both parish offices and at the Louisiana State University collections in Baton Rouge (see page 15 for information on Black Genesis for a partial listing). In addition, a major ethnic group in Louisiana, the Creoles de couleur, has a unique place in its history. See Gary B. Mills, The Forgotten People: Cane River’s Creoles of Color (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977).

The Amistad Research Center, located in the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library of Tulane University, provides resources on the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights. See www.tulane.edu/~amistad.

The New Orleans Public Library has an online guide to African-American genealogy sources in its Louisiana Division at http://nutrias.org/~nopl/guides/black.htm.

The library also has an African American Resource Center, separate from the City Archives and Louisiana Division Special Collections at http://nutrias.org/~nopl/info/aarcinfo/aarcinfo.htm.

Native American

Native peoples occupied Louisiana long before the first white explorers arrived. Many tribes have resided within and roamed across the state throughout the years. Louisiana’s present Native American population includes Choctaw, Chitimacha, Tunica-Biloxi, Houma, and Coushatta. Many records in Louisiana, both church and civil, have recorded native inhabitants by their ethnic designation.

See pages 15-16 and U.S. Court of Claims, No. 12742: The Choctaw Nation of Indians v. The United States (Washington, D.C.: n.p., ca. 1895).

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