Louisiana Immigration

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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


New Orleans served as a major immigration port until the Civil War. Many nineteenth-century European immigrants traveled to New Orleans and then continued up the Mississippi River to settle in the Midwest.

Passenger lists for New Orleans have been microfilmed by the NARA for the years 1820–1902 (series M259; 1820–50 included on Gulf Coast Ports Index, series M334 [NARA site says 1820-74, not 1850]; 1853–99 indexed on series T527), 1900–45 (series T905 [series says 1910–45]; 1900–52 indexed on series T618). Researchers should be aware that the indexes are not complete, and that many passengers whose names appear on the manifests are not found in the microfilmed indexes. It also appears that some manifests were lost before the lists were microfilmed. The Works Projects Administration (WPA) transcribed passenger manifests for the years 1813–70. All seven volumes are available at the Louisiana State Museum Historical Center in New Orleans. Volumes 1-4 and 6 are available at the NARA in Washington, D.C. Volumes 1-3 are microfilmed on NARA series M2009. Quarterly Abstracts and State Department Abstracts for some years are also available on National Archives microfilm.

The New Orleans Public Library has microfilm of nineteenth-century ship passenger lists. Glen Conrad published most of those for the French period as First Families of Louisiana, 2 vols. (Baton Rouge: Claitor Publishing Co., 1970). A publication covering some of the lists from the middle period of the colonial era was done by Winston DeVille, Louisiana Recruits, 1752–1758 (New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1973).

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