New Orleans Notarial Archives Research Center

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1340 Poydras St., Ste. 360
New Orleans, LA 70112

Because Louisiana law is based on Napoleonic (Civil) Law, the notary held a prominent role Louisiana society, preparing property transactions, loans, wills, marriage contracts, partnerships, building contracts, adoptions, probates, and so on. By law, notaries were required to maintain an archive of the records they created and provide for their maintenance after their death. In 1867, the Louisiana Legislature created a central repository, the Office of the Custodian of Notarial Records for the Parish of Orleans. The records of New Orleans notaries include property transactions from the French period (1731–58), Spanish period (1768–1803), and American period. Because families often used the same notary through multiple generations, the notarial records can be a rich source for those researching in New Orleans.