Friday, September 30, 2011

New/updated Louisiana records on FamilySearch has added quite a lot of new (and free!) Louisiana genealogy records in the last few months, in case you haven't noticed.  (You may have to sign up for a free account to view some records, and some collections are partially complete and/or not yet indexed, but fun to explore nonetheless.)

My dad's 1942 draft card (front), found in “Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, 1940-1945" on

From the FamilySearch home page, you can browse by location.  Click on "USA, Canada, and Mexico" and scroll down the page to the Louisiana records.

(The collections are alphabetical by state/province--mostly.  If you're new to the site, browse around the page after exploring La. & then U.S. groups to make sure you don't overlook something useful.)

In September alone, FamilySearch has added or updated Louisiana-specific genealogy collections for:

• Civil War service records for both Confederate and Union soldiers (indexed)

• World War II and later draft cards: (Click on "browse images."  Links of broadly indexed groups will appear.)
     First Registration, 1940-1945, in progress, currently comprising surnames Davis - Linton statewide.
     Second Registration, 1948-1959, in progress, with groups posted by draft board number. The numbers correspond to an alphabetical listing by parish (1 = Acadia Parish, etc).  The highest board number currently posted includes a group of cards from Ouachita Parish.  Within each parish, names are in alphabetical groups.  You can estimate where in the group your relative may appear and enter a number in the image # box at the top of the page then click "return" or "enter"; try checking about halfway numerically, go by 100s, 50s, etc.  It takes time and patience but you may find some great info.
    Tip: Record the address info you find here as you prepare to search for your relatives in the 1940 U.S. census, available online to the public on April 2, 2012.

• New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 (Click on browse.  There are links for two time periods, within which the lists are broadly indexed by date.  In spot-checking a couple of time period links, I'm finding 1900s records linked to 1800s headings. Oops.  Hopefully this will be worked out.)

• Orleans Parish 2nd District Judicial Court Case Files, 1846-1880 (In progress.  Indexed by year, then file number, currently from 1851 to 1873.)

There are more Louisiana-related genealogy collections; these are just the records added this past month.

You'll also find more genealogy records applicable to Louisiana relatives under "United States," such as the World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, also called the "Old Man's Draft" (it was for men of ages 45-64), which is now indexed.  In the last few days, several new groups of Confederate records have been added under "United States," as well as a number of other military collections. Can't wait to explore more.