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Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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Guide to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
Map
Map of Louisiana highlighting Calcasieu Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 24, 1840
County Seat Lake Charles
Courthouse
LACalcasieucourthouse.jpg
Address 1015 Pithon Street
PO Box 1583

Lake Charles, LA 70602
(337) 721-3500
Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Website

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Parish Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Atakapa word for crying eagle. The County has Lake Charles as its seat and the County was created March 24, 1840. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[1]

Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1910 1914 1910 1910 1910 1700s
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1914. General compliance year unknown. (website says 1918 births; 1911 deaths)

Parish Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Calcasieu Parish Courthouse
PO Box 1030
Lake Charles, LA 70602-1030
Phone: 337.437.3550 

Parish Clerk has marrige, divorce, probate,
court and land records from 1910.[3]

Calcasieu Parish Organization[edit | edit source]

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

When Louisiana became a state, the large, sparsely settled area between the Atchafalaya and Sabine rivers was designated St. Landry Parish. As the parish became more populated, settlers began to complain about the long horse or wagon journey they had to make to Opelousas. By 1840, the area had enough settlers that the Louisiana Legislature took note of their complaints and created a new parish out of the southwest corner of St. Landry Parish. The new parish was named Calcasieu in honor of the region's principal river. [4]

The name Calcasieu (pronounced Cal-ca-shoo) comes from the Atakapan word, "quelqueshue", meaning "crying eagle". It was originally the name of an Atakapa chief, but became the name given to what was formerly the Rio Hondo River (Rio Stondo or "Deep River"), now the Calcasieu River. The parish then inherited this name. [5]

This original Calcasieu Parish, known as "Imperial Calcasieu Parish," included most of the five modern parishes of Calcasieu, Cameron, Beauregard, Allen and Jefferson Davis.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

In 1870, Imperial Calcasieu underwent the first of two reorganizations. On 16 March 1870, Louisiana Gov. Henry Clay Warmoth signed an act providing for the creation of Cameron Parish from land then lying in both Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes.

The May 3, 1912, issue of the American Press reported: "In one of the most representative meetings ever held in the state, as well as one of the most harmonious, it was decided at the parish convention in this city [Lake Charles] last night to divide Imperial Calcasieu parish into four parishes. Amicable agreements were made upon the lines of division."

The divisions were as follows:

For animated maps illustrating Louisiana Parish boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Louisiana Parish Boundary Maps" (1805-1990) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1910 The parish courthouse, as well as most of downtown Lake Charles, was destroyed by a disastrous fire on April 23. Many of the records of the parish were burned or damaged.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:


Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Calcasieu, Louisiana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the Parish
See Louisiana Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on Calcasieu Parish cemeteries.

Census Information[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Louisiana denominations, view the Louisiana Church Records wiki page.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Louisiana Land and Property for additional information about early Louisiana land ownership. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse where records are also currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Louisiana Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Beauregard ParishJefferson Davis ParishCameron ParishOrange CountyNewton CountyLA CALCASIEU.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records before 1845 were kept in probate courts. Since 1845, they have been kept by the Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Genealogy clerk of the district court. Many of the probate records are included in the notarial records with the deeds and mortgages. In some parishes they are known as “succession” records.

See the Wiki page Louisiana Probate Records for more information about probate records in Louisiana.

Content: Probate records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Online Probate Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Louisiana tax records can be used in place of missing censuses and provide lists of residents during years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see Louisiana Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

Louisiana statewide registration of birth and death records began in 1911. Births and deaths are kept by the Louisiana Vital Records Registry. Marriages were recorded by each parish, and the records are at the parish clerk of court office. See also How to order Louisiana Vital Records or order electronically online.

See Louisiana Vital Records for more information on getting Louisiana records.

Louisiana Records and Statistics Information  ~ where and how to order information.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Birth records going back 100 years are housed by the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit. Phone: 337-478-6020.

Marriage[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society
    PO Box 1214
    1635 Hodges St.
    Lake Charles, LA 70601-6016
    Website
  • Brimstone Museum and Historical Society
    800 Picard Rd
    Sulphur, LA 70663-4362
  • Starks Historical Society
    664 Old River Road
    Starks, LA 70661
  • Brimstone Historical Society - Sulphur
    Website
  • Louisiana Historical Society
    Website
  • The Southwest Louisiana Genealogy Society, Inc.
    Website
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
    Louisiana Chapter Locator
    Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Thanks to the Calcasieu Wiki Contributors
[edit | edit source]

Anyone can be a contributor. Contributors are people who write and edit the pages for FamilySearch Wiki. Thanks to the following contributors for helping to build this page (in alpha order). Help grow the wiki and add content today!

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Calcasieu, Louisiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcasieu_Parish,_Louisiana."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Page 289-293 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 267-268.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed., Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana p. 289 (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Benoit, Robert. "The Division of Imperial Calcasieu." Lake Charles American Press. 15 Jan. 1989.
  5. Wikipedia



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