The Terrebonne Parish Library Genealogy Collection is located on the second floor of the Main library. Our collection is richest in local and Louisiana resources, but we also offer access to a broad range of general “how to” guides and both print and electronic resources to help you uncover your roots no matter where they might be found.
If you are just beginning to piece together your family tree, or if you have a research question with which you would like some help, the library staff and the Terrebonne Genealogical Society offer one-on-one consultations and training. To schedule an appointment, email us or call (985) 876-5861 and choose option 2 when you hear the greeting. Library staff members can help guide you in the use of the collection, suggest research strategies, and provide referrals to sources not available in our own library. However, our staff cannot conduct genealogical searches for you. The search through the actual records and the thrill of discovery we leave to you. For those who cannot visit our library themselves and wish to engage the services of a professional genealogist, the Board for Certification of Genealogists maintains a database of genealogists who are certified and reside in or specialize in Louisiana.
The first step in working on any part of your family tree is to start with writing down what you know. We recommend using pedigree charts and family group sheets to record the information. These forms help by organizing what you know in a way that makes it easy for you, and anyone helping you, to see what you already have and where the gaps may be. Misbach Enterprises has a collection of free charts that include some, like the pedigree and family group records, that can be either printed or filled out in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
At all Terrebonne Parish Library branches, researchers have full access to the following materials:
- Ancestry Library Edition (in-library access only) – access to millions of records from around the globe, with new records added daily.
- Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives Plus
Combines an unprecedented collection of original historical documents and personal histories. This database offers a vast, growing array of valuable and unique content consisting of over 60 million pages of historical documents, including millions of records available from a content partnership with the National Archives and other institutions.
- HeritageQuest Online – Digital, searchable images of Revolutionary War Records, U.S. federal census records, Freedman’s Bank Records, and other genealogical resources. This online database is an essential collection of unique material for both genealogical and historical researchers, with coverage dating back to the late 1700s.
- America’s Historical Newspapers – search the pages of thousands of titles from all 50 states. With eyewitness reporting, editorials, letters, advertisements, obituaries and much more, this acclaimed collection uniquely chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the early 1920’s.
- Digital Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 – this online subscription includes access to richly detailed Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for New Orleans (1885-1909) as well as historical maps for many Louisiana cities.
From home, library cardholders can access HeritageQuest, America’s Historical Newspapers, and the Digital Sanborn Maps. Please contact the reference desk for assistance (985) 876-5861, option 2.
The thousands of books in the genealogy section include family and local histories, census and courthouse records, and indexes of birth, death, cemetery and newspaper records. You will also discover in our stacks everything from general introductions to genealogy to very specific lists and resources for a particular parish, county, or state. Of course, the larger part of our collection covers South Louisiana, Cajun, and Acadian genealogy. There are also books on other locations and fields of genealogy. Although most books are for library use only, there are duplicate sets of some books that can be checked out. Some of the key resources include:
- South Louisiana Records by Rev. Donald Hebert – civil and church records 1794-1920
- South Louisiana Vital Family Records – Lafourche and Terrebonne civil and church records 1902-1941, published by the Terrebonne Genealogical Society
- Southwest Louisiana Records by Rev. Donald Hebert – civil and church records 1756-1905
- Baton Rouge Diocese Church Records 1707-1900
- New Orleans Diocese Sacramental Records 1718-1831
- Indices for Louisiana Censuses (and many other states)
- Published censuses of Terrebonne from 1840 to 1910 (excluding 1890, of course)
- Directories for Houma, LA, 1897-present
- Yearbooks from local schools
- Indices of obituaries from Terrebonne & Lafourche newspapers 1885-2007, by the Terrebonne Genealogical Society
- Cemeteries of Terrebonne Parish (3 volumes), by the Terrebonne Genealogical Society
- A 6 volume history of the Acadians by Bona Arsenault, with supplements, index, and related volumes
- Le grand arrangement des Acadiens au Québec, by Adrien Bergeron
The locally indexed state and national census records for Terrebonne Parish are particularly valuable for those with local ancestry. Many Louisiana names, because they are so are unfamiliar to the folks from other regions, are listed incorrectly in national indexes. A search for a Bergeron, Thibodeaux, Gauthreaux, or Lapin in Ancestry or Heritage Quest may not be successful, where a look in one of our bound volumes of Louisiana census records indexed by Louisiana natives help you to discover the record you needed.
Our collection includes most of the South Louisiana genealogical publications. Back issues of periodicals, especially South Louisiana material, are available. A number of other genealogical periodicals are also in the collection.
Census records for all extant censuses are available. The soundex is available for the censuses of 1880, 1900, and 1910. Microfilm copies of old newspaper issues are also available. A microfilm printer is available at 15 cents a copy, or bring a USB drive and use the microfilm scanner to capture the images you would like to preserve.
The Terrebonne Parish Library offers wireless internet service in all branches. The second floor of the main library, where the Genealogy Collection is located, offers access to more than 30 computers, two of which are located in the Genealogy Room. Time at the computers is renewed in one hour increments to allow everyone a turn when there is a wait to use the terminals.
OTHER NOTABLE LOUISIANA RESOURCES
If you are looking for Louisiana genealogical resources, we recommend the following: