Records from the Archdiocese of Louisiana and the Floridas between 1576-1803 are now Online

Another great resource is now available online: Records from the Archdiocese of Louisiana and the Floridas – 1576-1803.

The database contains two entries for each record: (1.) an image of the original hand-witten record in French and (2.) an image of an accompanying 3″ by 5″ index card that was created some years ago.

In addition to the images of original records, a lengthy and detailed history of the records and detailed explanations of the records are also included. For more information or to view the records, go to

My thanks to newsletter reader Lynna Kay Shuffield for telling me about this great resource.




How wonderful to see these online! Keep in mind that the documents in Spanish have “Spanicized” French names. Jean-Louis will be Juan Luis, Pierre will be Pedro, Marguerite will be Margarita, Thérèse will be Theresa (grrr! lol), etc. The surnames were often mangled, and it may require some creative thinking to find specific families in these records. The same applies to any non-Spanish names, such as “Juan Q(?)uieco, native of Ireland.” Doesn’t sound very Irish, does it?


I am interested in learning about the Archdiocese of Louisiana and the Floridas. I didn’t know there was such an entity. I thought New Orleans was established as a diocese in the early 1790’s. There seems to have been a canonical predecessor. Louisiana was French in 1718; then became Spanish and then French and then American. So from 1576 to 1718 which country was primary. I think Florida was mostly Spanish until the British took over East Florida. I think West Florida was Spanish. Mobile was French from about 1698. I am curious to know the canonical and other comings and goings.


    Joseph- you are correct. The diocese was only established in 1793, and renamed in 1826. It was elevated to archdiocese in 1850.The records from 1576 to 1793 must be ones created from earlier Catholic activity in the area which were placed with the diocese when it was first formed. You can read the history of the Diocese/Archdiocese here
    To find the history of any catholic diocese anywhere in the world, browse

    Ned Smith


    Well, I went to Wiki. It seems that the Archdiocese was in Cuba, and there had been attempts to establish suffragan dioceses with even bishops being appointed, but never arriving and that the various regions had some sort of organization, which would be similar to missionary organization, but it looks very flimsy. However, the area was better served than the Episcopal Church in the US which didn’t have a resident bishop until around the ratification of the Constitution–same way with the RC’s the first bishop of Bishop Carroll appointed in 1790. George Washington was an Episcopal vestryman, but nevre confirmed. I don’t know what the RC’s did but there were always provisions for clergy other than Bishops to administer the sacraments.


I don’t know why my second link didn’t show up- here it is again:
…to find the history of any catholic diocese anywhere in the world browse


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