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Welcome to Ouachita Parish!

 

Welcome to Ouachita Parish, Louisiana Genealogy & History Network. Our purpose is to provide free resources for genealogical and historical researchers. This site is FREE and will always be FREE to all researchers!
If you have genealogy or history information to share, send an email to genealogy@usghn.org and we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information for other Louisiana Parishes, please consider clicking on the Louisiana Genealogy & History Network link in the Main Menu and visit the appropriate parish. Thanks for visiting and good luck with your research!
 

 



 About Ouachita Parish...

Ouachita Parish and the Ouachita Valley were home to many Native American groups in the thousands of years before European settlements began. Most historians agree that the pre-history of Ouachita Parish is intertwined with the Poverty Point Native Americans in nearby Epps, Louisiana. The Poverty Point people had a highly developed civilianization. By 1,350 B.C., the Poverty Point Indian site was the epicenter for trade in North America.

Tradition says that the Hernando DeSoto expedition reached the Ouachita Valley in the 1540's. Ouachita Parish and the Ouachita Valley have a long and impressive history dating back several centuries.

The Ouachita Indians inhabited the area for generations. The first non-Indian settlers to Ouachita Parish were likely remnants of LaSalle's expedition to Louisiana in 1680. By the time they arrived in the 17th century, little was left of the Ouachita Indians who had inhabited the area for generations.

By the late 18th century, the governor of New Orleans saw the need to establish outposts along the upper portions of the Mississippi. In 1782, he sent Don Juan (Jean) Filhiol to establish a post along the Ouachita River, which was called Ft. Miro. Ft. Miro stood in downtown Monroe where the parish courthouse is located today. By 1790, the trading post had evolved into a community with forty-nine families.

In May, 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France and for the first time, Ft. Miro was under U.S. authority. Ouachita Parish was established March 31, 1807 with Ft. Miro as the parish seat. It is one of the 19 parishes, which were created by dividing the Territory of New Orleans. The original Ouachita Parish was subsequently divided into the parishes of Morehouse, Union, Caldwell, Franklin, Tensas, Madison, East Carroll and West Carroll with the present Ouachita Parish remaining. The parish is named after the Ouachita Indians. There is disagreement as to the exact meaning of the word "Ouachita". It is frequently translated as "silver water" referring to the Ouachita River.

Ouachita Parish is home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe and CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and the largest company headquartered in Louisiana. Ouachita Parish was the birthplace of Delta Airlines and also serves as North East Louisiana's retail, banking and employment hub and was home to Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first person in the world to bottle Coca Cola.

The parish has a total area of 633 square miles, of which 611 square miles is land and 22 square miles (3.5%) is water. The population recorded in the 1900 Federal Census was 20,947. The 2000 census recorded 147,250 residents in the Parish.

Neigboring parishes are Union Parish (north), Morehouse Parish (northeast), Richland Parish (east), Caldwell Parish (south), Jackson Parish (southwest), and Lincoln Parish (west). Communities in the parish include Monroe, Richwood, Sterlington, West Monroe, Brownsville, Bawcomville, Claiborne, Swartz, and Calhoun.

 

 

 

 Ouachita Parish Records


Birth Records - The Louisiana State office maintains records for 100 years after the date of birth. Birth records are considered confidential for the first 100 years. For current information on who may obtain a birth record as well as how to submit a request visit the Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry website or write to them at PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.

Birth records older than 100 years are available through the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.

 

Death Records - The Louisiana State office maintains records for 100 years after the date of death. Death records are considered confidential for the first 100 years. For current information on who may obtain a death record as well as how to submit a request visit the Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry website or write to them at PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.

Death records older than 100 years are available through the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.

 

Marriage Records - For current information on how to submit a request for a certified copy of an Orleans Parish marriage record less than 50 years old, see the Louisiana Office of Public Health Director, Vital Records and Statistics website or write to PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.

Certified copies for the parish are issued by Clerk of Court. For the address of the parish Clerk of Court visit the Ouachita Parish Important Addresses page.

Marriage records over 50 years are stored by the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.

 

Divorce Records - To obtain current information on how to submit a request for a certified copy of divorce records contact the Clerk of Court. For the address of the parish Clerk of Court visit the Ouachita Parish Important Addresses page.