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Welcome to Richland Parish!

 

Welcome to Richland 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!
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 About Richland Parish...

The area that was to become Richland Parish was first explored in 1788 by Don Juan Filhoil, the commandant of the Spanish settlement at Fort Miro (Monroe). He had just come from exploring the territory and reported that opinion to his Spanish government.

In 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana and United States soldiers took over command at Fort Miro and the Ouachita Country. When Louisiana was admitted to the Union in 1812, parishes were beginning to be formed from that huge tract of land. Many people immigrated from the southern states to the east. In the early days, folks depended primarily upon the rivers and streams in the area for transportation. About 1840, a road was built through the canebreak and swamp area between the Boeuf River and Bayou Macon. In ten years or so, ferries and stagecoaches popped up in the area.Because of the rich soil, cotton was being grown along the riverfronts, which was convenient to water and transportation.

A charter had been granted as early as 1836 for a railroad, but it wasn't until June 1854 that construction was begun. By 1857, the railroad stretched from Mississippi to Tallulah. It was not until 1859 that the railroad reached all the way to the little settlement of Delhi.

During the Civil War, much of the railroad was destroyed by Union forces operating in the area and the people again had to turn to  water transportation. Steamboats were most often seen in the area of Alto, plying their wares. Ion Landing boasted a racetrack as 
well as large warehouses and was a favorite stop for river boat passengers.

As the Reconstruction era continued, the people of the area were determined to make the best of what they had. Small settlements were popping up all over the area during the mid-1800s, some of which were Delhi, Alto, Goshen, Girard and Charlieville -- all of these had post offices. Just west of Delhi was a growing settlement called Little Creek, that boasted two railroads: the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific and the New Orleans and Northwestern. Little Creek was the hub of action because of the new railroads and the businesses and homes that were springing up all over the area.

Act No. 115 of the Louisiana Legislature called for portions of Carroll, Franklin, Morehouse and Ouachita parishes to be formed into a new parish: Richland Parish. The name came from the rich soil and fertile land of that country. The parish was placed within the Twelfth Judicial District and in the same Senatorial District as the parishes of Carroll, Madison and Morehouse. A Police Jury was held in December 1869 and construction of a courthouse was authorized. Little Creek, which had been renamed for Ray and was called Rayville, was then designated as the parish seat. An interesting fact about Rayville is that Ray named the streets Louisa, Julia, Benedette and Rosa after his four daughters. The new courthouse was a small, wood frame building with only two rooms. It housed the courts, the clerk of the parish office and the sheriff's department. The first sheriff was A. J. Lidell and the first clerk was J. Newt Pitts.

By 1873, the parish was well established and required a new, bigger courthouse. The old courthouse was sold to a negro church organization that floated it some ten miles down Little Creek to use for a church.The new building was a two-story brick affair that was modern in all its appointments. This courthouse was used until 1951, when the present structure was built.

The towns of Rayville and Delhi were incorporated in 1882. At that time Delhi had nine general stores, two drug stores, two livery stables, two hotels, one steam-gin, a good public school, and churches of Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic. In the fall of 1890, a fire engulfed one-half or more of the business portion of Rayville. Again in 1891, it was visited by a similar disaster.

The parish has a total area of 565 square miles, of which 558 square miles is land and 6 square miles (1.07%) is water. The population recorded in the 1900 Federal Census was 11,116. The 2010 census recorded 20,725 residents in the Parish.

Neigboring parishes are Morehouse Parish (north), West Carroll Parish northeast), East Carroll Parish (northeast), Madison Parish (east), Franklin Parish (southeast), Caldwell Parish (southwest) and Ouachita Parish (west). Communities in the parish include Delhi, Mangham, Rayville and Start.

 

 

 

 Richland 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 Richland 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 Richland Parish Important Addresses page.