St. Helena Parish Data
St. Helena Parish Neighbors
Welcome to St. Helena Parish!
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About St. Helena Parish...
St. Helena Parish was first inhabited by the American Indian. During the 1500's, white men began to move into the West Florida portion of Louisiana. Ponce de Leon, the Governor of Puerto Rico, discovered Florida in the year 1512. Spanish expeditions traveled and explored the Mississippi River Valley in search of gold and other riches similar to that which had been found in Mexico. The Spanish explorers were not so much interested in the colonization of the area, and when they failed to locate the treasures they searched for, they momentarily lost interest.
France entered the area in 1623 when LaSalle claimed possession of the Lower Mississippi Valley. Many French voyages followed and permanent settlements were established. In the meantime, the English had two hundred colonists on the East Coast in the year 1690. After many difficult years of colonization, this area, while under French rule failed to prosper. It was during this time that Spain allied with France in the French and Indian War against England. After the British won the French and Indian War, France ceded Louisiana to Spain in return for Spain's help during the Seven Year War. For compensation of Spain's losses, France granted her the French possessions in the lower Mississippi River Valley including present day St. Helena Parish in the secret treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762. It was during Spanish administration that great prosperity came to the area.
However, in 1763, the Treaty of Paris confirmed the cession to Spain but modified the territory involved because England demanded East Florida, West Florida and Canada. With the existence of the British rule, this area became populated with English and American settlers migrating from Georgia and the Carolinas. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, Spain regained West Florida from England.
By the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800, Louisiana once again became a French territory after Napoleon's negotiations with Spain. Later in the year 1803, Napoleon negotiated with the United States on the Louisiana Colony. The United States then purchased the colony and William Claiborne was established as Louisiana's first governor.
West Florida, however, continued to be held by Spain after France had transferred it to the United States in 1803. Spain continued to hold onto this area until the West Florida Rebellion of 1810 when a small group of colonists overthrew the government of Spain. The residents of West Florida, increasingly dissatisfied with Spanish rule, declared their independence from Spain and seized Baton Rouge from the Spanish officials. They declared themselves as the free and independent state of West Florida.
President James Madison had already issued a proclamation ordering Governor Claiborne of Louisiana to take possession on October 27, 1810. It was on December 10, 1810 that Governor Claiborne took possession of West Florida. It was proclaimed that all of the area eastward from the Mississippi River shall constitute one county to be known and called by the name Feliciana. The county was then divided into the parishes of Feliciana, Baton Rouge, St. Helena and St. Tammany. St Helena Parish was formed by the Act of Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Orleans on April 24, 1811. Louisiana, including the Florida parishes, became the eighteenth state of the union. After many years of confusion and instability, the West Florida region of Louisiana was now a stable portion of the United States of America.
The parish has a total area of 409 square miles, of which 408 square miles is land and 1 square mile (0.27%) is water. The population recorded in the 1900 Federal Census was 8,479. The 2010 census recorded 10,759 residents in the Parish.
Neigboring parishes and counties are Amite County, MS (north), Tangipahoa Parish (east), Livingston Parish (south), East Baton Rouge Parish (southwest), and East Feliciana Parish (west). Communities in the parish include Greensburg and Montpilier
St. Helena 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.
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 St. Helena Parish Important Addresses page.