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Louisiana Early Inhabitants

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Surnames/tags: Louisiana Louisiana_Families US_History
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Pelican Flag in outline of Louisiana
Louisiana Families Project
Louisiana Categories Project


Early Inhabitants

Louisiana has always been a melting pot & this page is where to start your search - for the Native Peoples, pioneers, explorers, refugees, settlers, slaves, immigrants, soldiers, and deportees who contributed to the rich culture that has condensed into a much smaller area.
If you're looking for the earliest inhabitants, you'll find categories for Native American Tribes of Louisiana, but not very many people in those categories. The Native Americans Project may have resources that could help your search.
Among the first Europeans in the area were French trappers - coureurs des bois[1] - coming down from Canada, and Spanish settlers and soldiers along the Gulf Coast. I'm pretty sure there are categories for these groups - I just need to find them. ~ Noland-165 12:58, 6 July 2017 (EDT)
See the Spanish Louisiana project and Category: Luisiana, Nueva España, and check out other pages included on Category:Louisiana (below the categories).
For folks just passing though, check out the Westward Ho! project - a subproject of Westward Ho! is Category:US Pioneers and Settlers. And there's also a Lewis & Clark Expedition project.

Louisiana First Families

The heart of the Louisiana Families Project are the folks who stayed - Louisiana's First Families. Category:Louisiana First Families is for the earliest known heads of families, male and female, in Louisiana. For later immigrants, they should have arrived in time to be in the 1900 US Census. People in this category need to have a place of birth outside of Louisiana or be the earliest known member of the family in Louisiana. See details on the Louisiana Families project page.

Neutral Ground Settlers

Click here for more information about this fascinating slice of Louisiana that officially existed outside the jurisdiction of both Spain and the United States from 1806 to 1821.

Acadian Refugees

The Wall of Names at the Acadian Memorial

This group of settlers, although they came to Louisiana, are more strongly associated with the Acadians Project, but they are dear to us, so they get their own heading (two of them!).
The Wall of Names at the Acadian Memorial
The Wall of Names lists approximately 3000 persons identified as Acadian refugees in early Louisiana records - we would like to have profiles for all of them.

Louisiana Slaves

Tracing your roots when your ancestors were uprooted and sold is, to say the least, difficult. WikiTree is working to make that easier with projects and categories. Under the US Black Heritage Project are by-state categories, including Category: Louisiana, Slavery, and the project page has some excellent resources listed, both general and by state: see Louisiana.

Louisiana Immigration

Additional categories for specific pioneer groups have been or are being developed. They include
These come under the Louisiana Immigration category, which also includes categories by nationality (e.g., Louisiana, New France, Immigrants from France).
Suggestions for additional categories?

Y'all Come

Project:Louisiana covers everything and everyone: Did you step foot in Louisiana? Did you stay? You're family. Were you born here? lived here? married here? died here? You're family. Did you come bearing arms agin us... well, maybe not. But we might have a category for you: Check out Category:Louisiana Warriors. Not a category for people but a gateway to projects, categories, and pages related to Louisiana Warriors — those who fought for Louisiana from its earliest days on through modern wars, when fighting in defense of your home expanded to defending your homeland far from your own home.
So if you're from Louisiana or live in Louisiana, or have an ancestor who was or did, this sticker's for you:
{{Louisiana Sticker}}
Because there are so many people in Louisiana, please also add a location category too, not just the sticker. Category:Louisiana is a top-level category (no people profiles), but it's the place to find more specific location categories. If you don't have anything more specific, use Category: Unknown parish, Louisiana
For details about more stickers and templates, check out Templates on the project page for Louisiana Families.


Who Dat? What Country? Where are they?

Just a couple G2G posts encountered when wandering through those tagged Louisiana that were too good not to share:

Is there a category for a Louisianan who fought in the Revolutionary War?] (probably could have found it at Category:Louisiana Warriors - if not then, you can now! And it's another reason to include Louisiana Warriors on this page!)

Louisiana, Name Studies

Almost forgot! Check out Name Studies and also head back over to the project page for more information about Louisiana One Name Studies.

Sources & Resources

  1. Wikipedia: Coureur des bois, "primarily or solely fur trade entrepreneurs and not individually well known. The most prominent coureurs des bois were also explorers and gained fame as such."

Related Projects and Groups

Chronicles of New France

Acadians Project


Native Americans Project


US Southern Colonies Project


Westward Ho Project


Categorization Project


Comments: 5

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Hey, y'all, do any of the teams want to manage notable soldier and historian Dumont de Montigny] (1696–1760)? I heard about him at a book talk this evening from Prof. Joan DeJean of UPenn. Here's her book page: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/Joan-DeJean-Mutinous-Women-French-Louisiana
posted by Karen Lowe
Thanks, Karen! We'll be happy to add him! Thanks for the heads up and nice work on his profile!
posted by Stephanie Ward
It says you need to find projects for French trappers - coureurs des bois - coming down from Canada. The project which covers them while they were still in Canada, Nouvelle France is Project: Quebecois.
posted by Mary (Brandt) Jensen
see Amy's suggestion


Stephanie - do you know of a profile of a Vietnamese Immigrant to Louisiana? I couldn't find a category for either Category:Vietnamese_Emigrants or Category:Vietnamese_Immigrants

If we're talking post-1900, they wouldn't be qualified for the Louisiana First Families category, so I wouldn't include them as "Early Inhabitants" - but Category:Vietnamese Immigrants to Louisiana is certainly a category we should add!

Thanks to you both!

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Suggestion for additional categories: I love Amy's idea for a Redbone category. Another group of (more modern) immigrants I didn't see is Vietnamese.
posted by Stephanie Ward