APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2003-11 > 1069711730
From: "Mills" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Re: APG-D Digest V03 #346
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 16:09:33 -0600
Mary Jane wrote:
>The records of some Roman Catholic parishes have
> been compiled in excellent reference works. Two that come to mind are:
> Earl C. Woods, editor; Charles E. Nolan, asso. ed., The Sacramental
> Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New
> Orleans, (New Orleans: Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1987, Vols. 1-
> 14), and Rev. Donald J. Hebert, Southwest Louisiana Records:
> Church and Civil Records, 42 volumes [its up to 43 now, I think],
> 1750-1910, (Eunice and Cecelia, LA: Hebert Publications, 1998).
> The first covers all the parishes in and surrounding
> New Orleans (archived at the Cathedral of St. Louis) and the other covers
> all the southwest parishes (counties).
Mary Jane, may I "nitpick" this a bit . . .?
(1) Both of these series are *highly selective.* The extractors have picked
out the *white* entries and a few (very few) entries for certain free people
of color. While all parishes in each jurisdiction are represented, the
publications *by no means* include all the records for the stated time
(2) The N.O. series now has 17 vols. out (through 1827) and vol. 18 is due
off the press momentarily.
(3) The Diocese of Baton Rouge (which includes Natchez, Mississippi, as well
as Louisiana parishes such as Pointe Coupée, St. James Parish, etc.) is
producing a similar series but, again, the entries omitted most non-whites.
To their credit, however, the diocese is now beginning to go back and
prepare similar volumes for slaves and f.p.c.
(4) Hébert also prepared another series called *South Louisiana Records*
that focuses on the lower Delta (virtually all white entries). As with his
Southwest Louisiana series, it's a compendium of both church and civil
(6) For Avoyelles, a similar series running through the mid-1800s has been
produced by Alberta Ducote. Again few non-whites are included.
(4) For Natchitoches (the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase) the
published series include *all* records -- meaning all slave and fpc, Indian
and African, as well as white. Baptisms and burials have been published
through 1825, and all Catholic marriages are covered through 1850 -- all
done by somebody named Mills.
In essence, for the white population, this means all of Louisiana's colonial
Catholic sacramental records and much of those for the first half of the
1800s are now in print.
Incidentally, all of the above series, with the sole exception of
Natchitoches, omit what the compilers consider "sensitive" matter, they
shuffle all the entries around into alpha order by the name of the principal
party (with no index at all to all the buried names of mothers, godparents,
etc.), and they "standardize" the spelling of names (i.e., they alter the
original record) in order to lump people together into "family groups" that
often include individuals of disparate families. The Natchitoches series is
the odd-ball in the group, because the translator/abstractor is a crotchety
person who insists that published records should preserve original order and
original spelling, and should include all details that are elsewhere deemed
"politically incorrect" (i.e., identification of race, statements as to
"legitimate" or "natural" child, etc.).
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Author, *Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian*
Editor/Author, *Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers,
Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians*