First Families of Louisiana: Introduction

Louisiana Genealogical
& Historical Society

First Families of Louisiana
Certificate Program


In 2004, as part of its 50th Anniversay activities, the Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society established the First Families of Louisiana Certificate Program to recognize the heritage of colonial families of Louisiana, and to promote improved standards of genealogical research and documentation. If you have a qualifying ancestor, we invite you to apply!

Please note that this is a certificate program, not a separate membership organization; there are no separate dues or fees beyond the initial application fee. Nor do you have to be a member of the Society to apply or to qualify, . . . but the application fee is lower for members.


     1. Colonial families are defined as those who resided within the present boundaries of the State of Louisiana on 20 December 1803 (the date the American flag was raised in New Orleans and Louisiana became a U.S. territory). You must be able to prove residence with acceptable documentation.

To repeat, the candidate ancestor must have lived within the boundaries of the State of Louisiana as they stand today! This includes the Florida Parishes and the area that was once in dispute with Texas. This does not include any other parts of the much larger Louisiana Purchse of 1803.

     2. To qualify as a "direct descendant," you must be able to show descent -- generation by generation -- from that ancestor, and be able to prove it with acceptable documentation.

Applications will be examined on behalf of the Society by an experienced research genealogist, who will rule on whether these qualifications have been met. If not, a request will be made for further information or proof, usually with suggestions or recommendations on how to obtain that information and on how to complete a successful application.

Further information about the Program, as well as discussion of such issues as standards of proof, can be found on the More Information Page.

We are gradually publishing successfully documented lineages in The Louisiana Genealogical Register and also on this website. (Your signature on the application gives us permission to do this.) We hope some of these will be not merely outlines but full narratives, including source citations. In fact, we encourage submitters to develop this material into a full-fledged article for publication, including such enhancements as anecdotes and other information which was not part of the original documentation.

The Society subscribes to the "Hundred-Year Rule." In the interests of privacy, details on living persons which are included by necessity in the application will not be included in any article published in The Register or on this website!

This material will, we hope, provide a continuing resource for other researchers in early Louisiana genealogy. All data will also be entered eventually into a computer database for future use by all researchers and for reference in evaluating future applications.

Applications must be made on the forms provided by the Society. (Click HERE for detailed instructions and a downloadable application.) Forms also are included in each issue of The Register.

We encourage you to share the research process with other members of your family. Members of the same lineage (siblings, parents and children, cousins, etc.) who make application at the same time may submit a single form -- but this must include separate proof of descent after the key point of separation. That is, siblings must each include proof of descent from the parents, cousins must include separate proof of descent from their latest common ancestor, etc.

Last but not least, a certificate -- suitable for framing, of course -- will be issued to each member for each successfully documented lineage. You can see an example of the certificate HERE.

We hope you will come to regard qualification in First Families of Louisiana as both a challenge to your genealogical research skills and as a point of pride in your Louisiana ancestry!

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If you have questions, please contact the Program by email at:

Postal correspondence should be sent to:
     Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society
     ATTN: First Families of Louisiana Program
     PO Box 82060
     Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2060

Copyright © 2004-2010 / Last updated: 24 Sept 2010