DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Genealogy

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Guide to DeSoto Parish, Louisiana ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
Map
Map of Louisiana highlighting DeSoto Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 1, 1843
County Seat Mansfield
Courthouse
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Parish Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the settler, Marcel DeSoto. The County has Mansfield as its seat and the County was created 1843. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[1]

DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1843 1914 1843 1843 1843 1700s
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1914. General compliance year unknown. (website says 1918 births; 1911 deaths)

Parish Courthouse[edit | edit source]

DeSoto Parish Courthouse
Parish Courthouse
Mansfield, LA 71052
Phone: 318.872.3110 

Parish Clerk has marriage and land records
from 1843, divorce, probate and court records. [3]


Parish Courthouse[edit | edit source]

LADesoto1courthouse.jpg

LADeSotocourthouse.jpg

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

  • Named for Hernando deSoto (small "d"), the Spaniard who explored the future southeastern United States, discovered and named the Mississippi River.
  • The first Parish courthouse was a log house.

Parent Parish[edit | edit source]

  • 1 April 1843: DeSoto Parish was created from Natchitoches and Caddo Parishes.
    Parish seat: Mansfield [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • Eastern part of the parish was set off 2 March 1871 to form Red River Parish

For animated maps illustrating Louisiana Parish boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Louisiana Parish Boundary Maps" (1805-1990) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Cities
Towns
Villages
Unincorporated communities
  • Carmel
  • Hunter
Census-designated places


Neighboring Parishes or Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Bible Recortds[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of DeSoto, Louisiana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the Parish
See Louisiana Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on DeSoto Parish cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 8,023
1860 13,298 65.7%
1870 14,962 12.5%
1880 15,603 4.3%
1890 19,860 27.3%
1900 25,063 26.2%
1910 27,689 10.5%
1920 29,376 6.1%
1930 31,016 5.6%
1940 31,803 2.5%
1950 24,398 −23.3%
1960 24,248 −0.6%
1970 22,764 −6.1%
1980 25,727 13.0%
1990 25,346 −1.5%
2000 25,494 0.6%
2010 26,656 4.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Louisiana denominations, view the Louisiana Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Louisiana Land and Property for additional information about early Louisiana land ownership. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse where records are also currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Louisiana Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Caddo ParishRed River ParishNatchitoches ParishSabine ParishShelby CountyPanola CountyLA DE SOTO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Civil War Battle[edit | edit source]

The following Civil War battles were fought in DeSoto Parish:

Map showing Civil War battles in Louisiana.
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Probate records before 1845 were kept in probate courts. Since 1845, they have been kept by the DeSoto Parish, Louisiana Genealogy clerk of the district court. Many of the probate records are included in the notarial records with the deeds and mortgages. In some parishes they are known as “succession” records.

See the Wiki page Louisiana Probate Records for more information about probate records in Louisiana.

Content: Probate records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Louisiana Probate Records

Online Probate Records

Schools[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Louisiana tax records can be used in place of missing censuses and provide lists of residents during years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see Louisiana Taxation.

  • 1861 Tax List - Slave Owners of nine or more slaves in 1861. (USGenWeb Archives)

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

Louisiana statewide registration of birth and death records began in 1911. Births and deaths are kept by the Louisiana Vital Records Registry. Marriages were recorded by each parish, and the records are at the parish clerk of court office. See also How to order Louisiana Vital Records or order electronically online.

See Louisiana Vital Records for more information on getting Louisiana records.

Marriage[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Desoto Historical Society
    PO Box 447
    Mansfield, LA 71052-0447
  • Desoto Historical Society
    PO Box 300
    Stonewall, LA 71078-0300
    Website
  • Louisiana Historical Society
    Website
  • Louisiana Historical Association
    Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "DeSoto, Louisiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeSoto_Parish,_Louisiana."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Page 289-293 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 267-268.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. DeSoto Parish, Louisiana p 290 (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "DeSoto Parish, Louisiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeSoto_Parish,_Louisiana, accessed 31 December 2019.
  6. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State