The Lafayette Public Library offers excellent resources for anyone interested in genealogy and local history. The library’s collection of how-to books gives information on basic research techniques for the novice, as well as advanced methods for researching your family history for the more experienced researcher. Although the Jefferson Street Branch Library houses most of the genealogy printed materials, such as books, periodicals, and microfilm, patrons can access genealogy databases from any Lafayette Public Library location. Two superb resources that can be accessed at the library are Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest. Ancestry Library Edition must be accessed inside the library but Heritage Quest may be accessed remotely. Visit our databases page to gain access to these products. The library system offers computers with Internet access and wireless Internet access for patrons with laptop computers. As an added service, the library also provides copy machines, with a small charge for printing. For more information about our genealogical resources, call (337) 261-5787.
Books & Periodicals
City directories for Lafayette are available for most years from 1946 to the present.
- United States Census for Louisiana 1810-1920
- Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 1974- present
- Lafayette Gazette, 1893-1908
- Orleans Births Indices, 1790-1897
- Louisiana State Deaths Indices, 1900-1949
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the City of Lafayette and selected other Louisiana Cities
The Jefferson Street Branch of the Lafayette Public Library has a microfilm reader that gives patrons the ability to access the library’s microfilm holdings. This new reader has zoom-in and focus features to aid patrons reading microfilm documents. Additionally, this reader is connected to the library’s print management system giving patrons the ability to make copies of the documents they are viewing.
Requests may be made for items owned by other repositories for use at the Lafayette Public Library. Please visit our Interlibrary Loan Page or call 261-5787 for more information.
The library staff can assist patrons in finding books on certain topics and in using the libraries various resources; however, patrons will have to use these resources themselves, including looking up names. The library staff handles a limited number of research requests by mail, primarily recommending sources patrons may wish to consult. Requests by mail for prints of items should be handled through the patron’s local library.
How to Do Genealogy Research
GENEALOGY SPOT FOR BEGINNERS
Provides a nice list of sites with lessons and advice for getting started in genealogical research.
HOW TO START YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
From the Church of LDS, this offers great research guides for getting started.
This is a companion website to the popular public television series. It presents excellent material in an attractive format for beginners and seasoned enthusiasts including charts and tutorials.
Comprehensive directory of genealogical resources of all sorts with more than 100,000 links arranged by category.
FAMILY SEARCH INTERNET GENEALOGY SERVICE
Site from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a search engine, articles, and numerous other useful materials including information from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
FAMILY TREE MAKER ONLINE
Commercial site also offers excellent articles on how to do genealogical research that may be used free of charge.
Check multiple queries by surname to locate ancestral information and living relatives.
THE GENEALOGICAL HOME PAGE
Directory of links to genealogy sites of all sorts.
NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
Contains information about all sorts of genealogical matters, including standards, events, and instruction.
ROOTSWEB WORLD CONNECT
Free database using family information contributed by thousands of genealogists.
Nationwide volunteer project, with a web site for every county in the U.S. (there is also a world-wide site).
African American Genealogy
African Ancestored Genealogy.
ACADIAN-CAJUN GENEALOGY & HISTORY
This super site covers many aspects of Acadian genealogy and provides a great selection of links to all sorts of Louisiana web pages as well as materials for beginners.
CIVIL WAR ROSTERS FOR LOUISIANA
This gives links to rosters for particular regiments.
FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS IN LOUISIANA
List contains research centers in Louisiana operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints.
LAFAYETTE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
The LGS meets at the Lafayette Public Library once per month. The site is home to their schedule, announcements, and newsletter.
LOUISIANA GENWEB PROJECT
Provides links to bulletin boards for parish information and other Louisiana materials.
LOUISIANA STATE ARCHIVES
Provides information about the collections in Baton Rouge and how to access them.
LOUISIANA VITAL RECORDS REGISTRY INFORMATION
Information for requesting Louisiana birth and death certificates from the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Vital Statistics.
This site provides links to online census records.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE RECORDS
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site. Offers researchers a source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals.
MEASURING AMERICA: THE DECENNIAL CENSUSES FROM 1790 TO 2000
Explanation of information collected on each census.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Guides to NARA materials, including the U. S. Census.
SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX
A searchable database by name or Social Security number that is capable of generating a letter to send to the Social Security Administration to request copies of Social Security applications.
US VITAL RECORDS INFORMATION
Where to locate vital records by state and parish/county. Lists towns that have vital records before they were kept statewide.