New Orleans Public Library
City Archives

Louisiana. Second District Court (Orleans Parish)
General Index of all Successions, 1846-1880

Link here for information on ordering copies of these records from the Louisiana Division.
Link here for information on the digitization of these records.

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The Second District Court (along with the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth District Courts) was established by the Louisiana Constitution of 1845. Second District Court continued the work of the now defunct Court of Probates, providing for the judicial supervision of the disposition of the estates left by deceased property owners in Orleans Parish. The court ceased operation at the end of August, 1880, when all of the district courts were consolidated into a single court, Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

In 1881, A. J. Villere compiled the General Index of all Successions, Opened in the Parish of Orleans, From the Year 1846, to the Month of August, 1880, published and edited by E.A. Peyroux and printed in New Orleans. The index presented here is a transcription of Villere's index.

The index primarily references successions. However, lawsuits brought against successions are also included in the index, as are references to emancipations of minors, interdictions and, occasionally, other matters related to the administration of estates. The index does not include references either to inventories of estates or to wills. Inventories (if one was filed) are filed with the succession, rather than in a separate series, as they were in the Court of Probates. As in the Court of Probates, wills continued to be filed separately and transcribed by the Recorder of Wills into Will Books. Microfilm indexing to the Will Books is available in the City Archives. Copies of the wills are only rarely to be found in the succession record.

Prior to 1853, the various Orleans Parish district courts did not have exclusive jurisdiction over specific types of cases. Thus, although most probate matters were heard in Second District Court, successions do appear in First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth District Courts as well. The Villere index does reference at least some of these successions. An additional index to the successions heard in these courts can be found online here.

Villere's index was transcribed by Louisiana Division volunteer Linda Angelocci. Copies of the original published index are also available in the Louisiana Division and in various other libraries and archives.

The successions in the Second District Court have been digitized
and are becoming available, free of charge, at

Please read the explanation below.

Not all of the Second District Court successions are available online yet, nor are they searchable at this time. Before you visit, check our index below and find the docket number for the succession you're seeking. Then LINK HERE to see if your docket number is included in the range of cases already online. If it is, you can browse to the case you're seeking.

The docket books of the court (and indexing to those dockets) have also been digitized. The docket books are useful mainly if a court case is no longer extant. If the court case itself exists, you should not need to consult the docket books. You can see the Second District Court docket books HERE.

In order to see the images, you must first create a Family Search account and sign in to the site. This account is FREE. To create an account, click on the "Sign In" link at the upper right corner of the screen.

If the succession you're seeking is not yet online, you can write to us for a photocopy. See below for information on ordering photocopies from the Louisiana Division.

Before you order Second District Court records from us, please read this carefully:

If you request a copy of a succession from this court, your request must be sent by regular mail to the Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112. Our fee is $3.00 to search each succession you are seeking, payable by check or money order to New Orleans Public Library. In your letter, please provide the docket number, as found in the index. For this fee, we will locate the record and report the cost of copying it in full (at $2.00 per page). You must then send a second request, asking that we copy the record and including the total copy fee. We cannot copy selectively from the record, but will copy the entire record only.

Since we must receive payment before we can respond to a request, we cannot take orders by email. However, we will respond by email to your letter inquiring about copy costs, provided you have sent the $3.00 search fee with your inquiry. Please include your email address in your mail request.

More detailed information on ordering records from other courts held by NOPL can be found here.

PLEASE NOTE that the records indexed here were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Microfilm of the record can be borrowed at Mormon Family History Centers around the world.

  • Link here to find a Family History Center near you.
  • Link here to find the Family History Library Catalog entry for Second District Court successions.

Since succession records are often quite long (typically at least 10-20 pages and sometimes running to several hundred pages), we strongly advise that you order microfilm directly from the FHC nearest you and make the copies yourself. We reserve the right to decline to copy excessively long records for you.

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11/27/2007; updated 3/20/2012