City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Estate Inventories of Orleans Parish Civil Courts, 1803-1877

A key part of any succession proceeding is the preparation of a detailed estate inventory. Without such an inventory it is often impossible to determine exactly what property belongs to an inheritance. Estate inventories in nineteenth century New Orleans were conducted and recorded by notaries public or by other individuals appointed by the judge handling the succession proceedings. During the period of the Court of Probates (1805-1846) estate inventories (or copies thereof) were kept in a separate series within the Court's records. After 1846, inventories were generally filed with the rest of the documents within succession records.

The Clerk of Civil District Court deposited thirty-one cubic feet of manuscript estate inventories in the City Archives during the 1970s (the originals had recently been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah; the Clerk also deposited a set of the films in the Archives). That series includes all of the surviving documents from the 1805-1846 period along with approximately 1050 additional inventories dating from later years. The post-1846 inventories may be duplicates of the documents filed in the succession records, documents that were separated (either accidentally or intentionally) from the succession records, or documents totally unrelated to the successions on file in the Archives.

Sometime during the early 1960s Stephanie Sharp Dupuy, Thelma Coignard James, Edith Shaw McClure, and Vera Morel compiled an inventory of the estate inventories (their title sheet gives the date span as 1800-1860 but the records actually cover the period 1803-1877). While there is considerable duplication between their listing and the one published by P. M. Bertin in 1849 (see General Index of all Successions, Opened in the Parish of Orleans, From the Year 1805, to the Year 1846), there are a number of documents listed here that do not appear in the earlier work.

Louisiana Division volunteer Linda Angelocci created a simple database from the Dupuy compilation, and we used that database to produce the tables presented below. We are presenting tables with a minimum of editing. We suspect that errors in the spelling of names remain in our transcription, and we suspect that there are errors as well in the dates provided (indeed, some names are entered with no date at all). For these reasons we urge researchers to use this page with caution. For pre-1846 inventories researchers should use this listing along with the listing compiled by Bertin. Researchers who cannot find listed inventories on the microfilms should consult with an archivist about possible alternate sources or other solutions.

Go to names beginning with

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [ M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [XYZ]

Before you order estate inventories from us, please read this carefully:
If you request a copy of a estate inventory, 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 for each inventory. For this fee, we will locate the record and report the cost of copying it in full ($2.00 per page). Please send check or money order payable to New Orleans Public Library.

Please also note that the records indexed here were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and can be obtained from any Mormon Family History Center.

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