When you think of Louisiana do you think of New Orleans? Mardi Gras? Hurricane Katrina? Or do you think of your ancestors? Louisiana has a rich and colorful past. The Spanish, French and British fought over it for more than 300 years until the United States obtained most of the state as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Louisiana is the only state in the nation that is made up of parishes and not counties. The entity parish is from the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, although counties and parishes function the same way in the modern day U.S. Another influence from the French and Spanish is that Louisiana state law is based more on the Napoleonic Code and Spanish code while all other states are based on English law.
But if your ancestors are from Louisiana, I bet you already knew that they danced to a different set of drums, didn’t you?
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.