NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — There is a lot of rich history in a 300-year-old city like New Orleans, but where do you go to find it?
If curious minds want to read about the history of buildings, neighborhoods, and even family genealogy, they can visit New Orleans’ official archives during the month of October, which is National Archive month.
“The records date back to 1735 and are in French, Spanish, and other languages and they are property records. We also have civil case records, we have case number 1 from 1880. So the records show not just the legal documentation of transactions and lawsuits that were found, they also paint a picture of our history and our culture,” said Clerk of Civil District Court Chelsey Richard Napoleon.
That is just a few of the millions of documents, housed at the clerk’s office, that people can access. Also on file, are genealogy records of families of true New Orleanians well known to the city’s culture. Do not be surprised if you come across your own family history.
“Tommy Lafon, being from New Orleans we’ve all heard of Tommy Lafon,” said Napoleon.
“But what many of us do not know is that Tommy Lafon’s wealth began to grow from his formally enslaved grandmother.”
Records of maritime weather pattern are also on display.
“Before there was super doppler, if there was an issue at sea, the ship’s captain had to go to the nearest port, go before a notary, and document all that occurred,” said Napoleon.
The Clerk’s office held a reception in honor of the start of National Archival Month, giving those who want to learn about our past, an open invitation.
“Wetake this opportunity to celebrate and share some of the historical records that are housed by your clerk of civil district courts office,” said Napoleon.
Those wanting to access the archives can head to the CBD at 1340 Poydras Street in suite 360 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday. No appointment is needed.