Genealogy Trails

Welcome to Catahoula Parish, Louisiana Genealogy and History

Volunteers working to put free historical data online.

If you are looking for individuals in Catahoula Parish after 1910, check the LaSalle Parish Genealogy Trails Page as well. For missing individuals 1838-1852, check Catahoula Parish border revisions at the bottom of this page.

My name is Rachael Hudnall and as your Catahoula, Louisiana host I try to post as much data online as possible in order to make it freely available to all. We gratefully accept contributions of raw data such as census information, marriage/birth/death records, obituaries, county histories, biographies, old newspaper items - anything that would help someone build their family tree!!

Feel free to email me with your contributions - every little bit helps.

I regret that I am unable to do personal research




Catahoula Parish History

Lloyd's Map of the Southern States - 1861

Catahoula Parish was founded on March 23, 1808, from parts of both Ouachita and Rapides Parishes. The parish was named for the large Catahoula Lake (now part of LaSalle Parish), known to the Tensas Indians as "catoola", meaning big, clear lake.

Many cultures lived in the area before Catahoula was established. The peoples of the Marksville, Troyville, Coles Creek, and Plaquemine cultures built villages and mounds thoughout the site. Most notably the Troyville Earthworks with parts dating back to 100 BC. Sadly, many of the mounds were torn down to make way for new settlements. Jonesville hosted the 2nd tallest mound in North America until it was dug to create the bridge over black river.

With 14 boundry revisions to Catahoula Parish over the course of 100 years, there can be some confusion when looking for long ago relatives. Originally founded in 1808, 4 years before Louisiana was admitted to the Union, Catahoula Parish was taken from parts of both Ouachita and Rapides Parishes. For 30 years it held it's shape until 1838, when Caldwell Parish was formed from parts of Catahoula and Ouachita. In 1843, Franklin Parish was founded from parts of Catahoula, Carroll, Madison, and Ouachita Parishes. Some years later, Winn Parish was created from parts of Catahoula, Natchitoches, and Rapides in 1852. Finally, in 1910, LaSalle Parish was broken from the western half of Catahoula Parish.