Old Historical State, County and City Maps of Louisiana

Maps of Louisiana

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The first explorers to come to Louisiana were Spanish. They came to the area in the 1500s, beginning in 1519 with Alvarez Pineda. In 1528, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca followed.

1805 Map of the Territory of Orleans
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1805 Map of the Territory of Orleans

Then, in 1541, the area was explored by Hernando de Soto. More than 100 years later, in 1682, the area was claimed for Louis XIV of France by Sieur de la Salle.

The U.S. acquired Louisiana in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Territory of Orleans was created on March 26, 1804 and the State of Louisiana was created as the 18th state on April 30, 1812.

States bordering Louisiana are ArkansasMississippi and  Texas. Louisiana’s 10 largest cities are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Kenner, Bossier City, Monroe and Alexandria.

Most historical maps of Louisiana were published in atlases. There are large Louisiana map collections in both university libraries and public libraries.

There are also several map collections in historical and genealogical societies, as well as private collections and archives. The French Quarter is home to the Historic New Orleans Collection, which includes the d’Auberville-Bouligny Family Papers and the Bouligny Family Papers. Those collections include maps and large amounts of documentation about the Spanish and French colonial times.

Map of Louisiana with the counties and the county seats
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Map of Louisiana with the counties and the county seats

There is information found in the maps that cannot be found elsewhere. For example, the Claude Perrin Victor Papers and the Pierre Clement de Laussat Papers are particularly full of useful information. Antebellum era maps can also give researchers insights into transportation methods and population growth across Louisiana.

Every piece of property in the French Quarter is listed in the Vieux Carr Survey. Photographs, drawings, and property title chains are included. The Historic New Orleans Collection also includes many of those documents.

Original survey plats, field notes, and maps of Louisiana that were made by early surveyors working for the United States can be found in Baton Rouge at the State Land Office, which is in the State Land and Natural Resources Building. The clerk of courts office in each parish courthouse may also hold plat maps, which list land ownership.

Map of Louisiana Parish Formations 1805-1990

This Interactive Map of Louisiana Parishes show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every parish, extinct parish and unsuccessful parish proposal from the creation of Louisiana in 1805 to 1990.

Map of Louisiana Parish Boundaries and Parish Seats
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Map of Louisiana Parish Boundaries and Parish Seats

At one time, Louisiana had counties. Most of Louisiana was bought by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. When the Louisiana Territory was purchased by the United States, twelve counties were established, but those large areas proved too hard to govern effectively. The original 12 counties were  Acadia County, Attakapas County, Concordia County, German Coast County, Iberville County, Lafourche County, Natchitoches County, Opelousas County, Orleans County, Ouachita County, Pointe Coupee County and Rapides County.

In 1807, Louisiana was divided into 19 parishes, and the parish became the local government district. They were Acadia Parish, Attakapas Parish, Concordia Parish, German Coast Parish, Iberville Parish, Lafourche Parish, Natchitoches Parish, Opelousas Parish, Orleans Parish, Ouachita Parish, Pointe Coupee Parish and Rapides Parish. Louisiana originally consisted of 19 parishes when it became a state in 1807. These parishes were St. George, St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. Philip, Christ Church, St. Matthew, St. Philip, St. David, St. Patrick, St. John, St. Andrew, St. James and St. Paul.

The last Parish to be formed was Jefferson Davis Parish in 1912. Now Louisiana contains 64 Parishes.

Louisiana County Map Formation by Year

Louisiana Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Ac  – Acadia
  10. Al  – Allen
  11. Asc – Ascension
  12. Asm – Assumption
  13. Av  – Avoyelles
  14. Be  – Beauregard
  15. Bi  – Bienville
  16. Bo  – Bossier
  17. Cad – Caddo
  18. Cam – Cameron
  1. Cat – Catahoula
  2. Ccs – Calcasieu
  3. Cdl – Caldwell
  4. Cl  – Claiborne
  5. Co  – Concordia
  6. DS  – De Soto
  7. EB  – East Baton Rouge
  8. EC  – East Carroll
  9. EF  – East Feliciana
  10. Ev  – Evangeline
  11. Fr  – Franklin
  12. Gr  – Grant
  13. Iba – Iberia
  14. Ibv – Iberville
  15. Ja  – Jackson
  16. JD  – Jefferson Davis
  17. Je  – Jefferson
  18. Lfc – Lafourche
  1. Lin – Lincoln
  2. Liv – Livingston
  3. LS  – La Salle
  4. Lyt – Lafayette
  5. Ma  – Madison
  6. Mo  – Morehouse
  7. Na  – Natchitoches
  8. Or  – Orleans
  9. Ou  – Ouachita
  10. PC  – Pointe Coupee
  11. Pl  – Plaquemines
  12. Ra  – Rapides
  13. Ri  – Richland
  14. RR  – Red River
  15. Sa  – Sabine
  16. SB  – St. Bernard
  17. SC  – St. Charles
  18. SH  – St. Helena
  1. SJB – St. John the Baptist
  2. SJm – St. James
  3. SL  – St. Landry
  4. SMt – St. Martin
  5. SMy – St. Mary
  6. ST  – St. Tammany
  7. Ta  – Tangipahoa
  8. Ten – Tensas
  9. Ter – Terrebonne
  10. Un  – Union
  11. Vmn – Vermilion
  12. Vrn – Vernon
  13. Wa  – Washington
  14. WB  – West Baton Rouge
  15. WC  – West Carroll
  16. We  – Webster
  17. WF  – West Feliciana
  18. Wi  – Winn

Old Historical Atlas Maps of Louisiana

This Historical Louisiana Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Louisiana as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Louisiana map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Louisiana researcher.

External Louisiana Map Links

Louisiana County Map of Road and Highway's

The Louisiana D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2016 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

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