I have to admit, when I think of New Orleans, Italian immigration doesn’t typically come to mind. That’s why I was interested to learn about the large number of Italian-born residents that were enumerated on the 1910 federal census. The number of Italian-born residents in New Orleans increased from 1,995 to 8,066 between 1880 and 1910! Between 1820 and 1860, the port of New Orleans was the second largest port of immigration in the country, so if you have Italian ancestry and know they came via Louisiana, you may want to plan a trip to New Orleans.
In the October 2012 issue of NGS Magazine, you’ll find an excellent article to consult called “The Sicilians of south Louisiana” by Beth A. Stahr, CG.
Beth writes that, “Pride in Italian heritage continues to be strong, as evidenced by the recent renovation of and re-naming of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation Museum to the American Italian Culture Center. The library and research collection was relocated to the Jefferson Parish Library’s East Bank Regional Special Collections Department during the transformation, and is now open to genealogists.” Be sure to put that library on your GenTravel Bucket List!
Beth’s other recommendations for anyone planning a trip to Louisiana to research their Italian heritage:
- University of New Orleans, Earl K. Long Library Louisiana and Special Collections
- Tulane University, Howard-Tilton Library Special Collections
- The Historic New Orleans Collection, Williams Research Center
- The New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana Division/City Archives
- Southeastern Louisiana University Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies
- Louisiana State University Hill Memorial Library Special Collections
Beth continues, “Genealogists who are researching Italian families in Louisiana can expect to find family members traversing between New Orleans and outlying parishes as work was available and as their fortunes increased. Traditional genealogical records like the federal census, vital records, and church records should be checked first, with the understanding that the family may have lived in multiple civil parishes.”
Good luck finding your ancestors!
So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page. GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!