by Leah Jackson
The genealogy department in Northwestern State University’s Creole Heritage Center invites the public to participate in a project to create a national database of Creole family histories that will serve as a central clearinghouse for researchers.
“We welcome you and your family’s history to our world,” said Markita Hamilton Small, CHC clerk. “Our efforts include gathering data from every Creole colony within the state as well as to their links nationwide. Your help is needed to accomplish this.”
The Center and its resource unit are also involved in cataloging as much of the documentation regarding Creole family histories that can be located.
“We are asking that you submit copies of family papers and photos that would add to the catalog and help preserve your family’s legacy,” Small said. “Our current collections contain documents such as baptismal and marriage records, funeral cards and programs, photographs, military records, letters, census records, succession papers, etc. If you are interested in donating copies of any such documents, please contact either the Center via email, telephone at (318) 357-6685 or mail to The Creole Heritage Center,NSU Box 5675, Natchitoches, LA 71497.”
The searchable database online reflects the information presently available on individuals born before 1921. Users will have the option to search on all fields shown as well as an option of updating any of the information returned as a part of a search. Use the Update tab for the individual and enter the information to either add, correct or change. The information is then submitted to the genealogy department who are responsible for updating the database.
“A current report from the Center’s cataloging program of associated Metoyer records gives an example of many of resource documents available. This is a listing of some of the documentation received from various individuals that is located in our Collection Files. We currently have over 1,200 Collection files representing over 30,000 pages of information. This information is currently available for research at the Center only. Plans for free online access are in the works as soon as funding becomes available,” Small said.
Visit https://www.nsula.edu/creole-heritage-center/ for more information.