I recently sent off for several Louisiana records and have just received a very clear response that explains what records are available to researchers.
The note reads:
In 1918 the Louisiana Legislature mandated the registering of births and deaths occuring in the state. Even though it was a state law, unless a person was born or died in a hospital, it was the family’s responsibility to file the birth or death certificate. In the early 1950’s, the funeral homes took over filing the death certificates. Before 1952 it is not unusual for there to be NO state death certificate on file. Your only recorse is to check for obituaries, coroner, probate or church records in the parish where the death occured.
This note came from the office of the Secretary of State of Louisiana.
The good news is that you can search for Louisiana death certificates and Louisiana birth certificates at the Secretary of State’s website. The bad news is that neither search engine works in Firefox – they only seem to work in Internet Explorer. It’s also difficult to find the searches – try clicking the Basic Search or Advanced Search links.
You can also request records by mail – instructions here: http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/638/Default.aspx.