St. James Parish

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In 1805, two years after the Louisiana Purchase, “Louisiana” only consisted of the current land west of the Mississippi River and the Isle of Orleans (the land on the east bank of the Mississippi River and south of Bayou Manchac). Our state was known as the Territory of Orleans and it’s governing body, the Legislative Council, divided the territory into twelve counties: Acadia, Attakapas, Concordia, German Coast, Iberville, Lafourche, Natchitoches, Opelousas, Orleans, Ouachita, Pointe-Coupée, and Rapides. Acadia County included the Catholic Church parishes of St. James and Ascension of Our Lord, commonly called the first and second Acadian Coasts.

Manresa Retreat / Old Jefferson College

On March 31, 1807 the Legislative Council of the Territory of Orleans redivided the original twelve counties into nineteen parishes, based on the ecclesiastical boundaries of the period of Spanish government.

At this point Acadia county was divided into Ascension Parish and St. James Parish. The east bank of St. James Parish extended to its northern border at the Amite River. So parts of today’s southern Livingston Parish and eastern Ascension where in the 1807 St. James Parish. The courthouse was established on the west bank at St. James, near the current St. James Catholic Church. The Territory of Orleans along with the West Florida Republic became the state of Louisiana in 1812. By 1861 the current boundaries of St. James Parish were in place and in 1869 the courthouse was moved to Convent on the east bank where it is located today.

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St. James Parish – Courthouse

St. James Parish Clerk of Court
Shane LeBlanc

5800 Highway 44 (River Road)
P.O. Box 63
Convent, Louisiana 70723

(225) 562-7496 Phone

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By understanding the history of the Catholic Church in St. James Parish, tracing your genealogy can be rather easy. This section will provide you with the information needed to research your St. James Parish ancestors.

Please note that Genealogical research for Catholic Sacramental Records can be found for 1707-1894 in the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records books which can be ordered from the Archives Department of the Diocese of Baton Rouge or found in most local libraries. For periods 1894-1920 you must write to the Diocese Archives for information. For more information click here. For records from 1920-current you must write to the individual churches below. Please use P.O. Boxes where given for mailing purposes. Each church establishes it’s own procedures for genealogical research.

In the near future this information will be updated to give specific holdings of each church and the records available for that parish.

St. James Catholic Church
6613 Hwy 18 (River Road)
St. James, Louisiana 70086-9100
(225) 265-4225
Parish Established: 1757
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church
6484 Hwy 44 (River Road)
P.O. Box 65
Convent, Louisiana 70723-0065
(225) 562-3211
Mission Established: 1807 – Parish Established: 1812 –
Current Church Built: 1831 – Enlarged in: 1876
Our Lady of Peace
Catholic Church
13281 Hwy 644
Vacherie, Louisiana
(225) 265-3953
Parish Established: 1877
St. Mary Catholic Church
Mission Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel
Hwy 44 (River Road)
Union, Louisiana 70723
Mission Established: 1831
Current Church Built: 1875
St. Joseph Catholic Church
2130 Rectory Street (River Road)
P.O. Box 129
Paulina, Louisiana 70763-0129
(225) 869-5751
Mission Established: 1849
Parish Established: 1900
Current Church Built: 1921
St. Philip Catholic Church
1175 Hwy 18 (River Road)
Vacherie, Louisiana
(225) 265-4085
Parish Established: 1873
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church
Mission Chapel of Sacred Heart of Jesus
2350 Louisiana Avenue
Lutcher, Louisiana 70071
Mission Established: 1904
Current Church Built: 1982
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
616 East Main Street
P.O. Drawer 1501
Gramercy, Louisiana
(225) 869-5324
Mission Established: 1920 – Parish Established: 1961 – Current Church Built: 1955

St. Philomena Chapel
(originally named St. Vincent de Paul)
Mission of St. Joseph
Mission Established: 1874
Chapel Destroyed: 1965
(Hurricane Betsy)

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St. James Parish – Libraries


1879 West Main Street
Lutcher, LA 70071-9704


2593 Highway 20
Vacherie, LA 70090-0190

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Vacherie, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Judge Poché
Convent, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Convent, Louisiana
Oak Alley
Vacherie, Louisiana
St. Joseph
Vacherie, Louisiana
Bon Secours (Graugnard)
St. James, Louisiana
Le Petit Versailles
(Valcour Aime)
Vacherie, Louisiana

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Grand Point


Veron's Supermarket
Veron’s Supermarket

St. James


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