February 18, 2022
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced back to medieval Europe, specifically Italy (Rome and Venice) and France. Festivals similar to Mardi Gras go back thousands of years to ancient Rome celebrating the harvest season. “Boeuf Gras,” French for “fatted calf,” followed to French colonies, especially New Orleans. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans. By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of mask wearers with carriages and horseback riders.
Immigrants have settled in New Orleans for more than 300 years. Some families can trace their ancestry back 10 or more generations. Some of the online resources you can use to trace your New Orleans ancestors include Ancestry Library Edition, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast. Some church records can be found at Genealogy Trails.
If you are looking for German church records, try German Churches of New Orleans. For Louisiana land records, try RootsWeb. Midwest Genealogy Center has books to assist you in your search as well—from Genealogical Materials in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division and City Archives, New Orleans Marriage Contracts, 1804-1820, The New Orleans French 1720-1733, and From Palermo to New Orleans, to The German People of New Orleans, 1850-1900.
New Orleans attracted many different ethnic groups. Do you have New Orleans ancestors? Let us know in the comments below.
Midwest Genealogy Center
Just FYI Mardi Gras was celebrated in Mobile, AL as early as 1703, nearly 15 years before New Orleans was founded. Anyone from Mobile will fight you on that.
From Anonymous (not verified)
Fri, 02/18/2022 - 04:23pm
How interesting! I wonder if they celebrated in a similar fashion as New Orleans!
From Sheri V (not verified)
Wed, 02/23/2022 - 07:02pm
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