Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Creole families of New Orleans

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


    Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (1934 - 2020)
    Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr. (born November 14, 1934) is an American jazz pianist and educator. Active since the late 1940s, Marsalis came to greater attention in the 1980s and 1990s as the patriarch of ...
  • Getty Images
    Art Neville (1937 - 2019)
    Arthur (Art) Lanon Neville (December 17, 1937 – July 22, 2019) was an American singer, songwriter and keyboardist from New Orleans . Neville is a part of one of the notable musical families of New Orle...
  • Rodolphe-Lucien Desdunes (1849 - 1928)
    Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes was a prominent editor, author, and civil rights activist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is best known for his work in Plessy v. Ferguson, the most important civil rights case...
  • Marie Catherine Laveau, Voodoo Priestess (c.1801 - c.1881)
    BIRTH YEAR DEBUNKED Many sources say Marie Laveau was born in 1794 including her death certificate and tomb, but upon marriage of Jacques Paris in 1819, she was a minor, one month shy of turning 18. T...
  • Alexander Pierre Tureaud (1899 - 1972)
    See A More Noble Cause, A. P. Tureaud and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Louisiana , by Rachel L. Emanuel and Alexander P. Tureaud, Jr. Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Sr., known as A. P. Tureaud (F...

From Louisiana Creole people .

As a group, the mixed-race Creoles rapidly began to acquire education, skills (many in New Orleans worked as craftsmen and artisans), businesses and property. They were overwhelmingly Catholic, spoke Colonial French (although some also spoke Louisiana Creole), and kept up many French social customs, modified by other parts of their ancestry and Louisiana culture. The free people of color married among themselves to maintain their class and social culture. The French-speaking mixed-race population came to be called "Creoles of color".

The status of mixed-race Creoles as free people of color (gens de couleur libres) was one they guarded carefully. By law they enjoyed most of the same rights and privileges as whites. They could and often did challenge the law in court and won cases against whites. They were property owners and created schools for their children. There were some free blacks in Louisiana, but most free people of color were of mixed race. They acquired education, property and power within the colony, and later, state.

It was said that "New Orleans persons of color were far wealthier, more secure, and more established than freed Africans and Cajuns elsewhere in Louisiana."



  • Creole people and culture are distinct from the Cajun who adopted and assimilated into Creole culture.
  • In the 1930s, the governor of Louisiana, Huey Long, claimed that you could feed all the "pure" white people in New Orleans with a cup of beans and a half a cup of rice, and still have food left over!
  • From On and Off the Bandstand: A Collection of Essays Related to the Great Bands ... By Arthur Bradley. Page 1914. "The uniquely American Creole culture gave nourishment and enrichment to jazz, the uniquely American art form, with its dying breath."