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Ouachita Parish Louisiana Genealogy Department
The Joseph Bennett McGuire Genealogy Room
Ouachita Parish Library in Monroe,Louisiana is a wonderful place. Located just north of Louisville on 18th Street, it boast many departments, most no one knows about... unless they have taken the time to look at the online offering before they take a much needed trip to the unimposing grey brick building.
The library itself was started in 1910 with only 731 books and has grown and progressed through several buildings from when it was just a hope in the eye of many a reader in 1884. Now boasting of several branches, it serves all of Ouachita Parish.
Many departments are housed in the main branch including circulation of the regular books and magazines, a reference section, a special department just for grant research, and the special collections with books and other materials; some from the early 1800s... but I warn you now, this department is kept under strict lock and key!
But the part I like best is the genealogy department in the back of the building in its only little hidden room. Open most days from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, the “Genealogy Room” has books, microfilm and internet access to many program such as Ancestry.com.
What they don’t tell you is the books – both new and old – they have in the stacks for you to search for your relatives. They also don’t tell you about the files and clippings, microfilm and other materials they have collected, so you just have to ask.
The online listing will tell you they now have the Roster of Confederate Soldiers, 1861 - 1865 on CD. This is the transcribed list of names that index the compiled Confederate service records at the National Archives. Listed are the names of the entire Confederate Army (1.5 million names in all), including every soldier from every state at every rank, in a cumulative index. For each soldier, name, highest rank achieved, unit of service, and state are provided. Also provided is essential information for obtaining an actual military service record. Ask at the genealogy desk for more information.
So if you find yourself with some extra time in Monroe, slip around to the side entrance, and just past the snack room is the door to this fascinating place. Maybe it is time you checked out the little room I’ve known about since forever...
For more information about opening times and dates, you can call the main branch at (318) 327-1490.