The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries may not sound like the coolest website in the world, but it’s actually pretty nifty.
Current county boundaries – in Louisiana we call them parishes because we’re tres French once you’re a few miles south of Alexandria – evolved over the years. You may think your ancestor always lived in a particular county or parish. But their county/parish probably was carved out of another county/parish.
Louisiana, for example, didn’t always have 64 parishes. After the Louisiana Purchase and statehood, we slowly started divvying up our boot. Before that, parts of Louisiana were known as the German Coast and Attakapas – terms that have largely been lost to time.
You can see Louisiana’s boundaries through the years by visiting the atlas: https://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/map/map.html#LA