The Clerk's office has original records dating back to 1770 when Ascension Parish was known as the "Second Acadian Coast" and there were only 267 settlers. The first original acts on file are the notarial acts of Louis Judice, entitled "Judice-1", which include records from 1770 - 1787. He was the first Spanish Commandant for Ascension Parish and served from 1770 until 1798.
Until the turn of the century, most records were handwritten, many in French, and are beautiful examples of penmanship. Six volumes of original French Acts, from 1808 through 1890, were translated into English as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The WPA was a work relief program established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create jobs for unemployed persons during the Great Depression.
The marriage records of the parish are indexed from 1770 to the present. The Clerk of Courts' Office in Donaldsonville has actual marriage documents on file beginning in the year 1829. Patent records date back to 1807. After 1900, most records on file are typewritten. Steps have been taken to preserve these old documents. To insure preservation of some of our very early records, (some of which are extremely fragile), they are stored in a climate-controlled environment at State Archives. These records include "Index to Civil Suits from 1816-1818"; "Probate Records from 1843-1932"; "Book of Mortgages from 1860- 1880" and several other books of historical interest.
Since 1954, records have been microfilmed and others have been laminated. In the event of a catastrophic occurrence, records could be reconstructed because of the measures taken to insure their preservation.