Louisiana Parishes
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Louisiana Parishes

Louisiana is divided into sixty-four parishes. On March 31, 1807, the territorial legislature divided the state into 19 parishes, without getting rid of the old counties (which continued to exist until 1845). In 1811, a constitutional convention organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of parishes. In 1816, the first official map of the state used the term, as did the 1845 constitution. Since then, the official term has been parishes.

St. James Parish, Louisiana

St. James Parish Education, Geography, and HistorySt. James Parish, Louisiana Courthouse

St. James Parish is a parish located in the state of Louisiana. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 22,102. The parish seat is Convent. The parish was created in 1807

Etymology - Origin of St. James Parish Name

The parish was named in honor of Saint James.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

St. James County History

St. James Parish was created on March 31, 1807. It is one of the 19 parishes, which were created by dividing the Territory of New Orleans. The parish was named in honor of Saint James. The Parish seat is Convent.

History records that Hernando de Soto was one of the first Europeans to enter what is now the State of Louisiana, claiming the region for Spain as part of Florida in 1541. Later, LaSalle sailed down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and claimed the territory for France, naming it "Louisiana" in honor of the French King Louis XIV.

Prior to its creation as a civil parish, St. James Parish formed a part of the "Comte' d'Acadie" or County of Acadia, which was composed of the old ecclesiastical parishes of St. James and "The Ascension", commonly referred to then as the First and Second Acadian Coasts.

The original seat of government was in St. James on the west bank of the river, but in 1869 it was changed to the east bank, near the "Convent of the Sacred Heart" and a new courthouse was erected. This structure was destroyed by fire in 1904 and another was built in the same location. In 1971 the present courthouse was constructed. The area is now known as Convent and is at present the parish seat. St. James Parish is bounded by Ascension Parish on the north, St. John the Baptist on the east, Assumption on the west and southwest, and Lafourche on the south.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 258 square miles (670 km2), of which 242 square miles (630 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (6.4%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest parish in Louisiana by land area and second-smallest by total area.

Neighboring Parishes

Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: St. John the Baptist Parish
  • Southeast: Lafourche Parish
  • Southwest: Assumption Parish
  • Northwest: Ascension Parish


St. James Parish Public Schools serves all of St. James Parish.

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