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John Swanson Yarbrough Archives
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19-Jul-2005 00:47:59 MDT
Louisiana Records Timeline and Discussions

1810 US Census - Ouachita Parish LA census:
1 Male 26-45 Swanson b. 1777 = 33; b. 1774 = 36
2 females 0-10 b. 1799-1810 Swanson aged 23- 33 at birth
1 female 10-16 b. 1794 -1800 Swanson aged 17-23 at birth
1 other free person except indian - not taxed

 About Ouachita Parish
In 1785, Fort Miro was built on the banks of the Ouachita River, where the Courthouse presently stands today in downtown Monroe. Fort Miro was named for the Spanish Governor General of New Orleans, Don Estefan Miro, who appointed Don Juan Filhoil as Commandant of the Post of Ouachita, later renamed Fort Miro.
In 1805 Fort Miro became a town. It was Don Juan Filhoil who donated land to be used forever as the seat of justice, the land on which today's Courthouse now stands.

During this time a legislative council was established in New Orleans to govern this new territory and 19 counties were created. They were later renamed parishes, because the boundaries match the ecclesiastical parishes of the Catholic Church, thus the Churches parishes became the units of local government in the territory of Orleans. With Fort Miro as its center Ouachita was among the original 19 parishes. At first they were governed by an appointed Judge and Justice of the Peace, 12 people were appointed to serve with the judge as they were called a jury. The government of the territory of Orleans charged the jury with responsibility to execute the concerns of the interior and local police and administration of the parish.

In 1810, the juries were renamed the Police Assembly of the parish. The members were then elected and in 1811 the Police Assembly was officially renamed the Police Jury. The judges and justices of the peace were slowly phased out of the new government and the Police Jury became the official governing body.

Ouachita Parish received it's name from the Ouachita Indians, a member of the Caddo Indian Confederation. Inside the walls of Fort Miro, a log cabin was constructed as the first Courthouse. In 1831, a brick Courthouse was built, only to be burned to the ground by Union soldiers, in 1863. A third Courthouse was built in 1868 and it too was destroyed by fire in 1882. Ouachita Parishes fourth Courthouse was constructed a year later. In 1944, it was demolished and the present Courthouse was built.

Renee's note: I was reading another article on the internet about Monroe, LA sometime in early 1999 and I think that it said the name changed from Ft. Miro to Monroe around 1820. I have seen it listed many times that some of Swanson's children were born in Ft. Monroe. After reading the information about Ft. Miro I believe that Joseph Randolph and possibly John Swanson, Jr. were probably born near Ft. Miro and that is how the name Ft. Monroe became used as their birth places.

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