My students have been so amazed to find out that at one time in our history we were just like everyone else until our governing body decided to follow our churches and go with "parishes" instead of counties.
Louisiana was officially Roman Catholic under both France and Spain's rule. The boundaries dividing the territories generally coincided with church parishes. In 1807, the territorial legislature officially adopted the ecclesiastical term. Through each change in her history, Louisiana never deviated and the primary civil divisions have been officially known as parishes ever since.