The South Dakota State Historical Society is the the State Archives for South Dakota. “The State Archives of the South Dakota State Historical Society collects, appraises, accessions, describes, organizes, preserves, determines significance, and makes available manuscript collections, South Dakota state, county, and town government records, photographs, maps, and other archival materials which have permanent historical and research value.”

South Dakota genealogy collections online include:

  • 1905 Census
  • 1905 Map of South Dakota
  • 1905 Census Card Blank Form
  • Naturalization Papers
  • Newspaper Database “Use this form to search for SD state newspapers. You can search using as many or as few criteria as you want. Be sure that a field is blank if you do not want to enter it as a search criteria. To see a listing of all newspapers, just leave all of the fields blank. By only specifying a year you will see all the reports pertaining to that particular year. “
  • Cemetery Records “This searchable database includes records that were cataloged as part of the WPA Cemetery Project (pre-1940s) plus any cemetery updates that our office has received. It is not a complete listing of all the burials in South Dakota.”
  • American Indian Research
  • Map of South Dakota Indian Reservations in 1889
  • Map of South Dakota Indian Reservations in 2000
  • Biographical Index of South Dakota “This index is a guide to written biographies on prominent South Dakotan’s from roughly 1897 to 1930.  The index lists the names in alphabetical order giving the book number and page number in which the biography is found. …The 12 biographical books are held in the library of the South Dakota State Archives. Various libraries throughout South Dakota have copies of the books listed. There are 7,139 names listed in the index.”
  • GFWC – Pioneer Daughters “The Pioneer Daughters Collection (H97-056) is the result of a statewide GFWC effort to collect and preserve the stories of female pioneers in South Dakota. Arranged by county, married name, and maiden name, this collection of nearly 6,000 stories is the largest body of women’s histories in the State Archives.”
  • Newspaper Surname Index “The South Dakota State Archives Surname Research Form will allow you to search through a database of birth, marriage, death, and other notices printed in South Dakota newspapers. This database is not complete and currently only recent newspapers are being added.The majority of newspaper surname entries are from 2000 to present, but some earlier entries were included as well.”
  • SD Famer’s Alliance “This searchable index includes over 17,500 names of South Dakotans who were due paying members of the South Dakota Farmer’s Alliance from 1890 to 1894. The Farmers Alliance was an organized agrarian economic movement amongst U.S. farmers. …Information found in the index includes: Last Name, First Name, Post Office Address, County, Organization Name and Number, and the year dues were paid.”
  • Biographical Files “The Biographical File collection consists of various information collected on specific individuals.  The file folders themselves are available only at the State Archives.”
  • Fourth SD Infantry, 1917 “The web site features a list of those who served with the Fourth South Dakota Infantry during Mexican Border Service. The list was compiled by volunteers from the book titled, Fourth South Dakota Infantry, Mexican Border Service, 1916-1917. …Information found in the list includes name, rank, address, company, and notes were applicable. There were over 1,000 names listed in the book from various locations throughout South Dakota. According to the book, name and rank were current as of January 10, 1917.”
  • Gold Star Volume, WWI The Gold Star Volume, American Legion Auxiliary of South Dakota (H80-006) includes an index of 549 South Dakotans who lost their lives in World War I. Auxiliary members created the volume from 1929-1931. It is noted that this may not be a complete list of those who died in World War I. …In a few instances, the volume includes photos of those servicemen who had Legion Posts in South Dakota named after them as well as recognizing both Gold Star Mothers and Sisters.”
  • 1870 Agricultural Census “This web site features a database of over 1400 names listed on the 1870 Agricultural Census for Dakota Territory. The 1870 census was the ninth United States census. Most of the enumeration area covers present day southeastern South Dakota. …Information in the database includes: Last Name, First Name, Post Office, County, Farm Value, Livestock Value, and the owners Agricultural Subdivision.”
  • Library of Congress Digitized Newspapers
  • 1885 Civil War Veterans Census “After the Civil War, veterans of both the Union and Confederate armies moved to Dakota Territory. This index consists of census record sheets for a special census of Civil War veterans living in Dakota Territory (South Dakota) in 1885.”
  • SD G.A.R. Annual Journal Deaths “The web site consists of two indexes (by Last Name and Town) of Grand Army of the Republic comrades whose deaths were listed in the South Dakota G.A.R. Annual Journals from 1884 to 1937. …Some death entries provided more information than others. Almost 1,300 veterans are listed in the index. This is not meant to be a complete list of Civil War Veterans who died in South Dakota.”
  • SD Sons of American Revolution “The South Dakota Society of the Sons of the American Revolution application for membership forms date from 1911 to 1974.  There are 230 applicants listed in the database. …Information on the membership forms include: applicant name, descendant name, applicant acceptance date, birth town, county, and state, birth date, occupation, residence, family genealogy and descendant war record. Date of birth has been removed from the database.”
  • Spanish American War Roster “This website includes information on the complete roster of the 1st Regiment, South Dakota Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War, 1898. The roster is separated into three groups: Last name, Town, and Company. There are 1,004 names listed. Information found on the roster includes: last and first name, rank, company, and town.”
  • SD Brand Book Index, 1898-1899 “The web site features an index to the brand owners listed in the first edition of the South Dakota State Brand Book, 1898-1899. …Information includes last and first name (or company name) of brand owner, town address, and page number for their brand. The index includes over 1,500 names.”
  • SD Legislator Historical Listing
  • WPA Veterans Cemetery Index “This database is specifically for Veteran burials compiled and listed through the WPA Cemetery Project (pre-1940s). The Veterans in this list are those who are buried in South Dakota and fought in various wars including the Civil War, Dakota Indian Wars, Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection, Mexican Boarder service and World War I. There are over 6,300 names in the index. …This is not a complete listing of all Veteran burials in South Dakota.”


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