Marriage Records States Genealogy Genealogy Directory Search for Ancestors Surname Queries

South Dakota Genealogy

Getting information on South Dakota genealogy can be a little confusing because the state offers a number of different types of vital records. Not all are available to the general public but there are usually enough options that you can pursue your genealogy leads without too much difficulty. Most state records will date from around 1905.

South Dakota Vital Records

For birth and death records, you are going to have 4 options to choose from. Some will have restrictions and some will not, and the cost for getting any of them will be the same regardless.

First is a certified copy of the document with the full state seal that can be used for ID purposes. These are only issued to immediate family members of the person on the record. Alternatively, you can get the certificate on plain paper which is not legal for ID. This is usually ideal for genealogists as it is issued to anyone who asks regardless of relationship.

Both of these options come in either computer transcript form, or an actual photocopy of the certificate itself. The restrictions are the same either way.

For the most part, you can any of these copies from the Vital Records office in Pierre. They only have death records after 1960 and marriage records after 1970. Older material will have to be requested from the individual counties.

The proper forms to make a Vital Records office request can be downloaded from the Department of Health website. You need to provide all the relevant details such as names, dates and locations to indicate exactly what record you want. The search fees are not refundable so make sure you are accurate.

And speaking of fees, each record you order will cost $15 each. Checks or money orders need to be issued to the South Dakota Department of Health.

South Dakota State Historical Society

For further research into South Dakota genealogy, the archives at the South Dakota State Historical Society is a must-visit. There, you can find a broader spectrum of material that includes naturalization files, cemetery records, newspaper archive, a biographical and surname index, Civil War documents, Native American documents, military records, photographs, maps and private manuscripts.

You can visit the archive in person if you are in Pierre. They are open 7 days a week, though hours are reduced on Sundays. Otherwise they are open regular business hours. It is free to enter the research room but there is an admission fee if you want to visit the adjoining museum. There are also small fees for photo copies and microfilm copies. If you cannot get to Pierre, they will do some research on your behalf, charging either $10 for one single lookup or $21 per hour for more complex searching.

Other South Dakota Genealogy Groups

The above mentioned library is part of the South Dakota State Historical Society, which may be a good group to join if you are looking to connect with other genealogists. There aren't as many groups as in other states, but there are some to choose from. Other than the state-wide group, you can also learn more about South Dakota genealogy through the smaller county-based groups such as the Davison County Genealogy Society or the Sioux Valley Genealogical Society.

State Resources



Select a state
AL  | AK  | AZ  | AR  | CA | CO  |  CT  | DE  | FL | GA  |  IA  | ID  | ILIN | KS  | KY  | LA  | MA | MD | MI  | MN  |  MO  | ME  | MSMT  | NC  |  NDNE  | NH | NJ  | NM  | NV | NY  | OH | OK   | OR  | PA  | RI  |  SC | SD  | TN  | TX  | UT  |  VAVT  |  WA  |  WIWV  | WY


  View and post searchable marriage records
  All Genealogy Sites Directory





African American
Birth Records
Church Records
Coal Mines
Colonial America
Commercial Sites
Diaries & Letters
Family Bibles
Goodspeed's History
Marriage Records
Medical Terms
Native American
Orphan Trains
Resource Sites
State Archives


New Sites
You'll Want to See!

Ancestor Archive  Find photos of your ancestors 

All Ancestors  Find the records your ancestors left!

All Surnames  Surname resources

Surname Archive  Find your surnames!

Genealogy Finds   Scanned documents with names! 

Colonial Ancestors  The colonies

All Biographies  Online Biographies

Ancestor Surnames 

Female Ancestors
Genealogy Data
Contact Us
Add a Site
Death Records on Surname Archive 

Free Searches:
Search for Ancestors
Free Look Ups

The Genealogy Register

Site Index