South Dakota Research Guide Digital Download

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You'll love this if...
  • You're getting started tracing your ancestors in South Dakota
  • You want new ideas and resources to get past a South Dakota brick wall
  • Your genealogy search is focused mainly on South Dakota
Trace your South Dakota ancestors with the advice and resources in our State Research Guide! This four-page download includes:
  • a how-to article detailing South Dakota’s history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
  • the best websites, books and other resources for South Dakota research, handpicked by our editors and experts
  • listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
  • timeline of key events in the state's history
Here's a sampling of the helpful tips you'll get in the South Dakota guide:
  • A succession of indigenous tribes has lived in South Dakota for at least 1,500 years, with the Sioux becoming dominant in the 18th century. Reservations and other land held by Native people were not generally included on federal censuses, but special annuity rolls taken every year from 1885 to 1935 can help you find your Native American ancestors during that time.
  • Before statehood, South Dakota was considered part of several different territories, both organized and unorganized. The western and eastern parts of the state were administered differently from the 1830s through the establishment of Dakota Territory in 1861.
  • Newspapers can help fill in for missing vital records. The South Dakota State Archives has collected most newspapers printed in the state, dating back to 1858.
Plus, each guide contains active web links for one-click access to every recommended online resource. You can view this PDF on your computer and print pages for reference.
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