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- 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
- 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
- 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.