South Dakota Vital Records

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Introduction to Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the South Dakota Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

Vital Records.jpg

Birth Marriage Death
Statewide Registration 1905 1905 1905
General Compliance 1932 1932 1932

South Dakota Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating South Dakota Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for South Dakota Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

If you are aware of other online databases, please feel free to add them.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

An index of South Dakota birth records is available for birth dates over 100 years old. Pre-1905 records exist for some South Dakota counties. These records are located in the office of the registrar of deeds in each county.  There is also an online database for many pre-1905 births. Statewide registration of vital statistics began in 1905 and was generally complied with by 1932. Delayed birth records date from the early 1900s. To order a copy of a birth or death certificate, follow the instructions on the South Dakota Department of Health website.
South Dakota Birth Records Index hold information from records of South Dakota births.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of marriages began in 1905. Marriage records are located at the State Department of Health. Before statewide registration, individual towns or counties issued marriage licenses and recorded marriages. These records usually begin within ten years of the creation of the county. For information about early marriage records, write to the county treasurer in the county where the marriage took place.

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Records of divorce proceedings since 1905 are kept by the State Department of Health.  To order a copy of a divorce record, follow the instructions on the South Dakota Department of Health website. For information about earlier divorce records, write to the clerk of courts in the county where the divorce took place.

Death Records[edit | edit source]

State Death Index[edit | edit source]

Ordering Death Certificates:[edit | edit source]

For more information on how to order a death certificate see How to Find South Dakota Death Records page

Cause of Death[edit | edit source]

  • Causes of Death - use this resource when trying to interpret a disease or medical condition listed on a death record or certificate

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]

South Dakota Church Records

South Dakota Cemetery Records

South Dakota Census

South Dakota Newspapers

South Dakota Obituaries

South Dakota Military Records

South Dakota Periodicals

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record.  The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial.  A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths.
  • Privacy laws may restrict you access to some vital records.  Copies of some vital recors recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
  • Search for Vital Records in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records. Search for South Dakota to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records for the county.

Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]

South Dakota Archives and Libraries

South Dakota Societies

References[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

South Dakota, School Records - FamilySearch Historical Records