Lake County, South Dakota Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
United States
South Dakota
Lake County

Guide to Lake County, South Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Madison
Organized: January 8, 1873
Parent County(s): BrookingsHansonMinnehaha[1]
Neighboring Counties
Brookings  • Kingsbury  • McCook  • Miner  • Minnehaha  • Moody
See County Maps
Location Map
Adopt-a-wiki page
Sdgwlogo2.gif This page adopted by:
SDGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
and its representative
Lake Co. SDGenWeb
Adopt a page today

County Information


It's county seat is Madison. It was organized 1873. It is located in the eastern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Lake County Courthouse
County Courthouse
200 E Center
Madison, SD 57042
Phone: 605.256.4876

Clerk Courts has birth and death records from 1905, marriage records from 1874, burial records from 1941, divorce and court records from 1881 and probate records from 1884[3]

Lake County, South Dakota Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1905 1874 1905 1881 1873 1884 1850
*State birth and death records began in 1905.
Compliance for recording births was 1906 and 1932 for deaths.[5]

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

Parent County: Lake County was created 8 January 1873 from Brookings, Hanson, and Minnehaha Counties.
County seat: Madison [6]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[7]

Unincorporated communites
  • Franklin
Census-designated places
  • Badus
  • Chester
  • Clarno
  • Concord
  • Farmington
  • Franklin
  • Herman
  • Lake View
  • Le Roy
  • Nunda
  • Orland
  • Rutland
  • Summit
  • Wayne
  • Wentworth
  • Winfred
Defunct townships
  • Saranac


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Lake County, South Dakota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See South Dakota Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 2,657
1890 7,508 182.6%
1900 9,137 21.7%
1910 10,711 17.2%
1920 12,257 14.4%
1930 12,379 1.0%
1940 12,412 0.3%
1950 11,792 −5.0%
1960 11,764 −0.2%
1970 11,456 −2.6%
1980 10,724 −6.4%
1990 10,550 −1.6%
2000 11,276 6.9%
2010 11,200 −0.7%
Source: "".

Before South Dakota was a state in 1889, parts of South Dakota were included in the 1836 Iowa Territory census (also known as Wisconsin Territory), 1840 Iowa Territory census, 1850 Minnesota Territory census, and the 1860-1880 Dakota Territory censuses.[8] See links listed below.

Territory and State Census Records

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for the state of South Dakota starting in 1890, although only one page survived. The 1900 Census is the next Federal Census available. For links to Federal census indexes, see South Dakota Census.

Church Records

Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about South Dakota denominations, view the South Dakota Church Records wiki page.

Online Church Records
Lutheran Church

Presbyterian Church

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See South Dakota Land and Property for additional information about early South Dakota land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Lake County, South Dakota Genealogy. County and town histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section South Dakota Local Histories.

  • Lake County heritage. 2015. By Craig Williams. Salt Lake City, Utah : Digitized by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online.

Maps and Gazetteers

Kingsbury CountyBrookings CountyMoody CountyMinnehaha CountyMcCook CountyMiner CountySD LAKE.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Online Collections

These collections are unique to South Dakota. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and South Dakota Military Records.

Civil War

World War I

For further information see South Dakota Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship


For more information, see South Dakota Newspapers.

South Dakota Newspapers Online

South Dakota Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper.


Other Records


Probate Records

In most counties in South Dakota, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for South Dakota, Lake then click Probate records.

Online Records

School Records

Tax Records

South Dakota tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the CDC Where to Write website for information on acquiring copies of these records.





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.




Lake County Genealogical Society
Dakota State College
Madison 57042

Lake County Historical Society
221 8th Street NE
Madison, SD 57042


Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. accessed 1/31/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Lake County, South Dakota, p.626
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lake County, South Dakota. Page 626 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 621.
  5. Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Rev. ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 1992), 671; Alice M. Hetzel, U.S. Vital Statistics System: Major Activities and Developments, 1950-95 (Hyattsville, Md.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, [1997]), 58.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, accessed 6 November 2016.
  8. ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 617. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.