Lawrence County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United States
South Dakota
Lawrence County

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

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County Facts
County seat: Deadwood
Organized: January 11, 1875
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Butte  • Crook (WY)  • Meade  • Pennington  • Weston (WY)
See County Maps
Courthouse
SouthDakotaLawrenceCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
SD-lawrence.png
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County Information

Description

It was named for "Colonel" John Lawrence who came to the county as first treasurer in 1877. [2] It's county seat is Deadwood. It was organized 1875. It is located in the western area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Lawrence County Courthouse
644 Main Street
Deadwood, SD 57732
Phone: 605.578.2040

Register of Deeds has birth records from 1905 and death records from 1906;
County Treasurer has marriage records from 1887;
Clerk Court has divorce, probate, court, and land records from 1895;
City Auditor has burial records[4]

Lawrence 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[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1905 1887 1906 1895 1895 1895 1850
*State birth and death records began in 1905.
Compliance for recording births was 1906 and 1932 for deaths.[6]

Record Loss

1879 The courthouse was destroyed in the great fire of 1879, along with all the records.

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[8]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places
Townships
Unorganized territories
  • North Lawrence
  • South Lawrence


Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Lawrence 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 13,218
1890 11,673 −11.7%
1900 17,897 53.3%
1910 19,694 10.0%
1920 13,029 −33.8%
1930 13,920 6.8%
1940 19,093 37.2%
1950 16,648 −12.8%
1960 17,075 2.6%
1970 17,453 2.2%
1980 18,339 5.1%
1990 20,655 12.6%
2000 21,802 5.6%
2010 24,097 10.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.[9] 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

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

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 Lawrence 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.

Maps and Gazetteers

Butte CountyMeade CountyPennington CountyWeston County, WyomingCrook County, WyomingSD LAWRENCE.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration

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

World War II

For further information see South Dakota Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

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.
  • Deadwood Public Library has indexed the Black Hills Daily Times, beginning June 8, 1876, here: http://dwdlib.sdln.net/newspaper_index.htm. The articles describe life throughout the county, not just in Deadwood.

Read the instructions on how to search. Once you find an entry that appears promising, contact the library to get a copy of the newspaper article. Expect to pay them for their time and effort. Realize that some entries are very brief. Someone may be staying at a local hotel or there may be a letter waiting for him at the post office. Other articles give considerable details.

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

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, Lawrence 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.

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

Libraries

Museums

Societies

Lawrence County Historical Society
150 Sherman St.
Deadwood, SD 57732
Telephone: 605-342-2339
E-mail: kraemer.norma@gmail.com
Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_County,_South_Dakota accessed 1/31/2017
  3. http://genealogytrails.com/sdak/lawrence/ accessed 1/31/2017
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Lawrence County, South Dakota, p.625
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lawrence 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_County%2C_South_Dakota accessed 6 November 2016.
  9. ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 617. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.