Yankton County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United States
South Dakota
Yankton County

Guide to Yankton 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: Yankton
Organized: April 10, 1862
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bon Homme  • Cedar (NE)  • Clay  • Hutchinson  • Knox (NE)  • Turner
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information


It is named after Yankton Sioux.[2] It's county seat is Yankton. It was organized 1862. It is located in the South Eastern corner of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Yankton County Courthouse
410 Walnut Street; PO Box 155;
Yankton, SD 57078
Phone: 605.668.3438

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1905 and burial records;
County Treas has marriage records from 1900;
Clerk Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1900;
Director Assessments has land records[4]

Yankton 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.

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1905 1900 1905 1900 1862 1900 1850
*State birth and death records began in 1905.
Compliance for recording births was 1906 and 1932 for deaths.[6]

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[8]

  • Gayville
  • Jamesville
  • Marindahl
  • Mayfield
  • Mission Hill
  • Turkey Valley
  • Utica
  • Volin
  • Walshtown
Unorganized territories
  • Southeast Yankton
  • West Yankton


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Yankton 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
  • Yankton County Cemeteries transcriptions by odessa3.org which may include the name of deceased, date of death and birth, lot and plot numbers and age.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 2,097
1880 8,390 300.1%
1890 10,414 24.1%
1900 12,649 21.5%
1910 13,135 3.8%
1920 15,233 16.0%
1930 16,589 8.9%
1940 16,725 0.8%
1950 16,804 0.5%
1960 17,551 4.4%
1970 19,039 8.5%
1980 18,952 −0.5%
1990 19,252 1.6%
2000 21,652 12.5%
2010 22,438 3.6%
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


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 Yankton 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.

  • History of Yankton County, South Dakota. 1987. By Yankton County Historical Society. Dallas, Texas : Curtis Media. Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Steppes to Neu Odessa : Germans from Russia who settled in Odessa Township, Dakota Territory, 1872-1876. 2002. By Cynthia Anne Frank Stupnik. Bowie, Maryland : Heritage Books. Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).

Maps and Gazetteers

Hutchinson CountyTurner CountyYankton CountyClay CountyBon Homme CountyCedar County, NebraskaKnox County, NebraskaSD Yankton.png
About this image
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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

World War II

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, Yankton 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.




Yankton Genealogical Society
Yankton Community Library
515 Walnut St.
Yankton, SD 57078

Yankton County Historical Society
610 Summit
Yankton, SD 57078
Telephone: 605-665-3898


Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankton_County,_South_Dakota accessed 2/1/2017
  3. http://genealogytrails.com/sdak/yankton/ accessed 2/1/2017
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Yankton County, South Dakota, p.629
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Yankton County, South Dakota. Page 629 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), 623.
  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, "Yankton County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankton_County%2C_South_Dakota accessed 7 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.