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Brown County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png South Dakota Gotoarrow.png Brown County

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

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Brown County Courthouse
101 1st Ave SE
Aberdeen, SD 57401-4203
Phone: 605.622.2266

Clerk Courts has birth, marriage, death, burial, probate and court records;
Register of Deeds has land records[1]

Brown County, South Dakota Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

1879--Brown County was created 1 October 1879 from Mills (eliminated 1 Oct 1879), Stone (eliminated 1 Oct 1879), and Beadle(old) Counties.
County seat: Aberdeen [2]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

County Facts
County seat: Aberdeen
Organized: October 1, 1879
Parent County(s): Mills, Stone and Beadle[2]
Neighboring Counties
Day  • Dickey (ND)  • Edmunds  • Faulk  • Marshall  • Mcpherson  • Sargent (ND)  • Spink
See County Maps
Location Map
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History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Brown 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[edit | edit 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.[3] See links listed below.

1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, and 1945 censuses may include unique information: Ethnic Background, Maiden Name, Church Affiliation and Military Service

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Brown 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.

  • Bath community, 1881-1981 : our first one hundred years. 1981. By Bath Centennial Book Committee (Bath, South Dakota). [North Dakota?] : Dakota North Plains Press. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Brown County history [South Dakota]. 1980. By History Committee of Brown County Museum and Historical Society. [Aberdeen, South Dakota] : Brown County Museum and Historical Society. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Early history of Brown County, South Dakota : a literature of the people. 1970. By Brown County Territorial Pioneers Association. Aberdeen, South Dakota : Brown Co. Territorial Pioneers Assoc.. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • History of the Finnish settlement in Brown and Dickey counties of South and North Dakota, 1881-1955. 1960. By Savo Finnish Historical Society. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see South Dakota Newspapers.

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Brown County, South Dakota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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, Brown then click Probate records.

Online Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Alexander Mitchell Public Library
519 S. Kline Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Brown County Historical Society
Dacotah Prairie Museum
PO Box 395
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Telephone: 605-626-7117

Frederick Area Historical Society
412 Main St.
PO Box 523
Frederick, SD 57441-0523

Aberdeen Area Genealogical Society
PO Box 493
Aberdeen, SD 57402-0493

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Brown County, South Dakota, p.622
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 617. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.