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Moody County, South Dakota Genealogy

Guide to Moody 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: Flandreau
Organized: January 8, 1873
Parent County(s): Brookings and Minnehaha [1]
Neighboring Counties
Brookings  • Lake  • Lincoln (MN)  • Minnehaha  • Pipestone (MN)  • Rock (MN)
See County Maps
Location Map
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County InformationEdit


The county is named for Gideon C. Moody.[2] It is located in the South East corner of the state.[3]

County CourthouseEdit

Moody County Courthouse
101 E Pipestone Ave; PO Box 152;
Flandreau, SD 57028
Phone: 605.997.3181

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1905, burial and land records;
County Treasurer has marriage records from 1873;
Clerk Court has probate records from 1890, court records from 1905, divorce records, newspapers from 1880’s [4]

Moody County, South Dakota Record DatesEdit

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 1876 1905 1905 1873 1890 1850
*State birth and death records began in 1905.
Compliance for recording births was 1906 and 1932 for deaths.[6]

Record LossEdit

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

Boundary ChangesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

The following are locations in the county[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Lone Tree
  • Alliance
  • Blinsmon
  • Clare
  • Colman
  • Egan
  • Enterprise
  • Flandreau
  • Fremont
  • Grovena
  • Jefferson
  • Lone Rock
  • Lynn
  • Riverview
  • Spring Creek
  • Union, Ward


Bible RecordsEdit


Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit


Cemeteries of Moody 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 RecordsEdit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 3,915
1890 5,941 51.7%
1900 8,326 40.1%
1910 8,695 4.4%
1920 9,742 12.0%
1930 9,603 −1.4%
1940 9,341 −2.7%
1950 9,252 −1.0%
1960 8,810 −4.8%
1970 7,622 −13.5%
1980 6,692 −12.2%
1990 65,007 871.4%
2000 6,595 −89.9%
2010 6,486 −1.7%
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.[9] See links listed below.

Territory and State Census RecordsEdit

Federal Census RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit


Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit



Land and Property RecordsEdit

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 HistoriesEdit

Local histories are available for Moody 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 Moody County, South Dakota. 1986. By Moody County Historical Society. Sioux Falls, South Dakota : Jack Kilgore & Associates. Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).

Maps and GazetteersEdit

Minnehaha CountyLake CountyBrookings CountyLincoln County, MinnesotaPipestone County, MinnesotaRock County, MinnesotaSD MOODY.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military RecordsEdit

Online CollectionsEdit

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 CitizenshipEdit


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 RecordsEdit


Probate RecordsEdit

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, Moody then click Probate records.

Online Records

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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 FacilitiesEdit


Family History CentersEdit

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.




Moody County Genealogical Society
501 W. First Ave
Flandreau 57028-1003

Moody County Historical Society
706 East Pipestone Avenue
PO Box 25
Flandreau, South Dakota 57028
Telephone: 605-997-3191


Research GuidesEdit


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2.,_South_Dakota accessed 1/31/2017
  3. accessed 1/31/2017
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Moody County, South Dakota, p.627
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Moody County, South Dakota. Page 627 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), 622.
  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, "Moody County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, 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.