South Dakota, School Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: South Dakota, School Records, 1884-1938 .
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Collection Time Period

The records cover the years 1884 to 1938.

Record Description

The collection consists of school records located at the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre. The records include:

  • Teacher's term reports
  • School census
  • Attendence

The records are generally arranged by county, year, and school district number. This collection is being published as images become available.

The listing of school-aged children is a common practice throught the United States. The records are usually compiled on a yearly basis. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Why the Record Was Created  

School records helped local governments determine funding needs for individual schools. 

Citation for This Collection

The following citations refer to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. They may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Schools in South Dakota. South Dakota school records. State Historical Society, Pierre, South Dakota.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in the School Census Records may include the following information:

South Dakota, School Records DGS 4120263 55.jpg
  • Name of County
  • Name of Town
  • School District
  • Names of parents or guardians
  • Grade Standings
  • Name of child
  • Age of Child
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Home Address

How to Use the Record

School records can be very helpful as they can often be used as a reliable substitute for birth records or they can lead you to birth records. To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of the child
  • Age or approximate birth date
  • Parents' names
  • Residence

Compare the information in the school record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestor.

For example:

  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the age or birth date along with the parents’ names and residence to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile the entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify other relatives such as cousins who attended the same school or other nearby schools.

Keep in mind:

  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1885.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

Record Reliability

The information is usually reliable although the ages are sometimes off by a year and legal guardians may be confused with parents.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

South Dakota Free Pulic Records Directory 

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"South Dakota, School Records, 1884-1938"   digital images, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org: accessed 10 February 2012).r Wilma Thomas, age 9; citing School Records, Tripp, District 0014 (1936-1937, Image 1; South Dakota School Historical Society, Pierre, South Dakota, United States.