South Dakota, State Census, 1915 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Dakota 1915 State Census.jpg

Collection Time Period

This information pertains to the census taken in the year 1915. 

Record History

In 1885 the state legislature directed that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The last state census was conducted in 1945. The completed forms were sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population. 

Why This Record Was Created

The state census was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes. 

Record Reliability

Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.  

Record Description

Population schedules are handwritten entries on preprinted cards. The cards are arranged alphabetically by surname.  

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in the South Dakota state census for the year 1915 are:

  • Name
  • Residence
  • Age
  • Birth place and ancestry
  • Birth place of parents
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Years in United States and in South Dakota and if naturalized
  • Able to read and write
  • If blind, deaf, idiotic, or insane
  • Extent of education
  • Military service with state, regiment and company
  • Maiden name of wife
  • Church affiliation

How To Use The Record

Census records are the best source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use the place of residence and the birthplace for each person along with his or her age to search for other record types. Also use military service and church affiliation to search church and military records for additional information. The census identifies other persons in the household. The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Related Websites

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Related Wiki Articles

South Dakota Census

Sources of This Collection 

"South Dakota State Census, 1915," database, FamilySearch; from South Dakota Assessor.  "State Census, 1915."  South Dakota Historical Society, Pierre, South Dakota.  FHL microfilm , 182 reels.  Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

How to Cite Your Sources

An example of citing these records is: South Dakota. Assessor. South Dakota State Census, 1915. Census page. From FamilySearch Internet (, April 23, 2010. Wilbur Smith, birth year 1890, religion Lutheran, image number 02486. 

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections