South Dakota Census

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Portal:United States Census >South Dakota


1860 Dakota Territory Census Search
1860 Dakota Territory Census

 1870 United States Census---A free internet index and images can be viewed on FamilySearch Record Pilot site. This index includes the full name, age, sex, race, birthplace, occupation, month if born in census year, month if married in census year, birth place of father and mother, if born in a foreign country.

1890--Census was destroyed.  The 1890 veterans schedule and index are available at the Family History Library and at the National Archives.

1900-1930--The Family History Library has the U.S. federal censuses for South Dakota.

Many of the federal census records are found at the Family History Library and the National Archives and other federal and state archives.[1]

Historical Background

1861--Congress created Dakota Territory, which included all of present-day North and South Dakota, Montana, and northern Wyoming. The first counties were established in southeastern Dakota in 1862. The creation of Montana Territory in 1864 and Wyoming Territory in 1868 reduced Dakota Territory to the area included in the two Dakotas of today.

1889--South Dakota was separated from North Dakota and became a state.


A statewide soundex (phonetic) index is available on microfilm for the 1900 and 1920 censuses. Indexes are available at the South Dakota State Historical Society. Indexes to the federal censuses of the Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Dakota territories have been published in book and fiche format for 1836, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. A partial soundex (phonetic) index is also available on microfilm for the 1880 census of Dakota Territory.

Special Censuses

Pensioners Census

South Dakota Pensioners

Native American Census

See Indians of South Dakota for information on tribal census reports.

State Censuses

State Censuses exist for the following years:

1885--Dakota Territory. Indexed at:

1895--Partial Census.  Most of the census was destroyed.

1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, and 1945--Unique information includes:

Ethnic Background
Maiden Name
Church Affiliation
Military Service

The 1885 and 1895 censuses are also available at the Family History Library.

Territorial Censuses

1836--South Dakota was included in the WisconsinTerritorial Census.

1840--South Dakota was included in the Iowa Territorial Census.

1850--South Dakota was included in the Minnesota (Pembina District) Territorial Census.

1860-1880-- Dakota territorial censuses.

The territorial and state censuses are at the South Dakota State Historical Society.

Web Sites


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Online:

Genealogy Today:

Access Genealogy:

Census Finder:

National Archives:


South Dakota Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.