South Dakota Census

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  South Dakota  >  Census

Available and Lost Census Schedules

South Dakota (Dakota Territory 1860-1900): Existing and Lost Federal Census Schedules[1][2][3]
Exact Date Population Schedules Veterans/ Pensioners Slave Owners Mortality Agricultural Industrial/ Manufacturers Defective Indian[4]
1940 Apr 1 Public release in 2012 - - - - - - -
1930 Apr 1 Exist - - - - - - -
1920 Jan 1 Exist - - - - - - -
1910 Apr 15 Exist - - - - - - Exist
1900 Jun 1 Exist - - - - - - Exist
1890 Jun 2 Lost, except 1 family in Union County Exist - - - - - -
Partial 1885 Jun 1 PartialCite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag - - Exist Lost Lost - -

Sources and Notes

  1. Anne Bruner Eales, and Robert M Kvasnicka, ed., Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States, 3d ed. (Washington, D.C.: NARA, 2000), 39.
  2. William Thorndale, and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 306-13.
  3. William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogists Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1999), 104.
  4. Only for Indian schedules taken along with Federal population schedules.


1860 Dakota Territory Census Search
1860 Dakota Territory Census

1860 United States CensusA free Internet index and images to the 1860 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1860, birthplace, occupation, other family members, whether married or single, and neighbors.

 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.

1880 United States Census– A Free Internet Index and Images to the US Census can be viewed on the Family Search Record Pilot – Pilot Site. This index includes an every name index to population schedules listing inhabitants. It includes the full name, race, sex, age, birth month (if born during the previous year), relationship to head of household, whether married, single or divorced, whether married during the previous year, country or state of birth of each person and his parent’s, occupation and street address and house number.

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

1900 Federal Census - A free Internet index and images to the 1900 United States Census can be viewed on the  FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. Important additions to this census are month and year of birth of each household member, number of years married for each married person, number of children born to each mother and the number of those still living, year of immigration, and number of years in the United States.

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

1905 state census with images can be viewed free at FamilySearch Record Search

1915 state census with images can be viewed free at FamilySearch Record Search

1925 state census with images can be viewed free at FamilySearch Record Search

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.