South Dakota Church Records

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Before 1900 the largest religious groups in South Dakota were the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal, and Congregational churches. The Family History Library has very few church records from South Dakota, but it has histories for some denominations.


St. Francis

Many denominations have collected their records in central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:


Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone: 617-523-0470
Fax: 617-523-0470


Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA Archives)
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4198
Telephone: 773-380-2818

Many of their records can be borrowed for a small fee. For a list of the church records in their collection, see Family History Library fiche 6330690-93. - This site contains German-Russian emigrant ancestry in pocket settlements in mid-west states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska . Contains transcribed minutes of meetings, membership lists (some with parentage listed), birth, deaths, and marriages.]


Archives and History Library
Dakotas Conference

United Methodist Church
1331 West University Boulevard
Mitchell, SD 57301
Telephone: 605-996-6552
Fax: 605-996-1766
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 460
Mitchell, SD 57301

The Diocese of South Dakota
500 South Main Avenue
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Phone: (605) 338-9751
Fax: (605) 336-6243

Roman Catholic

Diocese of Rapid City
Chancery Office
606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57709
Telephone: 605-343-3541
Fax: 605-348-7985
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 678
Rapid City, SD 57709

Diocese of Sioux Falls
Chancery Office
3100 West 41st Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Telephone: 605-334-9861
Fax: 605-333-3346

A dissertation about the history of the Catholic Church is Mary Claudia Duratschek, The Beginnings of Catholicism in South Dakota (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1943; Family History Library book 978.3 K2d; Film 1036266 item 4).

Additional Online Resource:

  • South Dakota Churches -'[1]'
    This website is a great one in that you simply click on the town that your are looking for church records in, and a list will come up with the current churches in that city (including contact information: address, phone number, etc. In many towns there were churches that our ancestors might have attended, which are no longer "active" churches, but by contacting the churches that are currently functioning, we might be able to find information on where those records might be. You might also find it helpful to check the neighboring towns for churches that your ancestors might have attended. It is likely that if a church of their faith was not held in their town, they might have traveled a little to the next town, if the distance was not too far. Finding the church your ancestors attended might very well help in finding their cemetery records as many church members were buried in their church's cemetery.