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South Dakota, State Census, 1915 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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South Dakota State Census, 1915
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
South Dakota, 
United States
South Dakota flag.png
Flag of South Dakota
US Locator South Dakota.png
Location of South Dakota
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1915
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
South Dakota Historical Society


What is in This Collection?Edit

The collection consists of an index to the census of South Dakota taken by that state in 1915. This 1915 South Dakota State Census is an every-name list of the state's inhabitants as of 1915. The records are handwritten on printed cards and are arranged alphabetically by surname. People enumerated in the census are recorded individually; the census records do not show individuals in family groups. The census was filmed at the South Dakota State Historical Society.


Image VisibilityEdit

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?Edit

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name
  • Residence (county and post office)
  • Age
  • Birth year
  • Birth place and ancestry
  • Birth place of parents

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Number of years in South Dakota
  • Citizenship
  • Religion

  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Literate or illiterate
  • If blind, deaf, idiotic, or insane
  • Military service
  • Maiden name of wife

Collection ContentEdit

In 1885 the South Dakota State Legislature mandated that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The last census was taken in 1945. The completed cards were then sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population.

The state census was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes. Censuses are generally 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 therefore be incorrect.

For more information on how to use United States Federal census records, see United States, How to Use Census Records.

Sample ImageEdit

Digital Folder Number ListEdit

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at South Dakota State Census, 1915 Digital Folder Number List.

How Do I Search This Collection?Edit

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate age of your ancestor
  • The place where your ancestor lived
  • The names of family members

Search the IndexEdit

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the ImagesEdit

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?Edit

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?Edit

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?Edit

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses
  • Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school”
  • A religious preference may lead you to helpful church records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?Edit

  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
  • Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names, or even initials

Research HelpsEdit

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of South Dakota.

Citing This CollectionEdit

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?Edit

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