How to Find South Dakota Death RecordsEdit This Page

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.pngSouth Dakota Deaths

Statewide recording of deaths in South Dakota began in 1905.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Death Records
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Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1905

Before 1905, no deaths were recorded by the state. In some instances however, county officers have records filed prior to 1905. These exceptions are listed on each county page.


Death Records on Microfilm

A few earlier death records for Native American tribes exist as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs records. Some of these records have been microfilmed and are available through FamilySearch Centers and Libraries. Find your local FamilySearch Center.

If you know the approximate date and county where the death took place, use the FamilySearch Catalog to see what is available.

  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • Some records may have been compiled and published.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.


If the death was not found in the county or microfilm records, you must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1905 to the present

Statewide registration of deaths began in South Dakota in 1905. The State and County offices have death records that were filed after 1905. It is standard for each county to have a copy of death records for deaths that occurred in their county while the Department of Health has the original records of all events that occurred in the State after 1905.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

Counties are allowed to make available an index of death certificates to conduct genealogical research provided that you are a member of the South Dakota Genealogical Society. Please contact Anna Duncan at duncana@iw.net.

     OR

Because the State’s indexing system is more complex and requires technical assistance in order to successfully search for a record, the State performs all searches for the record for a fee of $15.

      OR

You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

You can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the South Dakota Department of Health.

  • A PHOTOSTATIC copy is a photocopy of the original record. It is intended for genealogy use and generally provides the most information.
  • Copies can be requested either CERTIFIED or INFORMATIONAL. If you are not using the certificate for legal or DAR purposes, you will want to request an INFORMATIONAL PHOTOSTATIC.

If you do not want to order the death record, you can search other records with death information.


Return to top: Choose another death year


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  • This page was last modified on 19 July 2014, at 05:01.
  • This page has been accessed 755 times.