South Dakota, School Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

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Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of school records located at the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre. The records cover the years 1879 to 1970. The records include:

  • Teacher's term reports
  • School census
  • Attendance

The records are generally arranged by county, year, and school district number. This collection is being published as images become available.

The listing of school-aged children is a common practice throughout the United States. The records are usually compiled on a yearly basis. School records helped local governments determine funding needs for individual schools. The information is usually reliable although the ages are sometimes off by a year and legal guardians may be confused with parents.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Dakota, School Records, 1879-1970.

Record Content

School Census Records may include any of the following information:

  • Name of town and county
  • School District Number
  • Names of pupils
  • Ages of pupils
  • Gender of pupils
  • Beginning and ending dates of grading period
  • Beginning and ending dates for school year

How to Use the Record

School records can be very helpful as they can often be used as a reliable substitute for birth records or they can lead you to birth records. To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of the child
  • Other identifying information such as age or approximate birth date, years of attendance, parents' names, or residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "School Districts and Year Range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestor. For example:

  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the age or birth date along with the parents’ names and residence to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile the entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify other relatives such as cousins who attended the same school or other nearby schools.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1885.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the surnames. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the records of nearby districts.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring locality.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

South Dakota Free Pulic Records Directory

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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


Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection citation:

"South Dakota, School Records, 1879-1970." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing State Historical Society, Pierre.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for South Dakota, School Records, 1879-1970.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Dakota, School Records, 1879-1970.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 12 August 2015, at 16:35.
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