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Guide to McCook County, South Dakota ancestry, family history and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records

McCook County, South Dakota
Map of South Dakota highlighting McCook County
Location in the state of South Dakota
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Dakota
Location of South Dakota in the U.S.
Founded January 8, 1873
County Seat Salem
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County Courthouse

McCook County Courthouse
130 W Essex Avenue
Salem, SD 57058
Phone: 605.425.2781

Register of Deeds has marriage records from 1882,
burial records from 1895, birth and death records
from 1905 and land records; Clerk Court has court
and naturalization records from 1880, probate records
from 1881 and some school census records from 1900[1]


Parent County

1873--McCook County was created 8 January 1873 from Hanson County.
County seat: Salem [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




1905, 1915, 1925 State Censuses --Unique information could include: 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

1935 state census with images can be viewed free at FamilySearch Record Search

1945 state census with images can be viewed free at FamilySearch Record Search


Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about South Dakota denominations, view the South Dakota Church Records wiki page.



Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See South Dakota Land and Property for additional information about early South Dakota land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for McCook County, South Dakota Genealogy. County and town histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section South Dakota Local Histories.




Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as McCook County, South Dakota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Probate Records

In most counties in South Dakota, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for South Dakota, McCook then click Probate records.

Online Records


South Dakota tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the CDC Where to Write website for information on acquiring copies of these records.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • FamilySearch Catalog


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)McCook County, South Dakota, p.626
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).


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  • This page was last modified on 13 November 2015, at 19:43.
  • This page has been accessed 5,747 times.