Lake County, South Dakota GenealogyEdit This Page

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Lake County, South Dakota genealogy and family history research page. Guide to genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Lake County, South Dakota
Map of South Dakota highlighting Lake 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 Madison
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County Courthouse

Lake County Courthouse
County Courthouse
200 E Center
Madison, SD 57042
Phone: 605.256.4876

Clerk Courts has birth and death records from 1905,
marriage records from 1874, burial records from 1941,
divorce and court records from 1881 and probate records
from 1884[1]


Parent County

1873--Lake County was created 8 January 1873 from Brookings, Hanson, and Minnehaha Counties.
County seat: Madison [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.

  • Records of Lake Park Lutheran Church, Lake County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).



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 Lake 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.





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, Lake then click Probate 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

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

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


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Lake 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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