Bennett County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png South Dakota Gotoarrow.png Bennett County

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

County Facts
County seat: Martin
Organized: June 3, 1909
Parent County(s): Lugenbeel, Shannon, Washington, and Washabaugh[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cherry (NE)  • Jackson  • Mellette  • Shannon  • Sheridan (NE)  • Todd
See County Maps
Location Map
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  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).

County Information


Bennett County, named in honor of John E. Bennett or Granville G. Bennett is located in the south western area of the state. [1]The county was created in 1909 and organized in 1912. Martin is the county seat.[2]

County Courthouse

Bennett County Courthouse
202 Main Street
Martin, SD 57551
Phone: 605.685.6969

Register of Deeds has land records from 1907, marriage records from 1912, birth and death records from 1913 and burial records from 1943;
Clerk Courts has divorce, probate and court records[3]

Bennett County, South Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1912 1907 1907 1910

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1909--Bennett County was created 3 June 1909 from Lugenbeel, Eliminated 3 Jun 1909, Shannon, Washington, Eliminated 2 Nov 1943, and Washabaugh, Attached to Jackson 3 Jun 1915, Counties.

County seat: Martin [4]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[5]

Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Bennett County, South Dakota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See South Dakota Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 96
1920 1,924 1904.2%
1930 4,590 138.6%
1940 3,983 −13.2%
1950 3,396 −14.7%
1960 3,053 −10.1%
1970 3,088 1.1%
1980 3,044 −1.4%
1990 3,206 5.3%
2000 3,574 11.5%
2010 3,431 −4.0%
Source: "".

State Census Records

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for South Dakota starting in 1910. For links to Federal census indexes, see South Dakota Census.

Church Records

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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Bennett 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.

  • 70 years of pioneer life in Bennett County, South Dakota, 1911-1981. 1981. By Bennett County Historical Society. Martin, South Dakota : Bennett County Historical Society. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • A journey into the past, 1911-1986 : Bennett County, South Dakota, diamond jubilee. 1986?. By Bennett County Retired Teachers' Association. South Dakota? : s.n. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).

Maps and Gazetteers


Military Records

Civil War

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship


South Dakota Newspapers Online

South Dakota Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper.

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


Other Records


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, Bennett then click Probate records.

Online Records

School Records

Tax 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.


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Research Facilities


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.




Bennett County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 483
Allen 57714

Bennett County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 487
Martin, South Dakota 57551

Bennett County Historical Society
HWC #1, Box 5
Martin, South Dakota 57551


Research Guides


  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Bennett County, South Dakota, p.622
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Bennett County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_South_Dakota accessed 1 November 2016.