Brookings County, South Dakota Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

United StatesGotoarrow.png South Dakota Gotoarrow.png Brookings County

Guide to Brookings 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: Brookings
Organized: April 5, 1862
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Deuel  • Hamlin  • Kingsbury  • Lake  • Lincoln (MN)  • Moody  • Pipestone (MN)
See County Maps
Location Map
Adopt-a-wiki page
Sdgwlogo2.gif This page adopted by:
SDGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
and its representative
Brookings Co. SDGenWeb
Adopt a page today

County Information


Brookings County was named after Wilmot Wood Brookings, a politician and pioneer of southeastern South Dakota It's county seat is Brookings. It was names for Bon Homme Island. It was organized 1892. It is located in the eastern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Brookings County Courthouse
314 6th Avenue
Brookings, SD 57006
Phone: 605.692.6284

Clerk Court has divorce, probate and court records;
Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, and death, from 1905, burial records from 1940, land and military records[3]

Brookings County, South Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1871 1871 1870

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

1862--Brookings County was created 5 April 1862 from unorganized territory.
County seat: Brookings [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[4]

Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places
  • Afton
  • Alton
  • Argo
  • Aurora
  • Bangor
  • Brookings
  • Elkton
  • Eureka
  • Lake Hendricks
  • Lake Sinai
  • Laketon
  • Medary
  • Oaklake
  • Oakwood
  • Oslo
  • Parnell
  • Preston
  • Richland
  • Sherman
  • Sterling
  • Trenton
  • Volga
  • Winsor


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Brookings 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.  %±
1870 163
1880 4,965 2946.0%
1890 10,132 104.1%
1900 12,561 24.0%
1910 14,178 12.9%
1920 16,119 13.7%
1930 16,847 4.5%
1940 16,560 −1.7%
1950 17,851 7.8%
1960 20,046 12.3%
1970 22,158 10.5%
1980 24,332 9.8%
1990 25,207 3.6%
2000 28,220 12.0%
2010 31,965 13.3%
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 Brookings 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.

  • Brookings County history book : in the year of the South Dakota state centennial. 1989. By Brookings County History Book Committee. Brookings, South Dakota : Brookings County History Book Committee. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • The immigrants' trek : a detailed history of the Lake Hendricks Colony in Brookings County, Dakota Territory, from 1873-1881. 197-?. By Gustav O. Sandro. S.l. : s.n. Online at:Hathitrust; 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 Brookings 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, Brookings 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.


— index




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.



Brookings County History Museum
P.O. Box 608
Volga, SD 57071
Phone:(605) 627-9149


Brookings Area Genealogical Society
513 3rd St.
Brookings 57006

Brookings County Historical Society
PO Box 608
Volga, SD 57071
Telephone: 605-627-9149


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. accessed 1/30/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Brookings County, South Dakota, p.622
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Brookings County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_South_Dakota accessed 1 November 2016.