Minnehaha County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United States
South Dakota

Minnehaha County

Guide to Minnehaha 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: Sioux Falls
Organized: April 5, 1862
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Lake  • Lincoln  • Lyon (IA)  • McCook  • Moody  • Pipestone (MN)  • Rock (MN)  • Turner
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information


Its name was derived from the Sioux word Mnihaha, meaning "rapid water," or "waterfall" (often also incorrectly translated as "laughing water").[2] It's county seat is Sioux Falls. It was organized 1862. It is located in the South East corner of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Minnehaha County Courthouse
415 N Dakota Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57102
Phone: 605.367.4223

Clerk Courts has divorce, probate and court records from 1876;
Register of Deeds has marriage records from 1876, birth and death records from 1905 and land records[4]

Minnehaha County, South Dakota Record Dates

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

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[5]

Unincorporated communites
  • Brandon
  • Benton
  • Buffalo
  • Burk
  • Clear Lake
  • Dell Rapids
  • Edison
  • Grand Meadow
  • Hartford
  • Highland
  • Humboldt
  • Logan
  • Lyons
  • Mapleton
  • Palisade
  • Red Rock
  • Sioux Falls
  • Split Rock
  • Sverdrup
  • Taopi
  • Valley Springs
  • Wall Lake
  • Wayne
  • Wellington
Defunct townships
  • West Sioux Falls
  • Wingert


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Minnehaha 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 355
1880 8,251 2224.2%
1890 21,879 165.2%
1900 23,926 9.4%
1910 29,631 23.8%
1920 42,490 43.4%
1930 50,872 19.7%
1940 57,697 13.4%
1950 70,910 22.9%
1960 86,575 22.1%
1970 95,209 10.0%
1980 109,435 14.9%
1990 123,809 13.1%
2000 148,281 19.8%
2010 169,468 14.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.


First Lutheran Church, Colton

St. Olaf's Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls

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 Minnehaha 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.

Maps and Gazetteers


Military Records

Civil War

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship


South Dakota Newspapers Online

South Dakota Newspaper Catalogs

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Minnehaha 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, Minnehaha 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.





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.


Little Cornwall On The Prarie
2805 South Fourth Avenue
Sioux Falls SD 57105



Minnehaha County Historical Society
200 W 6th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Telephone: 605-366-8403 or 605-528-6290

Nordland Heritage Foundation
Augustana College
Sioux Falls SD 57l97


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnehaha_County,_South_Dakota accessed 1/31/2017
  3. http://genealogytrails.com/sdak/minnehaha/ accessed 1/31/2017
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Minnehaha County, South Dakota, p.627
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Minnehaha County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnehaha_County%2C_South_Dakota accessed 6 November 2016.
  6. "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society, http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01009.xml, accessed 10 June 2013.
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