Turner County, South Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png South Dakota Gotoarrow.png Turner County

Guide to Turner 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: Parker
Organized: January 13, 1871
Parent County(s): Lincoln and Jayne[1]
Neighboring Counties
Clay  • Hutchinson  • Lincoln  • McCook  • Minnehaha  • Yankton
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information


County Courthouse

Turner County Courthouse
400 S Main Street
Parker, SD 57053-0446
Phone: 605.297.3115

Clerk Court has birth and death records from 1905, marriage records from 1872, divorce records from 1907, probate records from 1866 and court records from 1900;
Register of Deeds has land records[2]

Turner 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

  • 1871--Turner County was created 13 January 1871 fromLincoln and Jayne, Eliminated 13 Jan. 1871, Counties.
  • County seat: Parker [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[3]

Unincorporated communites
  • Naomi
  • Brothersfield
  • Centerville
  • Childstown
  • Daneville
  • Dolton
  • Germantown
  • Home
  • Hurley
  • Marion
  • Middleton
  • Monroe
  • Norway
  • Parker
  • Rosefield
  • Salem
  • Spring Valley
  • Swan Lake
  • Turner


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Turner 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

Various Turner County Cemeteries transcriptions which may include the name, date of death, date of birth, lot and plot number, and parents or spouses names.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 5,320
1890 10,256 92.8%
1900 13,175 28.5%
1910 13,840 5.0%
1920 14,871 7.4%
1930 14,891 0.1%
1940 13,270 −10.9%
1950 12,100 −8.8%
1960 11,159 −7.8%
1970 9,872 −11.5%
1980 9,255 −6.3%
1990 8,576 −7.3%
2000 8,849 3.2%
2010 8,347 −5.7%
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.


  • Records of the Lutheran Church, Turner County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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 Turner 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.

  • A Tale of three cities. 1997. By Centennial Book Committee, Marion, South Dakota. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Turner County pioneer history. 1975. By W.H. Stoddard. Freeman, South Dakota : Pine Hill Press. Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Turner County pioneer history. 1974. By W.H. Stoddard. Tucson, Arizona : W.C. Cox. 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 Turner 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, Turner 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.





Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002)Turner County, South Dakota, p.628
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Turner County, South Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_County%2C_South_Dakot accessed 7 November 2016.