South Dakota, United States Genealogy
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the Mount Rushmore State
When the United States acquired South Dakota, most of the land became part of the public domain. The federal government surveyed available land into townships and transferred it to private ownership through local land offices. The first land office was established at Vermillion in 1861. See the United States Land and Property article for more information about the land entry process. To locate the land-entry or homestead case file for your ancestor, you will need to know either the patent number or the legal description (range, township, section) of the land. The county recorder of deeds may be able to tell you the legal description of the land, or you may be able to pinpoint the exact location by searching the entries in the tract book covering the approximate area concerned.
Extinct or Renamed Counties:
Armstrong | Ashmore | Big Sioux | Boreman | Bramble | Bruguier | Burchard | Burdick | Cheyenne | Choteau | Cole | Cragin | Delano | Ewing | Forsythe | Greely | Jayne | Lugenbeel | Mandan | Martin | Meyer | Midway | Mills | Nowlin | Pratt | Presho | Pyatt | Rinehart | Rusk | Schnasse | Scobey | Sterling | Stone | Thompson | Wagner | Washabaugh | Washington | Wetmore | White River | Wood
- Find which county a town is in, what town a cemetery is in, even where a postoffice or building is by using the United States Geographical Survey's Geographical Names Information System.
- David Rumsey Map Collection is a large online collection of rare, old, antique historical atlases, globes, maps, charts plus other cartographic treasures.
- The South Dakota GenWeb Project has a wealth of information and is a part of the larger USGenWeb Project. The USGenWeb Project provides internet information on every county in every state in the United States.
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