South Dakota Naturalization and Citizenship

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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Naturalizations Gotoarrow.png South Dakota Gotoarrow.png Naturalizations


In the territorial era, naturalization proceedings were handled by the U.S. district courts. For information, contact the National Archives—Central Plains Region at Kansas City.

After statehood in 1889, the clerk of the circuit court in each South Dakota county was authorized to keep all naturalization records. You can obtain copies of declarations and petitions from the clerk's office.

The South Dakota State Archives has placed an Index to the South Dakota Naturalization Records on-line. The Index includes both the First Papers and the Second Papers. The index includes the following information for the first papers: names, county of residence, birth country, date of intention, and page and volume in the original record. The second papers include: names, county of residence, final date, birth year, country the immigrant is renouncing, and page and volume in the original record.
There is also a history of the naturalization laws on the site.

The Family History Library has many naturalization records from the district and circuit courts.both in the state records and in the county records. 

Post-1906 Records

In 1906 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) was created, forms were standardized and duplicate naturalization records were created by the court and sent to the INS. To access these records, use the Genealogy Program at You may also contact the National Archives—Central Plains Region in Kansas City for naturalization records.


South Dakota Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.