South Dakota Directories

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

South Dakota Online Historical Directories

History[edit | edit source]

Directories have been published for various South Dakota cities and counties since the early 1800s, though they may not be available for every year. Some directories focus on the businesses or occupations of an area, others include heads of households, landowners, and voters.

City and county directories are similar to present-day telephone books and are useful records for locating people. They were often published annually. They list heads of households and employed household members with their occupations and addresses. They can be used with census records or as substitutes for them.

Directories are particularly valuable for research in large cities where a high percentage of the people were renters, new arrivals, or temporary residents. In fact, a directory may be the only source that lists an ancestor if he or she was not registered to vote and did not own property. Most households were included because the directories were created for salesmen, merchants, and others interested in contacting residents of an area.

Directories have other clues that may require careful study to discover. For example, people in similar or related occupations were often relatives, in-laws, or friends. A year-by-year study of directories may reveal the movement of ancestors and relatives within the city and sometimes to or from other cities.

Many directories were published as county directories listing inhabitants of major towns in the county. Rural directories collected information on farmers, dairymen, and other rural residents.

Resources for South Dakota Directories[edit | edit source]

Libraries and Archives[edit | edit source]

The Library of Congress

These city directories are available on microfilm at the Library of Congress.

  • Aberdeen - Misc. reel 1 1887-1890
  • Aberdeen 1903-1931, 1940-1960
  • Huron 1907-1960
  • Mitchell 1902-1916, 1928-1931, 1937-1960
  • Rapid City 1918, 1919, 1928-1960
  • Sioux Falls 1889-1935
  • Watertown 1909, 1910, 1916-1920, 1926-1930

Directories Online[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has city directories for various years from throughout the state of South Dakota including:

Sioux Falls

1890-1891 Family History Library film 1000906

1902/3-1935 Family History Library film 1843231-1843237

1941, 1962, 1968, 1976 etc. Family History Library book 978.337/S1 E4p

Rapid City

1960, 1965, 1971, 1975, 1980 etc. Family History Library book 978.393 E4p

The Family History Library has compact discs that incorporate telephone directories for most of the United States. These directories are not available at Family History Centers, but may be used at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

To find directories, consult the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Websites[edit | edit source]

  • US City Directories This web site identifies printed, microfilmed, and online directories and their repositories.