Source Information South Dakota, U.S., State Census, 1895 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.
Original data: Data indexed from images from the South Dakota State Archives microfilm collection.

About South Dakota, U.S., State Census, 1895

French explorers are known to have made their way to what is now South Dakota as early as 1743. The Spanish held dominion over the land for the first part of the eighteenth century, but South Dakota was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. By the late 1800s, there were enough people in the territory to create two states. Thus, the U.S. Congress approved the division of the territory creating the states of North Dakota and South Dakota in 1889.

This database is an index to the first official state census in 1895. The following counties are represented in this census:

  • Beadle

  • Brule

  • Campbell

  • Charles Mix

  • Pratt (now Jones)

  • Presho (now Lyman)

For most of this census, the names of each individual family member is written out. In one section, however, the census enumerator only keyed heads of families and used slash marks in the age and sex columns to indicate the number of people in the family. The age is recorded in the column denoting sex. These columns are further divided into age groupings Male/Female below age six, etc.). The nationality is recorded in other columns with the country of origin. Only a slash mark is used to record that unless the country is not listed. The enumerator was supposed to use a set abbreviation for four countries (S for Spanish, T for Turk, B for Bohemian, and C for Chinese). If the enumerator made up his own abbreviation for another country, he was supposed to record what the abbreviation meant. Most of the time they did not tell you what it meant. (One of them did use H for Holland).