Old Historical State, County and City Maps of South Dakota

Maps of South Dakota

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Maps of South Dakota are an vital element of family history research, especially if you live faraway from where your ancestor lived. Since South Dakota political borders oftentimes changed, historic maps are critical in helping you discover the precise specific location of your ancestor’s home town, what land they owned, just who his or her neighbors happen to be, and more.

Maps can be very useful in conducting South Dakota research, especially in light of the now extinct communities. Several kinds of maps are available which can help in locating land, ghost towns, or farms. Most historical maps of South Dakota were published in atlases.

Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Tracing the history of early families in South Dakota is much easier if the researcher has an understanding of South Dakota gazetteers and maps.

The Dakota Territory was created from Nebraska and unorganized territories on March 2, 1861 and existed until 1889, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of South Dakota. Yankton (1861–1883) and Bismarck (1883–1889) was the territorial capitals.

South Dakota was created as a the 39th state on November 2, 1889. South Dakota has 66 Counties. States bordering South Dakota are IowaMinnesotaNebraskaNorth DakotaWyomingMontana.

The 10 largest cities in South Dakota are are Sioux Falls, 153,888; Rapid City , 67,956; Aberdeen, 26,091; Brookings, 22,056; Watertown, 21,482; Mitchell, 15.254; Yankton, 14,454; Pierre (Capital), 13,646; Huron, 12,592; Vermillion, 10,571.

Any Historical South Dakota Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

South Dakota County Map Formations 1812-1979

This Interactive Map of South Dakota Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1812 to 1979.

South Dakota contains 66 counties. The last county to be formed was Jones County on September 19, 1916.

South Dakota County Map Formation by Year

South Dakota Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Au  – Aurora
  10. Bea – Beadle
  11. Bff – Buffalo
  12. BH  – Bon Homme
  13. Bnt – Bennett
  14. Brk – Brookings
  15. Brl – Brule
  16. But – Butte
  17. Bwn – Brown
  18. Cam – Campbell
  19. Clk – Clark
  20. Cly – Clay
  21. CM  – Charles Mix
  22. Cod – Codington
  23. Cor – Corson
  24. Cu  – Custer
  25. Dav – Davison
  1. Day – Day
  2. Deu – Deuel
  3. Dew – Dewey
  4. Do  – Douglas
  5. Edm – Edmunds
  6. Fau – Faulk
  7. FR  – Fall River
  8. Ggy – Gregory
  9. Gra – Grant
  10. Haa – Haakon
  11. Ham – Hamlin
  12. Hnd – Hand
  13. Hns – Hanson
  14. Hrd – Harding
  15. Hug – Hughes
  16. Hut – Hutchinson
  17. Hy  – Hyde
  18. Jac – Jackson
  19. Je  – Jerauld
  20. Jo  – Jones
  21. Kin – Kingsbury
  22. Lak – Lake
  23. Law – Lawrence
  24. Li  – Lincoln
  25. Ly  – Lyman
  1. McC – McCook
  2. McP – McPherson
  3. Mea – Meade
  4. Mel – Mellette
  5. Mnh – Minnehaha
  6. Mnr – Miner
  7. Moo – Moody
  8. Msl – Marshall
  9. Pen – Pennington
  10. Per – Perkins
  11. Po  – Potter
  12. Rob – Roberts
  13. San – Sanborn
  14. Sha – Shannon
  15. Sly – Stanley
  16. Sp  – Spink
  17. Su  – Sully
  18. Tod – Todd
  19. Tri – Tripp
  20. Tu  – Turner
  21. Un  – Union
  22. Wwt – Walworth
  23. Ya  – Yankton
  24. Zi  – Ziebach

Old Historical Atlas Maps of South Dakota

This Historical South Dakota Map Collection are from original copies so you can see South Dakota as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago. Some South Dakota map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the South Dakota researcher.

External South Dakota Map Links

South Dakota County Map of Road and Highway's

The South Dakota D.O.T. Highway Department does not have South Dakota County Map available at this time.

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