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South Dakota Census

Starting in 1905 the state of South Dakota conducted a state census every ten years, designed to supplement the federal census. Their census takers, I'm not making this up, filled out a 3X5 card for each human, including children, in the state.  These cards are on file in Pierre, SD; and, for a fee, they will look up a surname and send you copies of the cards.

One feature of the Dakota 3X5's struck me:  Along the left margin the census taker would check a series of blocks to designate male/female, married/single, can read/can write, etc.  Now here are the choices for race:  White/Black/Red/Yellow.  Red and Yellow???  Have times changed, a little?

It was also fascinating to learn that the immigration and naturalization act allowed only "free white persons" to declare intent to become a citizen.  Though it was never strictly enforced, the provision stayed in the act until 1952.


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This site, A McLaren Migration, is maintained by David J. McLaren - who may be contacted through The Mailbox
Updated July 1, 2011
Copyright © 2005 David J. McLaren, all rights reserved.
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