United States South Dakota School Records 1879-1970

This blog post will be updated as new things that confuse indexers and arbitrators come along.

Post Started: October 31, 2014

Post Last Updated:

Project Skill level: Intermediate


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Sample Image Links


Instructions, Field Helps and Updates

I am only listing those instructions, field helps and updates that indexers and arbitrators I see have problems with. If I don’t have something listed then please leave a comment about it and I will add it in.

Image Type

If the image has a student’s name mark the image as Normal.

If the image doesn’t have a student’s name then mark it No Extractable Data (NED).

Event Year

Type a four digit number for the year which was usually at the top of the document.

No year or only a two digit number then you may be able to determine the year from the previous or next image. If not then type what was on the image.

When a range of years were recorded, such as 1921-1922 then index the later year, in this case 1922.

Pupil’s Surname

Do not assume the child’s surname from the surname of a parent or anyone else listed on the document. If the surname was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word “unknown,” press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Pupil’s Gender

Index the gender only if it was specifically recorded or if you can tell what it was from relationship terms, such as “son” or “daughter” or other indications in the language. Do not assume a gender based on given names.

Birth Year

If the birth year was not recorded, do not attempt to calculate it from the age and the year the record was made.

Parent or Guardian’s Given Names (Updated by FamilySearch on October 31, 2014)

On school census records, the parent or guardian’s name was usually located in a field for his or her name. On the record leaves form, the parent or guardian’s name was written at the top of the page after the pupil’s date of birth.  

Added by FamilySearch on October 31, 2014:

  • If two parent or guardian’s are recorded, index the first parent or guardian.
  • When ditto marks or blanks are listed under the parent or guardian’s name and there are more children listed with the same surname or dittoed from the child above, copy this information into each parent or guardian’s name field.

Parent or Guardian’s Surname or Titles and Terms (Updated by FamilySearch on October 31, 2014)

If two parent or guardian’s are recorded, index the first parent or guardian.

When ditto marks or blanks are listed under the parent or guardian’s name and there are more children listed with the same surname or dittoed from the child above, copy this information into each parent or guardian’s name field.

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