South Dakota Cemetery Records Research Guide

Using South Dakota cemetery records can be a great tool for your genealogy project or family tree. The thing to keep in mind is you will need dates and locations to make your South Dakota cemetery records hunt a success. You can still do this type of search without all the details, but it may take longer or be more complicated. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations

For some people, in fact, it is the national cemeteries in the state where they find their results. The main national cemeteries in South Dakota:

  • Black Hills National Cemetery
  • Hot Springs National Cemetery
  • Fort Meade National Cemetery

Aside from national cemeteries, you may also be looking for South Dakota cemetery records for public or private ones. Some problems may arise if you are looking within South Dakota cemetery records that involve graves being moved, the deceased being relocated within the grounds or to another graveyard in another part of the county or state.

Finding What You Need

What people often do not realize is what a valuable source of information South Dakota cemetery records can be for working on genealogy records or other types of ancestry projects. You can easily find data from South Dakota cemetery records including names, dates, locations and names for other family members. The trick is knowing when and where, if at all possible.

In addition, keep in mind there are many ways to seek South Dakota cemetery records if you intend to do the search yourself. You can try looking online or whenever possible go to the cemeteries yourself. Seeing the other burial plots nearby may help you find other relatives you did not even know about. You can also use the library so you can find old newspapers and microfilm to help do your South Dakota cemetery records search.

The most important thing is not to give up when you begin looking for South Dakota cemetery records. Even if you seem to not find the results you want right away, with a little bit of time and effort you are bound to find the right data. Try using South Dakota cemetery records for your next genealogy project.

Research In South Dakota Cemetery Records

The Works Projects Administration (WPA) created a "grave registration list" in 1940. It was meant to record information on South Dakota cemeteries. It was never completed, but it does contain several important cemetery records. The FHL and the state historical society each have copies of it on file. Also, several of the state's cemeteries and their locations were listed in the South Dakota Genealogical Society Quarterly, beginning in 1982.

The grave registration project of the WPA also included some information on Civil War veteran burials, including information about veteran burials in the following counties:

Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brule, Butte, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Custer, Davison, Douglas, Fall River, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, Meade, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Potter, Sanborn, Shannon, Stanley, Sully, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Washabaugh, Yankton

The DAR's Mary Chilton Chapter has given several grants to the Sioux Valley Genealogical Society. Those grants have helped the society to microfilm cemetery information for Minnehaha County and a few surrounding counties. County funeral homer records are also included, and all of those records can also be found at the FHL.

Starting in 1973, an ongoing publication called "Some Black Hills Area Cemetery" was published by the Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research. Several genealogical publications, including the South Dakota Genealogical Society Quarterly have also published some of the state's cemetery records.

Famous People Buried in South Dakota Cemeteries

County Name / Date / Cemetery Description
Kingsbury Ingalls, Caroline Lake
12/12/1839 - 4/20/1924
De Smet Cemetery
Folk and literary figure.
Born the fifth of seven children of Henry and Charlotte Tucker Quiner in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Kingsbury Ingalls, Charles Philip
1/10/1836 - 6/8/1902
De Smet Cemetery
Literary Figure.
Born the second of nine children of Landsford and Laura Ingalls in Cuba, New York, when he was 12 his family moved to Illinois, and then to Wisconsin.
Kingsbury Ingalls, Mary Amelia
1/10/1865 - 10/17/1928
De Smet Cemetery
Folk and literary figure.
Born the eldest child of Charles and Caroline Ingalls in Pepin County, Wisconsin on her father's birthday.
Lawrence Cannary, Martha Jane 'Calamity Jane'
5/1/1852 - 8/1/1903
Mount Moriah Cemetery
American Folk Figure.
Born Martha Jane Cannary, Calamity Jane is nearly as famous as Bill Hickok was and is known to be as tough as any man in the West.
Lawrence Hickok, James Butler 'Wild Bill'
5/27/1837 - 8/2/1876
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Western Figure.
Born in Troy Grove, near Ottawa, Illinois, he took part in the Kansas struggle preceding the Civil War, was a driver of the Butterfield stage line, and gained fame as a gunfighter.
Marshall Westerman, Floyd 'Red Crow'
8/17/1936 - 12/13/2007
Saint Matthew Cemetery
Actor, Singer, ActiviSt. Red Crow was born on the Lake Traverse Reservation, home of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Dakota (Sioux).
Shannon Red Cloud (Makhpiya-Luta)
12/26/1904 - 3/23/1905
Red Cloud Cemetery
Red Cloud, chief of the Oglala Lakota, for years frustrated efforts of the United States government to open up the WeSt. From 1859 on he and his warriors, living near Fort Laramie, Wyoming attacked whites encroaching on Indian Territory along the North Platte River.
Shannon Wounded Knee Monument
Wounded Knee Monument
Wounded Knee monument on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.
On December 29, 1890, the Sioux chief Big Foot and some 350 of his followers camped on the banks of Wounded Knee creek.
Walworth Sacajawea
1787 - 12/20/1812
Sitting Bull Monument
Native American Explorer.
She was born a Shoshone around the year 1788 in their Rocky Mountain homeland which today is Idaho.
Walworth Sitting Bull
- 12/15/1890
Sitting Bull Monument
Cause of death: killed by tribal police

South Dakota Cemeteries

Cemetery Name Cemetery City
Saint John Cemetery Beresford
De Smet Cemetery De Smet
Mount Moriah Cemetery Deadwood
Hot Springs National Cemetery Hot Springs
Black Hills National Cemetery Sturgis
Fort Meade National Cemetery Sturgis

South Dakota Cemeteries & Graveyards Links

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