Q: Where are most of the Geldermann-Hass-Ranschau burials in Sioux County, Iowa?
A: Virtually all of the Hass burials are located at the Grace Hill Cemetery; and, most of the Ranschau burials are located at the Peace Lutheran Cemetery.
Q: Where are the two cemeteries located?
A: Grace Hill Cemetery is located adjacent to and northeast of Hawarden, IA. Peace Lutheran Cemetery is located west of Sioux Center, IA and south of Rock Valley, IA.
Q: Where are most of the Farley-Jennings-Lass-Maher-McGuire-O'Connor burials in Union County, South Dakota?
A: Virtually all of these are known to be located at the St. Joseph and St. John Cemeteries.
Q: Where are the two cemeteries located?
A: St. Joseph Cemetery is located in Emmet township, a few miles south of Beresford, SD. St. John Cemetery is located about a mile from Beresford's city limits, southeast of the town; and, the cemetery is west of and adjacent to the Beresford Cemetery.
Q: Are both cemeteries still in use?
A: Yes, both cemeteries are still in use. However, the frequency of burials dropped noticeably at St. Joseph Cemetery during the 1990's. By far, St. John is the more popular of the two cemeteries due to its size and proximity to Beresford, SD. However, both cemeteries are still well maintained.
Q: Which local papers carry family-related items (obituaries, engagement and wedding announcements, etc.)?
A: Beresford, SD once had two local newspapers, "The Beresford Republic" and "The Beresford News." "The Beresford News" went out of publication in the 1920's; but, "The Beresford Republic" is still in publication today. Hawarden, IA once had two newspapers; but, "The Hawarden Independent" is the only one still in publication. The "Rock Valley Bee" in Rock Valley, IA also publishes obituaries and wedding announcements. Some announcements for area people are also published in the "Argus Leader" of Sioux Falls, SD and in the "Sioux City Journal" of Sioux City, IA. And, "The Sioux Falls Shopping News" started an obituary column in June 2001.
Q: Are any of these announcements still available?
A: Most of the obituaries from the Beresford papers are available on microfilm. "The Beresford News" was first published in the 1880's; and, "The Beresford Republic" (formerly "The Union County Republic") was first published in 1893. However, most of the issues of Beresford papers published in the late 1800's no longer exist. Microfilms for "The Beresford Republic" begin with the 1897 issues. No issues of the "Beresford Republic" from 1902 are known to exist; and, there are probably other gaps in the archive as well. Two issues of "The Beresford News" from the 1899 exist; but otherwise, the microfilms for this paper start with 1904 issues. Microfilm copies of Hawarden papers date back to the late 1870's.
Q: If I find copies of old Beresford papers, does anyone want them?
A: The Beresford Public Library would gladly accept old issues of Beresford newspapers, regardless of their physical condition (ex: the head librarian reported that newspapers were sometimes used as insulation in older houses and could sometimes be salvaged whenever one of these houses was torn down). If the old papers are fragile, the library can place them in storage until they can be microfilmed at a future date. Older issues are especially welcome if they at least partially fill in gaps in the library's holdings.
Q: Why are some obituaries and marriage articles not posted on the web?
A: Newspaper articles of any type are protected by copyright law. Any articles more than seventy-five years old are considered to be public domain and can be transcribed and posted to the web without permission of their respective newspapers. However, any articles published more recently than seventy-five years ago require the newspapers' permission to be placed on the web; and, different newspapers have different policies with regard to granting this permission. Also, it takes time to get some of the older articles transcribed and posted.
Q: Why do you not include information on living descendants on your web site or within your on-line database?
A: In order to protect the privacy of living descendants, detailed information on those individuals is not listed on the web. However, I do include surnames and first initials of some living descendants in my database. This is enough information to show their place within the family tree structure while preserving their anonymity to all except other family members.
Q: Why are some living descendants represented; while, others are not?
A: I do not oppose representing living individuals within my on-line database; but often, I do not bother to do so. The focus of my on-line database is deceased family members; because, their personal information is no longer considered private and can be openly listed on the web. However, some living individual(s) are parent(s) or grandparent(s) to a deceased family member. In those cases, the living individual(s) provide the vital relation link(s) between the deceased family member and the rest of the family tree. Also, living spouses of deceased female family members are usually represented; because, the deceased women are generally known by her married names. In accordance to standard practice, all women in the on-line database are listed by maiden names only; so, husbands have to be represented and linked to show the females' married names.
Q: Which families are considered to be the focus of the research?
A: The Farley-Lass-McGuire-O'Connor families of Union County, South Dakota and the Geldermann-Hass-Lahn-Ranschau-Wendel families of Sioux County, Iowa are of primary interest in the research. Some in-law families are listed as well, especially in cases where multiple marriages occurred between siblings of one family and siblings of another.
Q: Why are families and/or family members outside the Geldermann-Farley-Hass-Lass-McGuire-O'Connor-Ranschau bloodlines represented in the database?
A: Including this information creates a context for the information related directly to the bloodlines listed above. Furthermore, information on the other unrelated family lines frequently turns up while researching the related bloodlines; and thus, it would be a waste to not include it. The motto, "All information is useful," generally applies while doing this type of research. Including this information frequently proves to be rewarding in surprising and unexpected ways, especially when previously unknown connections between other persons already listed in the database are discovered. Furthermore, information on any of the represented families within the database ultimately proves to be of interest to others in the world; and, the information is included as an aid to their research.
Q: Why are some unrelated families included in the database; while, others are not?
A: All individuals listed in the database must be directly linked to other individuals within the database by either blood or marriage. Some individuals within the database may be in-laws of in-laws; but, all are directly linked to other individuals within the database as spouses, parents, or offspring of those individuals.
Q: Why does the database contain more information on the families of Union County, South Dakota than on the families of Sioux County, Iowa?
A: It is simply a matter of ease of access to the information. I live in Union County; so, I access the local information sources (library, cemetery, etc.) of Union County more frequently. Furthermore, I generally never leave town on work days; so, any research I conduct on those days is almost certainly related to families of Union County, South Dakota.
Q: Why has the database not been updated to include information I recently submitted by email or snail mail?
A: First of all, any information submitted by other researchers is always welcome and appreciated, especially when it includes a lot of easily verifiable "finger prints," such as names, full dates, etc. Before any submitted information is added, it may take time for me to verify it with information obtained from other sources. Without the "fingerprints," data verification can take considerably longer. Also, I am sometimes busy working on other aspects of my genealogical research; and, I may not get around to verifying a given piece of new data until much later. Furthermore, I always work on my database off-line; and, the on-line version may not reflect any recent changes or additions until days or even weeks later. Finally, my research is a hobby; and, more urgent matters in my personal life may occasionally draw my attention away from it.
Q: If I submit information, will I get credit?
A: The most important aspect of the presentation of genealogical research is source citation. Anyone who provides information about an individual (especially recollections from having personally met the individual) will be listed as the source (in the notes area of the record for that individual within the GEDCOM file). The name of anyone sharing at least a part of his or her own genealogical database will be included on the list of databases. The name of anyone sharing a copies of genealogical documents (or copies of family photos, etc.) will be included on the list of researchers on the source page. If the name of any contributor was left off of any relevant area of the web site and/or the GEDCOM file, the omission was completely unintentional. It is extremely difficult perform genealogical research without some help; and, all contributors deserve acknowledgement and thanks for their generosity.
What county records are available?
A: All pre-1905 records for Union County, SD were destroyed in a fire; but, all records from after that time are still available.
Where is the Union County courthouse?
A: It is located in Elk Point, SD. There seems to be a misconception that the courthouse is located in Beresford, probably because of the town's relatively larger size; but, Beresford is not the county seat.