I noticed that there were no free genealogy resources for South Dakota up on the blog yet so I went looking to see what I can find. South Dakota Gravestones offers photographs of over 98,000 headstones located in cemeteries across the state. The site relies on volunteers to visit and photograph cemeteries.
You have a few options for finding a specific headstone. The search option lets you search all or a a select county. For the name, you can choose from starts with or contains, a nice feature with names with multiple spelling variations. It appears that you can search with as little as a single letter in the first or last name boxes. Using more will narrow your search, but if you are having difficulty finding a specific person it may be worth trying a search with fewer letters.
You can browse by surname by clicking on it in the main bar. Surnames are organized by county. Just pick a county from the drop-down to go to the county's page. Names are listed alphabetically. Before the names begin, you will see special features of the cemetery designated by an asterisk. These may include a photo overview of the cemetery, the cemetery sign or other special markers such as Civil War Soldiers.
You can also browse by cemetery. Again, you need to select a county from the drop-down. Once the page loads, you will find an alphabetical list of cemeteries in the county. Clicking on the cemetery name will take you to another page that lists all photographs available for that location. As with the surname browse, special features are marked with an asterisk at the beginning of the list of interments.
One thing I really like about the site is that it tells you the contributor of the photograph and gives their contact information. In some cases, this may be someone that is researching that particular family. This can be a way to connect with other researchers that may be able to offer information you don't have.
Keep in mind that South Dakota was part of the Dakota Territory prior to its admission to the Union in 1889. The Dakota Territory was made up of present-day North and South Dakota as well as parts of Montana and Wyoming. If your ancestor passed away in the territory prior to 1889, you may find their grave on this site. Look for a post on North Dakota gravestones tomorrow.