Press Release: Iowa Family Planning World’s Largest Reunion


Josiah Schmidt


Iowa Family Planning World’s Largest Reunion

March 4, 2015 — The Schmidt family of West Bend, Iowa intends to break the Guinness World Record for largest family reunion on July 30th-31st, 2016 in Spencer. Between 5,000 and 10,000 attendees are expected in an event that promises to bring fame and foot traffic to northwest Iowa.

The family is renting out the spacious Clay County Fairgrounds. The festival-like gathering will feature German cuisine and music, entertainment, games, presentations, and tours.

“Our ancestors originally settled in West Bend, but multiplied into the thousands and spread far across the Midwest,” says reunion organizer Josiah Schmidt, a professional genealogist in Emmetsburg. “Some connected branches include the Schafers, Krugs, Banwarts, Anlikers, Jergenses, Raubs, Lindemanns, and Van Lohs, among many others.”

Schmidt explained the reason for the reunion: “Many from our family’s eldest generation have expressed a desire to meet these rediscovered distant relatives. So, in 2013, we started a plan to reunite branches of the family that had lost contact with each other over the past century.”

Says Schmidt: “We have set up a committee to oversee the planning, a website at, and we are working with the Guinness World Record Association to ensure the accomplishment will enter the record book.”

Jill Toft, Clay County’s tourism director, states: “This is an exciting event, and we are looking forward to having the Schmidt family reunion on our ‘world’s greatest county fairgrounds.’”


For more information, contact reunion organizer Josiah Schmidt at 937.825.6049 or at Press guide and image gallery are also available on

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