A little bit about me

Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

A little about me

Dedicated to my son Bill who did all he could to penetrate my brain to teach me about a website before he passed away. I'm sure he's up there just shaking his head every time I mess up another perfectly good page. He always threatened to break my fingers if I didn't leave things alone, but alas, that is my nature ... always trying to "make it better". I hope you find lots of useful information before it gets lost!


MY name is Barbara Stallman-Speck and for what itís worth, I was born in 1941,  in Chamberlain, Brule County, South Dakota (because thatís where the hospital is/was.) I was raised in Lyman County at Reliance, first on a farm, then in town (to continue  my education) until I was 14 and had learned all I needed to know, then went off to work in The Silver Leaf Cafe in Chamberlain.

There I met and married my husband Ed and we ran off to the oilfields of New Mexico in 1958. Before returning home in 1978, we followed the oilfield across  Colorado, Utah, Nevada (Atomic Energy Commission, but still drilling wells) California (offshore), Nebraska and Wyoming, living in some states more than once. We had three sons and one daughter as well as two grandsons and one granddaughter. We lost our son Bill in 1997.

I returned to South Dakota and Ed continued to work in Montana and North Dakota (before the oil activity was stifled and hundreds of thousands of us were sent out to pasture) in 1986, kissing our retirement and life savings goodbye. Ed was just four years from retiring.  It was while Ed's rig was in Wyoming and I was spending the week with him that I took up the old typewriter and started writing our  family histories. Within days, I was wanting to  find more, more, more. I was hooked. One of the roughnecks on the rig at that time, was a Stallman and he was from the same tree I was! These Wyoming Stallmans are in my Family TreeMaker.  

 In 1986, along with four friends, the Lyman-Brule Genealogical Society was formed. Then I answered an ad for a project director for a three-county history book and members of LBGS and other volunteers went to work. That was when I found out I wasnít just hooked on genealogy; I got hooked on the entire gambit of history and  couldnít find enough data for the book fast enough. We walked cemeteries for names and data and also taped conversations with older people who couldnít come to us. The book, "Of Rails and Trails ... a centennial journey 1889-1989",  was a wonderful accomplishment for all of us.

Imagine the amazement in 1996,  when someone told me about this new world-wide genealogy project and Lyman County was open for a webmaster. The pre-requisite was some knowledge about building and maintaining a web site. I asked Bill if I could do that and he said, "shucks ya", so I e-mailed the good folks at Rootsweb and I was in. Bill learned during the day while I was at work and taught me at night ... over and over and over. No guidelines, just get busy gathering anything and everything about the genealogy of Lyman county and upload it to the Internet.

It has been a very interesting 12 years and the ways of the Internet have proven to be absolutely mind-boggling on more than one occasion, but the end result has been very rewarding to say the least. The wonderful responses from all of you who do your research in Lyman County and the success stories you have shared, have made all of this worthwhile. The mind isn't as sharp as it once was, but the data is as valuable today as it was 10-12 years ago and will become more valuable as time goes on. Thanks to all of you who have sent your stories and photos to this site and thanks to those of you who are going to be sending yours for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Back in the beginning, Bill and I created flowery, graphics-loaded pages with a few animations added just because we could. The limited space/memory back then taught us to get rid of all of the "extras" in order to expedite downloading time, so now, these days my pages are pretty plain old pages ... some a bit helter-skelter, but the data is there. I like to think I have improved over the years. I have hundreds of thousands of files and as long as more information can be found, more plain old pages will be filled.  No time to look back ... I  just try to keep up!  Every- time someone finds someone through this Lyman County website Bill and I know we "done good". I hope you find whoever your are looking for here!!!  barbara





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This page last revised Tuesday May 20, 2008 03:25 PM