Barry's Genealogy Diary

This online genealogical diary is hosted by Barry T. Self. It is primarily for information pertaining to the SELF surname, more particularly for descendants of John J. and Lydia Avaline Waters Self, who were married in Union County, GA in 1851. Barry Self is the SELF proclaimed family genealogist and historian, having spent over 20 years researching this Self line. This diary is dedicated to preserving and sharing the findings of his research.

My Photo
Location: Madisonville, Tennessee, United States

I am married to a wonderful and sweet wife, Svitlana, who is from Ukraine and we have a beautiful daughter, Lydia Elizabeth. I have worked in the funeral business since 1988 and thoroughly enjoy researching my family roots.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How I got Hooked

My story is one of a funeral director who digs up his ancestors. Sounds like a tale from the Dark Side, huh? Actually I do not really go around digging up my dead relatives, but I do dig for information about them as well as those still living. I suppose one could say I am a "root digger". I constantly search for bits and pieces about my roots. Genealogy is my only hobby. It happens to be the most popular hobby in America right now. It cetainly is addictive. Once hooked, there is no hope for you. It will cause you to turn over every stone in search of long lost relatives. However, it does not interest everyone. I have met folks who couldn't care less who they are related to or from where they came. Others yearn to learn all they can about their ancestors and heritage. I do not push myself and my passion for genealogy on anyone. If I approach someone seeking genealogical information and they decline to help or show no interest in the subject, I move on and look elsewhere. I do feel however, that he alone deserves to be remembered who preserves the memory of those who came before him. I once read a quote that read something like this and I agree.

My interest in genealogy beagn in junior high school. My History teacher gave an assignment that included tracing our family tree back as far as possible. I was able to trace mine back through 6 direct generations of the Self Family line with the help of some elderly relatives. My first family tree was very simple, consisting of only a few names and dates on a couple of notebook sheets of paper. A few years later I discovered the sheets of paper in a bedroom closet and my interest in genealogy was again ignited. That has been nearly 20 years ago. Currently, my family tree contains over 3000 names and a few hundred pages of data on The Family Tree Maker software.

I have not been able to prove my 7th direct ancestor yet, who would be my 4th great grandfather Self. I am geting close. That is information for a future article. I can certainly claim that I know a lot more about the Self family today than I did in junior high school. Genealogy is a great, interesting hobby and allows one to meet some very colorful people along the way. I would encourage anyone to get involved and to encourage their children to take an interest in learning all they can about their family heritage. It is our duty to preserve and protect the memory of those who came before us. I am trying to do my part.