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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


" I Think that I shall never see
The finish of a Family Tree,
As it forever seems to grow
from roots that started very low;
'way back in ancient history times,
In foreign Lands and distant climes.
From them grew trunk and branching limb,
that dated back to time so dim,
One seldom knows exactly when
The parents met and married then.
Nor when the twigs began to grow
with odd named children, row on row.
'Though a verse like this is made by me,
And the end's in sight as you can see,
'Tis not the same with Family trees
That grow and grow through centuries."

Author Unknown


Recently I heard from cousin Daisy Hawk Murray, of the state of Washington ,that she is planning to attend the Self Family Reunion being held on Saturday September 17, 2005 at Camp Tipton in Maryville, Tennessee. I predict she will win the award for "who traveled the farthest" hands down.

Daisy is the daughter of Arkie Self Hawk and Roy Hawk and the granddaughter of Lewis Self and Cora Jackson Self. This would make her my second cousin twice removed.

I met Daisy online a few months ago, but we have not ever met in person. It will be nice to put a face with the name when she comes for the reunion. I look forward to having her join the rest of us as we meet to celebrate our heritage and one another.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Cousin Randall Cooper is running for the office of mayor in his hometown of Vonore, Tennessee. Hs is currently serving as an alderman for the town. The election will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2005. Early voting began today and will continue through September 3rd at the Election Commission Office in Madisonville. The other candidate is incumbent Fred "Fitz" Tallent.

Vonore has a population of 1162 and is the smallest of the four municipalities in Monroe County. However, it is the fastest growing area in the county.

Randall Cooper is the son of Ersie Self Cooper and the late Willard Cooper. Best of luck to Randall in his political ambitions.


" In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future."

Alex Haley

Sunday, August 14, 2005

DNA Testing... A Genealogical Revolution

"Stories have been passed down about the Self family for generations. We've all heard them. Stories such as, Old Robert (Roboham) Selfe came from England, settled in Virginia and started the Self family in America. His descendants followed southerly then westward migration patterns and spread the Self family throughout America. Alabama Selfs certainly were a part of this movement and many trace their lineage to Isaac Self, Sr. Isaac was born in Virginia and died in Alabama.

The stories continued for the Alabama Selfs. We heard our grandfathers were original settlers in the State, one gggrandfather was the largest land owner in the county, many Selfs fought and died in the WBTS, and another ggrandfather owned a community store and the first Bell telephone franchise in the county. Others were farmers, teachers, preachers, mechanics, soldiers (marines), and much more.

As a Self, I can't help but wonder how I fit in to all this? At the Self Gatherings everyone looked like relatives, but I wasn't sure how they were relatives. DNA testing will answer a lot of questions about the Self family. I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about DNA testing, but confirming my relationship to the Self surname outweighed my apprehension.

DNA is an integral part of us and can confirm a lot of family stories. DNA can be a major factor in solidifying family relationships and to identifying all branches of the Self family. DNA testing can give us results that can be compared and help us find other profiles of our family that don't exactly match.

At the Chattanooga Self Gathering several individuals volunteered for DNA testing to identify their relation to the Self surname. As a result of those tests, we think we have identified the Self DNA and have discovered Self DNA from a different lineage. All of this is exciting nd confirms scientifically what individual research and documentation have indicated about the family for years.

My DNA tests have connected me to a Self lineage that goes back at least 500 years. This supports all the family stories, such as England, Virginia, Alabama, and can help us better understand the Self lineage of the Carolinas and Tennessee. Much of this has been documented, but additional work must be done to fill in the gaps. DNA tests have given me a new understanding of the Self family and helped me discover "genetic cousins" with the Self surname.

The Self DNA project is a "work in progress". I hope you will consider being part of it and help us identify the historic lineage of the Self family. The family project is intended to test males with the Self surname. The Y chromosome is passed from male-to-male and tests can establish the father-to-son lineage. The cost, $171.00, is small compared to the benefits. We want to connect with all our Self cousins and improve our understanding of the family. "

David Eugene Self


I have wanted to share some information about DNA testing as it relates to genealogy on this site for some time now. I have struggled with the right words to use to explain this technology in terms that will be understandable because it is a new subject for me as well. I decided to just share a testimonial about the benefits of DNA testing from a man I call my first "genetic cousin". He has written a very good article about the topic and I appreciate his input.

David Eugene Self lives in Virginia. I met him and his wife at the 2005 Self Gathering in Chattanooga, TN this past April. David and I were two of the three Self men who agreed to be tested on the spot after Kathi Bobb gave her presentation on DNA testing at the gathering. Our DNA matched closely. It is so close that it means there is a 95% probability that we have a common ancestor within the last 500 years. We matched in all loci, which means there is a 99.9% likelihood that we have a common ancestor. This is incredible! David is a native of Alabama and I am a native of Tennessee. We live hundreds of miles apart. We had never met before April, never knew one another existed, but we are cousins somewhere down the line. I find that amazing. The most difficult task lies ahead. We must now try to prove/document just how we are related. That will not be easy, but at least we know we are related. The hunt is on.

I want to thank David for his willingness to test and for his testimonial. I also want to encourage all Self descendants to consider testing. The more we have to test, the more results we will have to compare. Come on you Self men. Step up to the plate ! Testing is easy. It only takes a few minutes and by testing you will be making history... Self family history.

David's article follows. For more information about DNA testing for genealogy purposes log onto the FamilyTreeDNA website at this address:

Saturday, August 13, 2005


I want to invite you to visit some of the websites I have found to be very interesting in my online surfing. Some of them are genealogy-related sites, others are just historical and informational-related.
This is a site for the Self Family Netletter
This is a site for the Self Family Newsletter
This is a site for the Self Family Foundation
This is a site for the Union County, GA Gen Web Project
This is a site for the Lumpkin County, GA Gen Web Project
This is a site for the Monroe County, TN Gen Web Project
This is a site for the Monroe County, TN Genealogy Forum
This is a site for the Tellico Plains Mountain Press, an Online History and Feature Ezine

These sites are packed with information. Check them out. I am sure you will find at least something of interest.

Friday, August 12, 2005


On behalf of our branch of the Self Family, I recently purchased a commemorative, engraved brick from the Tellico Plains, Tennessee Merchants' Association. The association sold bricks for the historic town square re-pavement project, which will feature the circle of the seven clans of the Cherokee Indians as its centerpiece. This project is part of the association's effort to beautify the town square. Our brick will read "Family Of John and Lydia Self".

I thought it would be fitting to honor our ancestors in this way. After all, the Tellico Plains area is where John, Lydia and much of their family settled when they moved to Tennessee from Georiga in the mid to late 1880's.

Installation of the bricks should begin this fall. A picture will be provided on this site for all to see once our brick is placed.