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.

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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, June 13, 2006


This past Sunday, our church observed an old-timers day. It was a first for our congregation and everyone enjoyed it very much. I just have to share a couple pictures with you all. It was a hot day and Svitlana commented that she wondered how the real old-timers would have been able to stand the heat, dressed in such clothing, without air conditioning. She got hot. So did Lydia. I only wore a bow tie and a long sleeve, white shirt, so I was not too uncomfortable. Someone asked me why I did not dress like an undertaker. Well, I could not find a coat with tails and a hat like Abraham Lincoln wore or I probably would have.

I got to thinking about our ancectors and how much differently they did have to live than we do today. It makes me grateful to have so many modern conveniences. I would hate to think I had to "rough- it" and make do like folks did 100 years ago. That way of life was all they knew, so I am sure they were as happy as we are today, maybe even happier. The one picture is of Svitlana, Lydia and I and the other is of Svitlana only. She could not keep from smiling, even though she was instructed at one point that in the old days, people did not smile for a picture. (She probably would have had she been alive back then, for she smiles all the time.) I wonder if this would not be a good theme to use for a family reunion sometime. Everyone could dress up and come in attire similar to what our ancestors would have worn to a reunion 100 years ago. That might be fun. It would probably be a good idea to have such a gathering in the fall, when it is cooler, so the women folk would not get so hot.


Cousin Daisy Murray e-mailed me this picture of her parents and I wanted everyone to see it. This is Arkie Self Hawk and Roy Hawk. What a nice picture ! Thanks Daisy. By the way, this is a good time to ask if anyone else has a picture they would like to share on this site, just e-mail it to me and I will be more than happy to place it for all to enjoy.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Friday, June 09, 2006


Homer Lee Martin passed away Wednesday, June 7, 2006 at Sweetwater Hospital in Sweetwater, TN. Homer was the son of the late James Avery Martin and Ethel Dovie Kirkland Martin. Ethel was the daughter of Jess Kirkland and Ruth Josephine Self Kirkland. Ruth was the daughter of John J. Self and Lydia Waters Self.

The funeral service will be 8:00 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2006 at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home, Tellico Plains. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Interment will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday in Unicoi Cemetery in Tellico Plains.


I learned this past Tuesday that Barry Miller had passed away on May 24, 2006. He lived in New Bern, North Carolina.

Barry Miller was the son of the late Easley Miller and the late James Ena Brown Miller. Easley Miller was the son of George Miller and Lenoira Lovin Miller. George Miller was the son of William Thomas Miller and Nancy Ann Self Miller. Nancy was the daughter of John J. Self and Lydia Waters Self.

No funeral arrangements are available and I have not been able to find an obituary for him either.


I learned earlier this week that my friend, Lannie Self Mahaffey, passed away September 24, 2005. She was 100 years and 4 months old. I called Lannie’s granddaughter, Beth Patterson, just to check on Lannie and learned of her death. Lannie was a great asset to my Self Family research. I first became acquainted with Lannie when she was living at the Branan Lodge, a retirement lodge, in Blairsville, Georgia. This was in 1993 if I remember correctly. She was 88 years old then and had a good memory of the family history.

Lannie was born May 25, 1905 at Choestoe, near Blairsville, in Union County, Georgia. She was the daughter of James B. and Sarah Frady Self. James B. Self was the son of John and Margaret (Peggy) Daniels Self. I believe John was the son of Francis and Hester (Ester) Brown Self and that Francis was a son of Job P. Self.

Lannie’s father had two families. He was married twice (to sisters) and had children by both of his wives. The following information is from a letter I received from Lannie in 1993.

“My dad’s name was James B. Self but (was) called Jim for short I suppose. Jim Self did marry Telitha Frady first (and) they had four children, two girls and two boys. Their names were Norman, Joe, Lou & Ila. The first four have all passed away now. Talitha died when the children were very small. Later dad married her sister Sallie and I am the oldest of 7 children. (I am 88 yrs) all the last children have passed away except one of my sisters and she lives in Ohio. My dad died at 84 yrs. around 1950 in Copperhill, Tenn. with his first oldest son & was buried down there. I don’t remember the name of the church and cemetery. My mother passed away at my house in 1964 and was buried near where I lived. I had four children and (they) were all away when my husband died…” “ I had three sons & one daughter. She was an R.N.. She was killed in a car wreck in 1980. And one of my sons 57 years old passed away last December with cancer.” “ I think my dad’s father’s name was John (and) mother Peggy.”

I last saw Lannie on June 28, 2004 while on a visit to Blairsville. She was a resident at the nursing home in Blairsville. She was 99 at the time. Lannie did not feel well the day I was there, so I was not able to get her to talk much. I got to meet Lannie’s grandson, Charles Trulove, the next day. We had a great visit and Charles was able to give me more information about Lannie.

Lannie’s four children were Cline, June, Billy and Don in no particular order. Her husband’s name was Plomer Mahaffey. He and Lannie married on July 31, 1927 in Union County, Ga. According to Charles Trulove, Lannie was raised near Self Mountain, near Blairsville. Her family lived there until she was about 12 years old. This corresponds with information Lannie had given me previously. According to Lannie, her family moved from Choestoe when she was about 12 to a place near Shady Grove Methodist Church. This is where they attended church. Years later, they moved to Lower Young Cane. Lannie was living there when she got married. Lannie taught school at one time at Gaddistown, just out of Blairsville, before she was ever married. She and Plomer married and raised their family in a house on Skeenah Gap Road. It is located on the right, a few hundred feet off the Blue Ridge Hwy. The two-story, white house was built around 1920 and all the Mahaffey children were born there. Mr. Mahaffey used to have a chicken house there and an egg business. A truck would come by on a daily basis and pick up his eggs.

I was fortunate to have met and known Lannie Mahaffey. I will be forever grateful for her help in piecing together our family histories. I have not positively been able to determine just how our two Self families are connected yet, even though I know we are, but one day I will get it documented and a lot of the credit will have to go to Lannie for her assistance.

To view the obituary of Lannie Victoria Mahaffey, go to, select the obituaries tab at the top and then select to search memorials by last name. Type in Mahaffey for the last name and Lannie’s name will appear. Click on her name and the obituary with a really nice photo of her will appear.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


This past Saturday, June 3, 2006 the annual reunion of the descendants of William Emery and Mary Self was held at the home of J.L. and Edna Self in Maryville, TN. I was not able to attend, but "Sweetie" said everyone enjoyed themselves and the lunch was great. The reunion was well attended this year and the weather was perfect for the occasion. J.L. and his sons entertained everyone with some gospel music and Rev. Tommy Self (my dad) spoke briefly after the meal.