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.

Friday, January 18, 2008


My grandmother, Geneva Louise Self, passed away 9 years ago today at the age of 78 years. She was born April 24, 1920. She was buried on January 20, 1999, 30 years to the day after her husband, Charles Lawson Self died. He was born January 13, 1913 and died January 20, 1969 at the age of 56. Lawson and Geneva married on May 12, 1944. He was 31 and she was 24.

Geneva was the daughter of Joseph Isaiah White and Sarah Ida Mae Millsaps White. The picture I am posting with this story was found among her personal things about a year after she passed away. I never saw it while she was living. When I first saw it, I was amazed at the picture. She looked so young! She was so young when the picture was taken. We figure it was taken before she married, so she would have been in her 20’s. I never thought about her ever being young when I was growing up. I guess it is something all grandchildren do. We assume our grandparents have always been old. The fact is they were once young too. This picture has been special to me since mamaw died. It reminds me of the way I picture her now, in death. I believe she is young again. I believe her body is no longer falling apart. I like to think of people as being youthful in heaven. Maybe they are and maybe they are not. It makes me feel better to think of them as being youthful. I hope they are anyway. I am sure immortal souls do not age, so even if she is still 78 after being in heaven for 9 years, this is good too. I still miss her. I probably always will.