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.

Monday, May 26, 2008


This Memorial Day, I want to recognize two soldiers who were killed in action in Vietnam.

JAMES EDWARD SELF was born November 4, 1947 and died in Vietnam on August 22, 1968. He was 20 years old. He was the son of George Washington Self and Ophia King Self. He had been in Vietnam for one year when he was killed. The funeral was held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 5, 1968 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Vonore, Tennessee. Rev. Buford Albright and Rev. Leon Watson officiated at the funeral. James was buried at Sunset Cemetery in Madisonville, TN. The family received friends at the home of Rev. James and Bertha Patton on Wednesday evening, September 4, 1968.

A picture of the stone located the foot of his grave is shown above. A Photo of the Vietnam War Memorial located on the lawn of the Monroe County, Tennessee Courthouse is also shown. This memorial bears the names of all the soldiers from Monroe County who were killed in these two wars. James Self’s name is also on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. James was the eighth of fifteen soldiers from Monroe County killed in Vietnam. The first was killed in 1965 and the last in 1970. He was employed at Hiwassee Manufacturing Company in the finishing department at the time he was drafted into the military.

James Edward Self was the grandson of John Simpson Self and Mary Tucker Self and the great-grandson of John J. Self.

CAREY EDWIN BEST was born May 3, 1943 and died in Vietnam on January 27, 1966. He was 22 years old. He was the son of Douglas and Violet Self Best. Carey Best was the second soldier from Monroe County, TN to be killed in Vietnam. It is believed the body of Carey Best was brought by train to the depot in Etowah, Tennessee on February 4, where it was met by the funeral director and transported by hearse to Madisonville. A note on the record of death reads “soldier boy”. The funeral was held on February 6, 1966 at Lee’s Chapel Church. He was buried on February 9, 1966 in Michigan. Douglas and Violet Best were living in Charleston, Michigan at the time Carey died, so they chose to have him buried there. Many years later, the Bests retired and moved back “home” to Tennessee. On May 21, 1998, Carey Edward Best was re-interred at the Big Toqua Cemetery in Vonore, Tennessee in a family plot. I was honored to be a part of that private re-interment service. Also in attendance were the son and daughter of Carey E. Best, his parents and a few invited guests. Rev. Marvin Bud Millsaps offered a prayer at the graveside.

Carey Edwin Best was the great-great-grandson of John J. Self. He was a second cousin once removed to James Edward Self. Carey Best’s name is also on the Vietnam War Memorial at the Monroe County Courthouse and the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.