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, October 24, 2008


Svitlana Self, became a citizen of the United States of America on Thursday, October 23. The Naturalization Ceremony was held at the United States District Courthouse, Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Honorable Curtis L. Collier, Chief U.S. District Judge, presided. The Oath of Allegiance was administered by Cyndee Palmer, Deputy Clerk of the Court. 50 citizens took the oath, representing 31 foreign countries. The ceremony was held at 10:30 a.m. and lasted approximately 45 minutes.

I want to share two pictures that were made at the ceremony. The first one is of Svitlana, posing with Judge Collier, after he presented her the certificate of citizenship. Mrs. Williams is seen in the background to the left. She is an officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Mrs. Williams interviewed Svitlana in Memphis, Tennessee on August 14 and was pretty much the one who helped finalize her paperwork for citizenship. (She told us then that her citizenship was granted.) We were pleased to see her in Chattanooga. It made it all the more special for Svitlana. The second picture is of all our little family with Judge Collier. And I do mean all of us. Lydia would not go to the courthouse without her pink teddy. (Notice the red socks “Teddy” is wearing.) Judge Collier noticed Lydia, “Teddy” and I on the front row. He asked to have a picture made with Lydia and her momma. Pretty much everyone in the courtroom went “oooh and aahh” when the picture was made. It was funny. In the background of the picture of all the family with Judge Collier is Cyndee Palmer. She administered the oath.

It was a wonderful ceremony. I wish everyone could experience a naturalization ceremony at least once. It really makes you proud to be an American. I will never forget that experience.