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.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


My DNA cousin, David Self, has a book in the works on the Self Family. I refer to David as my DNA cousin because he and I were among the first group of Self men to participate in the Self DNA project. This was back a few years ago when the research members of The Self Family Newsletter met in Chattanooga, Tennessee. David emailed me recently to share the news that he has retired and now has more time to devote to his family history research. He is writing a book on some specific Self Family members. Well, he can explain it better than I. Below is part of the email I received from David. He wrote these words to another Self researcher, Larry Brown.

“The Self family history, as you know, is very interesting and like looking at America. We have a story to tell. Now, I have the time to write after finally retiring. My research goes back to the early 70s when I was a student at the University of Florida. During the past several years I have been busy finishing my career with the federal government and with assignments in Iraq and Kuwait. Then ,came building our house in Florida. I had to narrow my scope because there is so much Self history out there. The book is about Jonathan Self and his wife Mary; their love, life, tragedy and the eventual triumph of overcoming immense difficulties at the end of the Civil War and reconstruction. I made a presentation years ago in Chattanooga at the SFN Gathering about Jonathan. To set up the family history I mention Robert Self in early Virginia (George Washington connection, Yeocomico Church and Selfs) because it is important to understand who we are and where we came from. Then, I briefly roll forward to Isaac Sr. and Vincent Garner in Alabama before getting into the subject of the book - Jonathan. Contributions made by Self women (that is, Nancy the wife of Isaac, Mary the wife of Jonathan and others) are emphasized because I think that is important and often overlooked. You probably know, Jonathan was the grandson of Isaac Sr. and the son of Vincent Garner. Major (I think you descend from him) is mentioned in chapter 1 because he was very close to Jonathan and both brothers married two sisters (Johnsons.) Major was appointed guardian of Jonathan's children after he was killed in the Civil War and I haven't written that chapter yet. Of course, I'll make sure everyone has an opportunity to get the book. Feel free to share this information with anyone interested. Take care and stay in touch.”

I look forward to the release of David's book.