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.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


On Sunday, May 25, a hearse carrying the solid white casket of Bristin Lee Self, 18, of Madisonville, TN is shown in procession to Little Tellico Baptist Church Cemetery. Self was buried following a 2 :00 p.m. graveside service. One of the pallbearer’s vehicles is shown in front of the hearse. The back and right windows of the vehicle read “R.I.P. Bristin Self”, “We loved Him.” See the complete obituary for Bristin Lee Self on this blog.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Thomas George Self, age 62, of Madisonville,, TN passed away 12:10 P.M. Thursday, May 22, 2008 at his home. Longtime member of Citico Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon at one time. Retired from Alcoa Aluminum Co. in 2006 after 36 years. Member of Vonore Masonic Lodge #658 and the Knoxville Scottish Rites. Took great pleasure in playing with and caring for his two grandsons. Enjoyed buying and restoring antique and muscle cars, a hobby he shared with his two sons. Survivors, wife of 39 years, Brenda Millsaps Self; sons & daughter-in-law, Craig & Courtney Self, Dusty Self; grandsons, Cade and Cooper Self, all of Madisonville; sister & brother-in-law, Maryetta & Lonnie Millsaps, Vonore; brother & sister-in-law, Fred & Faye Self, Knoxville; sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, Columbus & Artie King, Madisonville, Betty Tilley, Ruth & Dewey Moser, all of Madisonville, Reid & Carolyn Shirk, Vonore; several nieces, nephews and many dear friends. Preceded in death by, parents, Gussie H. & Georgia Dupes Self; sister, Gracie Mae King; mother-in-law, Lucy Shirk; sister-in-law, Ruby Shirk; brothers-in-law, Harold West, Bill Tilley, J.B. Shirk, Austin Shirk. Funeral 8 P.M. Sunday, Biereley-Hale Chapel, Rev. J.A. Schaffer officiating. Interment 11 A.M. Monday, Mt. Zion Cemetery, Rev. Gale Miller officiating. Masonic service 7:45 P.M. Sunday, provided by Vonore Masonic Lodge #658. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mt. Zion Baptist Church or Citico Baptist Church. Family will receive friends 6-7:45 P.M. Sunday at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home, Madisonville. TN.

Tom was the grandson of George Washington Self, the great-grandson of John Simpson Self and the great-great grandson of John J. Self.


Bristin Lee Self, age 18, of Madisonville, TN, passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Member of Little Tellico Baptist Church. Preceded in death by grandfather Joseph Roberts. Survivors, Parents: Tim & Michelle Self, brother, Isaac Self, all of Madisonville; grandparents, Dora Roberts, Mary & J.W. Ivens, Ray & Pat Self; aunts & uncles, Chris & Marsha Brummett, Donna & Herman Matoy, De’Shane Roberts, Michael Self, Amanda & Freddy Howard, all of Tellico Plains; special cousins: Christopher & Abby Brummett, Josh & Ashley Ball, Shannon & Brianna Self, Britt & Deagon Ivens; The Love of his live Hailey Burrell. Funeral 7:00 P.M. Saturday, Biereley-Hale Chapel, Rev. Jimmy Jackson officiating. Interment 2:00 P.M. Sunday, Little Tellico Cemetery. Family will receive friends 5-7 P.M. Saturday at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home, Madisonville,TN.

Bristin was the great-grandson of Cicero Burton Self, the great-great grandson of J.R. Sherman Self, and the great-great-great grandson of John J. Self.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This is the sixth in a series of stories by Lucille Linton as told by her mother Lila Self Hunt.

Lila Self Hunt's great grandfather was named John Waters and he lived in Georgia, during the Civil War. He joined the Confederate Army and became a squad leader.

In a skirmish with the Union Forces, Mr. Waters was captured. The Union squad leader began interrogating Sgt. Waters about the location of his men. He would not divulge their
hiding place, so the enemy said, "Well, we'll hang you from the nearest tree if you don't tell us what we want to know now!" Sgt. Waters said, "Then hang and be damned!"

They put the rope around his neck, placed him on a block and gave him a last chance to commit treason. He remained steadfast in his determination not to tell.

The Union leader saw the loyalty reflected in his face and changed his mind about execution. Sgt. Waters was kept a prisoner for the duration of the War Between the States.

During his old age, John Waters came to Tennessee to live with his daughter Evaline (Avaline) who had married John Self and lived in the Rafter Community. He is buried in a cemetery in Rafter.

Mildred Miller Thomas shared a similar story to this one in her "Mountain Memories" collection of stories that is available on this blog. In her story, John Self was the soldier. This is interesting. We have two similar, yet different stories told by two cousins. Lila Self Hunt was a first cousin once removed to Mildred Miller Thomas. Lila was a granddaughter to John Self. Mildred Miller Thomas is a great-granddaughter to John Self. John Waters, the soldier in Lila's story, was the father-in-law of John J. Self, the soldier in Mildred's story.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


The photo above was taken on "Decoration Day" at Citico Baptist Church Cemetery in Monroe County, Tennessee. It was likely taken around 1940 or 1941. From left to right is Howard Hill holding, who I think is Lola Self, and then Luther Self, Mary Self Smith and Gillis Self. Howard Hill was the husband of Lucy Self Hill. Lola Self was the daughter of Luther Self. Luther Self and Mary Self Smith were brother and sister. Gillis Self was the son of Luther Self. I believe they may be standing at the grave of Mr. or Mrs. C.C. Self, who were Luther and Mary's mother and father. Everyone in this pisture is now deceased. Since it is the season for "decorations" at the local cemeteries, I thought everyone might enjoy seeing this old photograph. The late John Heneger shared this one with me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery Committee in Vonore, Tennessee is in need of donations to concrete the drive around the cemetery. This cemetery is one of the largest in Monroe County. It is accessible from a drive which completely surrounds the cemetery. The smaller, two upper sections are divided from the larger, older section of the cemetery by a drive as well. The surface to be concreted covers a large area of the property.

The cemetery committee began a campaign to concrete the gravel drive around two years ago. Approximately 16 truck loads of concrete have been purchased and poured to date. It will take about 13 more loads of concrete to finish the job. All labor is being done by volunteers. Every dollar donated goes toward purchasing the materials (concrete). When completed, this project will be something the entire community can be proud of. There are several Self family relatives buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Donations for the concrete project may be sent to: Carl Self, 2637 Hwy. 360, Vonore, TN 37885.
Please designate that the donation is for the concrete project at the cemetery.

All donations large or small will be greatly appreciated.


The family of Sherman and Winnie Self will have a reunion on Saturday July 5, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. This will be at the Oak Grove Ruritan Club in Cleveland, TN. This is an annual event for all the Self Family. This information was provided by Dorothy Rogers. (Thanks Dorothy !)

Friday, May 09, 2008


Brittany Cheree Self, daughter of Kenneth Self and Susan Self of Maryville, will graduate from Heritage High School Wednesday evening, May 14, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. The commencement exercises will take place at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Grandparents are J.L. and Edna Self of Maryville.

Congratulations Cheree !


To all the mothers in the family, we wish a very special HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. May God bless each one of you.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


This is the fifth story in series by Lucille Linton as told to her by her mother, Lila Self Hunt.

Missouri (actually spelled Mosurie) Whitmore was married to Columbus Cicero Self. Her brother,_______Whitmore got Harve Hartness' sister pregnant, and she had a baby. Whitmore would come ever so often and get the baby, take it to his mother's house to visit, then take the baby back to its mother. On a whim, she decided not to allow him to take the baby away again.

Whitmore sent her word that he would arrive on a certain day at a specified time for the purpose of taking the baby to keep permanently.

Harve got his gun and sat down in the middle of the house in front of the door to watch for Whitmore. When he saw the two Whitmore men coming on horseback, he began shooting at them. They whirled the horses around and started back the way they had come.

One of Harve's bullets found a vulnerable spot on the body of the baby's uncle, killing him instantly. The baby's daddy got away, leading the dead man's horse with his body draped over the saddle.

Harve was arrested on a murder charge and was put in jail. He belonged to a lodge whose members supported and spoke up for him at the trial. Because of their influence, Harve had to spend only a short portion of his sentence.

Sometime after this happening, Harve married Lude Self, a sister to Columbus Cicero Self.

The Whitmore family was quite well to do with extensive holdings in real estate in Georgia.

Mosurie Whitmore Self was the wife of Rev. C.C. Self. C.C. Self and John Simpson Self, Lila Hunt's father, were brothers. Also refer to the story Mildred Thomas wrote, located in the archives of this blog, concerning this event in the family history. Mildred told it a little differently.


My 8 year old niece, Scarlett Marie Self, was baptized this morning during the 11 a.m. worship service at the Hopewell Springs Baptist Church in Madisonville. She was the only one to be baptized. The pastor, Rev. Chris Farmer, baptized Scarlett at the beginning of the worship service. Among those in attendance to witness the baptism were Scarlett's parents, Stephen and Denise Self, her brother Colby, grandparents Rev. Tommy and Willie Self and Bob and Wanda Atkins. My wife Svitlana, our daughter, Lydia and I were also in attendance. "Paw" Tommy spoke briefly and led a prayer at the pastor's request before the baptismal service. It was a sweet service. God bless Scarlett.