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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Cousin Kim Fowler Wilkerson and her family moved to Nebraska from Tennessee this past February. Her mother told me recently that Kim has a blog so the family back east can keep up with the goings-on of this large family. I have checked it out and it is very interesting. I wanted to pass on the address in case anyone else would like to know what Kim and her brood are up to. The address is

Monday, September 29, 2008


This is Jim McLemore and Ruth Self Bryant. Ruth is the host of our annual family reunion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Pictured are three of the many attendees at the reunion. (l to r) is Mrs. J.L. (Edna) Self, Ersie Self Cooper and her daughter Lovonda Cooper Fowler. Ersie was recognized at the Self family reunion this past Saturday for having celebrated her 88th birthday on September 18. Ersie was given a surprise birthday party at a park in Vonore, TN on the 18th by her children and several of her grandchildren. Ersie is the mother of nine children.


This is Mrs. Ola Mae Self. She received the prize for being the oldest person to attend the Self family reunion held this past Saturday at Friendship Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee. She is 90 years old... almost 91.


This is 6 month old Marcus Hill with his mother, Staci Hill. Marcus received the prize for being the youngest baby to attend the reunion this past Saturday at Friendship Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee.

Monday, September 22, 2008

News From The Self Family Reunion

The annual Self Family Reunion was held on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at a location where it had never been held. This year, we gathered at the fellowship hall of the Friendship Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee. For the past 25 plus years, the reunion has been held at Camp Tipton Park in Maryville, except for one year when it was moved due to a scheduling conflict. Everyone who attended this year seemed to like the change of atmosphere. The pavilion at Camp Tipton is an open air pavilion. This year, we were indoors. Hopefully, the church fellowship hall will become our permanent place to gather for future reunions. I was very pleased with the large turn out. I counted approximately 80 in attendance while everyone was seated at the tables enjoying all the delicious food. And speaking of the food... well that is a story in itself. The cooks in the family really outdid themselves this year. The food was soooo delicious.

This year, J.L. Self opened with prayer and we recognized Ersie Self Cooper, who turned 88 years old on Thursday, September 18. Ersie is the mother of 9 children. Two of her daughters, a granddaughter and a great grandson were with her at the reunion. I realized later that four generations of her family were represented at the reunion. We should have recognized this accomplishment. Ersie is the daughter of William Emery Self and Mary Self.

The oldest person present at the reunion was 90 year old Ola Mae Self, widow of James Sanford Self. She was recognized and honored with a gift. Several of her family members were also present, including three daughters.

The youngest child present this year was 6 month old Marcus Hill, son of Staci Hill. Marcus was recognized and honored with a gift.

Several families who attended had three generations represented and there may have been another family with four generations represented. I was trying to figure this out, but the crowd was too large for me to succeed at this. I tried to at least speak to each one who attended. Trying to speak to 80 people, eat, take a few pictures, eat, and get a bit of information on a few families was almost impossible to accomplish in a little more than two hours. Oh, and I had to eat a little too. I did manage to get some great pictures. I will try to share some of those on the blog in the near future.

All in all, it was the best reunion ever in my opinion. And I am already looking forward to next year. I hope to see everyone there.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Only one week left to the Self Family Reunion. This year it will be held at the Friendship Baptist Church in Maryville, TN, and NOT at the place we usually have it, Camp Tipton Park.
For exact directions to the church, go to the church website which is
There, you can get access a map under the "Contact Us" tab, and look for "map the location". The church address is 3310 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville, TN 37803. It is really easy to find, just a short distance off Hwy. 411 and Hwy. 129. Hope to see everyone there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"Family- They are God's gift to you as you are to them."
Desmond Tutu

Friday, September 05, 2008


My cousin, Avis Severt, emailed me today asking about the upcoming annual Self Reunion. It reminded me that I needed to add a personal invitition on the blog to each one of you to come.

The reunion will be Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Friendship Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee. The church is on Niles Ferry Road, south of Maryville. It is actually close to where we usually have the reunions at Camp Tipton Park. The church is off Hwy. 129 which most of us have to travel to get to Camp Tipton Park. If anyone needs more detailed directions please contact me at or by telephone at Ph. 423-420-9253. I want us to have a big crowd this year. Please try to come! I can't wait to see you there.

Barry Self