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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


(Letter received from Estella Rapier Harrington, daughter of Joseph Washington Rapier and Maude Dovie Self Rapier. Maude Dovie Self was the daughter of Lewis Monroe Self and Louise Crawford Self. ) {Unedited}

September 3, 2009

Dear Barry,

“… You asked me where grandma was buried. I don’t know. If she died in Alcoa or wherever they lived at the time is probably where she is. I wish I knew. Mom said she was buried in a cemetery but she was so young I don’t believe she knew the name of it. My mom was the greatest mom anyone could have. Of course I didn’t think so when she got the switch or belt out. She taught us so much of life. She had a hard life, but never ever complained. Heaven knows what her childhood was like. When we went to Tennessee in 1937, grandpa didn’t even have an outhouse. Go behind a tree, he would say. You would think they could dig a hole and put up a little privacy. They had this cellar in a hill for their vegetables and fruit. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Guess no way to get lumber back there. We had to park the car and walk a long path to get there, and to be told to stay in the path because of rattlesnakes. That was as scary when mom would send me to the basement to get carrots out of the sand barrel. She would say don’t let raw headed bloody bone get you. I can feel my eyes getting big just like when I was a kid. Mom always had a day bed in the kitchen where she spent most of her time. That way she could watch the baby napping or care for a sick child. She taught us how to button our shoes, yes, way back then ,buttons. She held our hands and walked backwards so we could learn to skate. How to ride a bike and I bet she was never on a bike. How to plant a garden. How to plant by the moon. We never had a garden that failed. How to save the beans we dried for that pot of beans and ham or a pork chop or bacon or salt pork and cornbread. How to churn butter, how to separate the cream from the milk, but had to leave some in for us to drink. She made our cottage cheese and oh could she fry chicken ! Week days like on Friday she baked bread. How silly of us. I’d give anything if I could smell the bread baking again. How to can fruits and vegetables even though you don’t have a pressure cooker. Put a tub full of water outdoors on some cement blocks, build a fire under it and boil it 10 minutes. Oh, those bushels of beans to be snapped, cutting corn off the cob, boiling beets and slipping the peels off then can them. When we butchered, rubbing that salt in the meat then packing them in a huge box dad brought home. We didn’t have electricity on the farm so dad nailed an orange crate box outside of a window in the winter that was our fridge. Raise the window and get what you need. If you didn’t have a clothesline, use fence. Mom taught us to make feather beds, make quilts, embroidery, so many things. How she would come pull the quilts up around our necks and tell us to lay real still and we would get warm. I still do that eighty-six years later. Dad wasn’t around much , he worked even through the depression. Then he repaired cars after work. He was home, but in the garage. They both taught us to love God, love our neighbors like the Bible says. Family is togetherness. If someone needs help then help them if they need a safe place to land open your door and arms wide open. During the depression if someone was evicted, they came to dad. We would take them in until dad found them a place to live. I suppose he paid the rent. The pastor of our church would tell dad when someone needed help . We would go home, mom would have dinner ready if she had to stay home. I can still see dad telling mom about this family needing help. Hurry up and eat, we have to go see Mr. and Mrs. Adams.

To see Mrs. Adams a rack of bones in bed with a baby whose stomach was so swollen like kids in Africa. Mom and dad went back to the farm and brought lots of food back and clothes we could spare for their poor little kids. Mom made broth. I imagine it was chicken broth. Mom made her own stock. She lifted Mrs. Adams up and gave her a little at a time. When I asked why she didn’t give her more she said she would throw up. How did she know that? Dad signed us up for band when we moved from the farm. They taught us morals and always be ready and willing to help people in need. We were taught to be clean in body and home. Every evening after dinner, the dining room and kitchen floor had to be mopped to be ready for the next day. Hold hands and pray. I really had a good life didn’t I ?
Love Estella”

BALD RIVER FALLS PHOTO, the online version of the Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper, has a photo of Bald River Falls, near Tellico Plains, posted today in the "Commmunity Photos" section. It is a beautiful photo. Check it out !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Levi Chadwick Morrison was born October 27, 2009 at 4:21 a.m., weighing in at 6 lbs. 1 ounce and 19.5 inches long. He is the son of Melissa Self Morrison and Chad Morrison. Melissa is the daughter of Donnie and Brenda Self and the granddaughter of J.L. and Edna Self. Congratulations to Melissa and Chad !

Friday, October 16, 2009


ROY LEE SELF, age 75, of Madisonville, TN, passed away Friday morning, October 16, 2009 at Blount Memorial Hospital after a long illness. He was born January 9, 1934 in Vonore. Son of the late Rev. George W. and Vandora Self. Preceded in death by several sisters and brothers, other relatives and friends. Survivors: wife, Marie Self; sons and daughters-in-law, Rev. Richard and Hilda Self, Tellico Plains, Andy and Ashley Self, Madisonville; daughters and sons-in-law, Penny Tinsley, Tellico Plains, Cathy and Robert McLemore, Madisonville; grandchildren, George and Lacey Self and their son, Caleb, Tom Self, all of Tellico Plains, Katrina Tinsley, Madisonville, Jacob and Justin Tinsley, Tellico Plains, Leelan and Clayton Self, Curtis Land, Robbie McLemore, Rev. Michael McLemore, all of Madisonville; brother and sister-in-law, J.R. and Mendy Self, Vonore; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Lester and Charlotte Miller, Dove Walker, Elve Ervin, all of Tellico Plains, Betty Miller,Vonore; several nieces and nephews and lots of friends and relatives; close cousin, Elwood Roberts, Madisonville. Funeral 8 P.M. Saturday, Biereley-Hale Chapel, Rev. Andrew Moser officiating. Interment 2 P.M. Sunday, Citico Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Saturday at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home, Madisonville, TN.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Clarence "Marty" Ruel Martin, of Ames, Iowa, passed away peacefully Sunday, Oct. 4 at his home. Clarence was born March 13, 1936 in Tellico Plains. He was the third son of Elbert and Ina Kirkland Martin. He left Tennessee at the age of 15, and shortly thereafter he entered the U.S. Army (1954-1956). After leaving the Army, Clarence became a welder. He traveled the United States on various jobs from 1956 until he eventually made his way to Ames in 1959 with his older brother, Fred, to help build the water tower at the National Animal Disease Lab. In 1959, he started Martin Machine Welding Works in Ames. This business began his life long journey as a successful entrepreneur and businessman. In 1959, he started Industrial Plating, a successful chrome-plating business. Later, he began another business, Custom Steel Service, a metal fabrication company. He was still operating both companies at the time of his death. He married Sharron Vogtlin of Gilbert on Sept. 2, 1962. In his own unique way, Clarence was an artist. He pursued somewhat eccentric projects, such as making a 41 foot replica of a pitchfork and converting a railroad caboose, which he named the Freedom Train, into his personal office. At the time of his death, he was making a 6 foot gold-plated ear of corn. He was a traveler and adventurer. Throughout his life, he hiked large segments of the Appalachian Trail often alone. He was a pilot, hunter, fisherman and collector of BMW motorcycles. Most of all, he loved the mountains, streams and people of East Tennessee and in his heart never left there. He loved the annual spring "Martin Ramp Tramp" and spending time with his brothers, sisters and other family members in the mountains around Tellico Plains. Preceded in death by: parents and brother, Fred. He was 73. Survivors include: his wife-Sharron; Daughters and son-in-law Jennifer and Don Adler of Ankeny; Holly Bevan of Ankeny; and Paula Martin of Urbandale; Son and daughter-in-law-Marcus and Paula Martin of Boulder, Colo.; and, Grandchildren-Jacob and Julia Adler; Jackson, Henry and Charles Martin; and Andrew Bevan; Sisters-Lavern Hensley and Zandra Martin; Brothers and sisters-in-law-Carl and Sherry; Johnny, Larry and Mary and J.W. and Linda Martin. Services will be 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ames. Visitation will be from 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the church. Burial will be at Ames Municipal Cemetery with military rites by American Legion Post #37. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Beloit Children's Home or the Boys & Girls Club. Adams Funeral Home, Ames, in charge of arrangements.

Friday, October 02, 2009

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