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, January 29, 2010


This old house was built around 1828 to 1832. It is the home of Tommy and (Cousin) Mildred Miller Thomas, of Madisonville, TN. The house is located approximately 1 mile out of Madisonville on Hwy. 68 North. Tommy Thomas was born in this house August 19, 1922 and still sleeps in the same bedroom where he was born. His parents died in the home. A Mr. Humphrey had the home built and lived there until his death. Around 1886, Tommy's grandfather bought the house from Mr. Humphrey's daughter. The house and farm have been in the Thomas family ever since that time. It is likely the oldest home in Monroe County.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


January 27, 2010 marks the 44th anniversary of the death of Carey Edwin Best, who was killed in action in Vietnam.

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.

The photo above was published in the newspaper in Monroe County, TN, along with an official death announcement a few days following the soldier’s death. The photo appears here courtesy of Wesley Dillard Self.

Carey Edwin Best was the great-great-grandson of John J. Self. He was a second cousin once removed to James Edward Self, who was also killed in Vietnam on August 22, 1968. Their names are engraved on the Vietnam War Memorial at the Monroe County Courthouse in Madisonville, TN and the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Rob and Christy Self Lucas announce the birth of their son, Jack Harrison Lucas. He was born Monday, January 25, 2010 at 1:21 p.m. He weighs 8 pounds, 3 ounces and is 21 inches long. Congratulations to Rob, Christy, Megan and James!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I received a telephone call from Cousin Judy Payne yesterday evening. She has reserved the pavilion at Pearson Springs Park in Maryville, TN for the 2010 Self Family Reunion. The date is Saturday, September 25, 2010. We will have the pavilion reserved from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Restrooms are available at the park. It is located on Montvale Station Road in Maryville and is very close to Sandy Springs Park. More information and complete directions to the park will be added to this site as the date draws near. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for the reunion. Many of you will remember we had to change locations because the fellowship hall at Friendship Baptist Church, where we have met for the past two years, was not going to be available to us this year. Fortunately, Judy already had a new location in mind. Hope to see all of you there!