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, March 29, 2010


Giles-Roberts Cemetery, Rafter, Tennessee
Saturday, March, 13, 2010
11:00 A.M.

Self relatives buried at the Giles-Roberts Cemetery, Tellico Plains, TN:

John J. Self, born circa 1825, died March 5, 1910. He was about 85 when he died at home at Rafter, TN.

Lydia Avaline Waters Self, born circa 1836, died May 12, 1915; wife of John J. Self. Lydia's father may also be buried in this cemetery. Lydia was about 79 when she died. Her death record states she was “about 90” and that she is buried at Macedonia Cemetery. It is believed this was an error on the record. John and Lydia had 11 children; 5 girls and 6 boys. 2 of their sons were preachers; Cicero (C.C.) and John Simpson Self. All but one of their children are buried in Monroe County, TN. One daughter, Sarah Louisa Hartness, is buried in Zion, IL. She married William Harvey Hartness.
Other relatives buried here include: (shown by order of death)

Joseph M. Self, died 12-20-1886; no date of birth is shown on stone. ‘Gone But Not Forgotten”. It is not known for certain how he is related to our family. I have a theory, but it is not yet proven. He may be a brother to our John J. Self. His name may have been Joseph MARION Self. The late Lila Hunt said Marion Self was a brother to John J. Self and he was the father of Sylvania Self Veal. She also said she thought he was buried in Monroe County, possibly at the Giles Cemetery. Edith Young told me Henry Veal, son of Sylvania Self Veal, always referred to her father as “Cousin Mark” Self. Some researchers believe Sylvania’s father was named Job Marion Self.

Lawson L. Self, born September 14, 1886, died March 16, 1910. He was 23 when he died from fever; son of Martha Lavada (Vade) Self Tucker. Lawson had a twin brother, William Floyd Self, who is buried at Cane Creek Cemetery, near Tellico Plains. Lawson died 11 days after his grandfather, John J. Self, died.

Tommy L. Self, born Nov. 1909, died March 23, 1911; son of Marcus and Mattie Self; Tommy is believed to be buried here. His grave may be the one that has a broken marker. Several years ago, this marker appeared to have some initials and “Self” engraved on it. It is now in too poor condition to read. Lamarcus (Marcus) Self was a son to John and Lydia Self.

Inez Self, born May 13, 1910, died Nov. 15, 1911; daughter of Marcus and Mattie Self; Inez is believed to be buried here, possibly near her brother, Tommy L. Self.

Jobe S. Self (Jr.), born 2-10-1894, died 3-3-1912 at age 17 years from pneumonia; son of Jobe S. Self and Anna Margaret Self.

Ora Tucker, born July 14, 1904, died Nov. 9, 1912; she was 8 years old. She was a daughter of Martha Lavada Self Tucker and Rev. Elisha Tucker. She died from asthma. She was a granddaughter to John and Lydia Self.

J.L. Miller, born 2-27-1895, died 8-11-1916; age 21; buried to the right of Wm. Thomas Miller, his father. His name was Joseph L. Miller. He is a grandson to John J. and Lydia Self. (Masonic emblem or other emblem is engraved on the stone).

Travis Elmer Self, born March 11, 1917, (stone reads 1918) died May 12th or 17, 1922. He was 5 years old; son of William Floyd and Mary Mae Bryson Self. William Floyd Self was a son to Martha Lavada Self Tucker, who was a daughter to John and Lydia Self.

Martha Lavada (Vade) Self Tucker, born Feb. 20, 1861, died Nov. 18, 1922; she was 61. She was a daughter to John and Lydia Self; wife of Rev. Elisha Tucker. “She has gone to her home in heaven and all her afflictions are o’er” is engraved on her stone.

Rheulla Tucker, born May 6, 1923, died July 7, 1924. She was 14 months old; daughter of James Willis Tucker and Lou Shaw Tucker. Willis was a son of Martha Lavada Self Tucker. Several Shaw family members are buried near Rheulla’s grave. They are probably relatives of Louie (Lou) Shaw Tucker.

Emma Pauline Byers, born 1927, died 1928, is possibly a daughter to Dovie Self Byers.

Oscar Tucker, born 7-9-1891, died 5-30-1930, at age 38; son of Martha Lavada (Vade) Self Tucker and E.G. Tucker. Oscar’s son-in-law, Lester W. Freeman, born 3-27-1911, died 2-14-1977, at age 65, is buried in Giles Cem. too. He married Alma “Morer” Tucker, born 4-24-1919. (It is unclear if she is still living. No death date is on the stone and she would be 90 years old if she is living.)

Angress Kimbrell, died Dec. 13, 1932. Funeral home records show he died in Dec. 13, 1931. His birth date is not known. He was the husband of Nettie Self, who was a daughter of Jobe Smith Self and Anna Margaret Stephens Self. Nettie later married John Yates and is buried by him at Lakeside Cemetery, Vonore, TN.

J .R. Sherman Self, born March 19, 1865, died July 26, 1934. He was 69; son of John and Lydia Self. It is believed that he may be buried at the foot of his father’s grave.

Dovie Self Byers, born June 6, 1901, died February 17, 1944. She was 42. She was a
daughter of Jobe Smith Self and Anna Margaret Stephens Self; wife of Jack Gaston Byers. According to Dillard Self, Dovie Byers taught his father, William Floyd Self, how to play the banjo.

George W. Miller, born 8-7-1895, died 6-29-1944, age 48; son of Nancy Self Miller and William Thomas Miller. He is buried on the front side of the cemetery, away from the rest of the family.
Census records show he was born in 1897.

Rev. Elisha G. Tucker, born Sept. 28, 1870, ( per census records) died March 30, 1946; husband of Martha Lavada (Vade) Self, who was a daughter of John and Lydia Self. His stone indicates he was born in 1868. He was approximately 75 when he died.

Nancy Ann Self Miller, born May 6, 1863, died May 25, 1952. She was 89. She was a daughter of John and Lydia Self; wife of William Thomas Miller. He is buried to her left.

Vernon Oscar Byers, born October 12, 1925, died May 9, 1956. He was 30 years old. He was the son of Dovie Self Byers and Jack Gaston Byers. Jack is buried at Beaty’s Chapel Cemetery, Tellico Plains, TN.

John B. Miller, born 5-13-1892, died 12-31-1977, age 85; son of Nancy Self Miller and William Thomas Miller. (He appears to be the last Self relative to be buried in this cemetery.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sylvania Self Veal, and her husband, D.M. Veal, Jr. are buried at the Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery, about 1/2 a mile from Giles Cemetery, (turn left at the fire hall). Sylvania was related to John J. Self. She may have been his niece. Sylvania was the mother of Henry Burns Veal, a well known Madisonville businessman and a former state representative for Tennessee, 66th General Assembly. His wife was Cora Tallent Veal.

D.M. Veal, Sr. born 9-11-1835, died 3-12-1922, at age 86 years and his wife, Lucinda (Lucie) Veal, born 6-4-1838, died 2-12-1911, at age 72 are buried in Giles- Roberts Cemetery. They are the parents of D.M. Veal, Jr., husband of Sylvania Self Veal. D.M. Veal, Sr. had a general store at Rafter for many years.

Nancy Veal, born 2-9-188___, died 7-12-____, age not determined, is buried about 20 feet up the hill from D.M. and Lucie Veal. The stone is in poor condition, but you can make out “bornd” and “DC” for deceased. Her relationship to D.M. Veal is not clear.

Several other Self relatives are buried at Hardshell House of Prayer Cemetery, located on the Rafter Road. Some of the Self family lived over the ridge from Rafter, at Turkey Creek, during the early 1900's. Many of them attended church at Miller's Chapel Baptist Church. Mark Self and his family were attending church there in 1919. Cicero Self once lived at Turkey Creek. It is located east of the Giles-Roberts Cemetery. You travel across Shaw Mountain Road from Rafter to get there. The first land Cicero Self owned in Monroe County, TN was located at Turkey Creek. He may have been pastor Mt. Isabella Baptist Church, located along the Rafter Road. It was a branch off the Miller’s Chapel Baptist Church.(We passed Mt. Isabella on the right on our way here today.) Some of the Plaster family is buried at Mt. Isabella. The Plaster family were relatives of Lillie Plaster Self, wife of J.R. Sherman Self.

Our Self family has a lot of history in the Giles-Roberts Cemetery and the entire community at Rafter, Tennessee. We have at least 25 relatives buried in this one cemetery. There are probably more.

Note: Giles- Robert Cemetery is a very old cemetery. The earliest date of death found engraved on a monument is September 4, 1864, for G.J. Roberts, born 6-29-1837 (age 27 years). There are probably older graves than this located in the cemetery. This was 147 years ago, so the cemetery was likely started around 150 years ago if not longer.