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, October 15, 2010


I have known Verlin Byers for several years. I first became acquainted with him while researching the family tree. Several months ago, Verlin, or Junior, as he likes to be called, asked me to take him sometime to visit his mother’s grave. I told him I would be glad to take him when the weather got cooler. I know the cemetery well where his mother, Dovie Self Byers, is buried. We made the trip on Thursday, October 14, 2010. On this date, Junior and I drove up to the Giles Cemetery at Rafter. Along the route, we discussed Junior’s childhood and his family. He is 84 years old. We discussed that he is twice my age. Junior was 18 when his mother passed away at their home at Coker Creek, Tennessee.She was 42 years old (the age I am now) when she died. It has been 18 years since he last visited her grave. It was my honor to be with him on this visit. While we were there, Junior told me he wants to be buried beside his mother. To help insure that his request is honored, I put up a field stone beside the tombstone of Dovie to mark the spot. Dovie Self Byers, was the daughter of Jobe Smith Self and Anna Margaret Stephens Self. I shot a video of Junior to document his visit to the cemetery. (I will try to post it later. I tried, but it would not load, so I will have to contact support about the error.) Please note that I mis-spoke his name at the beginning of the video. I referred to him as Verlin Byers, Jr. I think his given name actually is Verlin Jack Byers. His father was Jack Gaston Byers, so this may be the reason he goes by Junior. Until the video can be added, I have placed two photos with this post. One photo is of Dovie Self Byers and the other is of Verlin Byers and I standing beside the grave of Dovie. The photo of Dovie Self Byers is courtesy of Verlin Byers.