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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


The 25th annual Self Family Reunion was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at Pearson Springs Rotary Pavilion in Maryville, TN. Approximately 80 were in attendance. We enjoyed a delicious meal and some wonderful fellowship. I will be adding pictures from the reunion over the next few days.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010



Ersie Self Cooper celebrated her 90th birthday at a surprise party hosted by her family at the Vonore (TN) Community Center on September 18. She was very surprised when she realized what was going on. Numerous family members, friends and neighbors turned out to help her celebrate. There was a huge crowd in attendance. She is shown above with a great-great niece, Lydia Self. A huge birthday cake was also enjoyed by all in attendance along with an abundance of other delicious food. The family put together a collage of pictures for everyone to reminisce over too. The next post has a link of a video that was shot by her grandson, Kevin Fowler, as she entered the community center for the party.

Monday, September 27, 2010


"Decatur Police, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are investigating the murder of a 51 year old man after his body was found outside his home, just after 8 AM Thursday. Decatur Police Chief Monty Rowland said the man, identified as Roger Self, 51 of Five Point Road, Decatur, was found dead of at least one gunshot wound. Rowland said the wound does not appear to be self-inflicted. Rowland said no suspects have been identified and no motive has been released concerning the homicide, but Chief Rowland said more details would be released as the case moves forward."

This story was printed in the DAILY NEWS EXPRESS, Saturday, September 25, 2010, Vol. 8, Issue 224.

The obituary of Roger Self appears below in a separate posting.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Roger Dale Self
June 8, 1959 - September 23, 2010

Roger Dale Self, age 51, of Decatur, TN, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 23, 2010. He was a member of the Cottonport Baptist Church. He was an avid hunter. He was a U. S. Army Veteran.He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Sallie (Watts) Self. He is survived by his wife, Michelle (Lehnherr) Self, of Decatur, TN; one son, Gabriel Self of California; one daughter, Amanda Bricker of Athens, TN; three brothers and two sister-in-laws, David Ray and Debi Self of Cincinnati, OH, Robert and Nancy Self, Randy Self, all of Decatur, TN; one sister, Connie (Self) Floyd of Soddy Daisy, TN; and a very special friend and hunting buddy, Wesley West of Riceville, TN. Funeral service will be held at 8:00 p.m., Monday, September 27, 2010, in the Bowers Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Larry Johnson officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m., Monday, September 27, 2010 at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to: The After School Bible Program, 4731 River Road, Decatur, TN 37322.

Friday, September 10, 2010


The following tribute was written by Kevin L. Fowler, a grandson to Ersie Cooper.

Ersie Cordelia Cooper was born on September 18, 1920 to parents William Emory and Mary Eveline Self. She has been an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church her entire life and it was there that she met a young man named Willard "Lee" Cooper. Willard was always childhood friends with Ersie's two brothers, and it was on one occasion that an approximately 12-year-old Lee was having breakfast with the Self family that he patted an approximately 9-year-old Ersie on the head and announced that he would one day marry her. After their teenager years and after Lee's four years in the Pacific theater of World War II this would soon become a reality.

While Lee was in the service, Ersie regularly wrote to him. When he came back to the states he had every intention of marrying Ersie. Lee asked Ersie's father for her hand in marriage and he replied, "Well, she is old enough to know who she wants, you're just taking my biscuit maker away from me!" To avoid time-consuming local government paperwork and fees, Lee and Ersie did what so many East Tennessee couples did at that time and got married in the state of Georgia. Their journey together began on December 21, 1946.

Ersie recounts her wedding day.

Even though the two married relatively late in life (Lee was 29 years old, Ersie was 26), Ersie and Lee had nine children, with eight surviving infancy--Shirley, Peggy, Lovonda, Ronnie, infant son Randy Lee, Darlene, Randall, Reese, and Donnie. All children currently reside in Monroe County, except for Darlene Cooper Russell who is an elected official in neighboring Loudon County.

Ersie and family were forever changed on Monday, October 25, 1982 when Lee went home to be with the Lord. He was 65 years old. Keeping him in her memory, Ersie has gone on to enjoy a total of twenty-one grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren. The Lord has continued to bless Ersie with satisfactory health, with the exception of some eye and back difficulties here in recent years. Despite these setbacks she has a sharp mind, quick wit, and a friend to everyone she meets. She is always up for a trip to Wal-Mart and even recently volunteered to board her first airplane for an adventure to Nebraska to visit some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren for Thanksgiving.

We thank God for the nine decades that he has sovereignly granted Ersie to be in our lives and we count each day as a precious gift.

Each year during the Christmas season, the Coopers enjoy a family reunion at the Vonore Community Center where Ersie is surrounded by all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and more gifts than she can open in a single evening. In addition to this event, this year Ersie's friends and family will also be meeting at the Vonore Community Center for a special event on September 18, 2010 at 4-6PM to celebrate her 90th birthday. All are encouraged to attend for food and fellowship. Ersie would love to see you all!

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Lacie Michelle Self and Brandon Leon Duncan, both of Vonore, TN were joined in holy matrimony on July 28 in a private ceremony. Parents of the couple are Carl and Pamela Self and Leon and Marcia Duncan, all of Vonore. The bride is employed with Peoples Bank of East Tennessee and the groom is employed with Carlex. The couple make their new home in Vonore. Congratulations !!!


The Rev. Fred C. Self, of Maryville, TN turned 85 years old on September 4. He was born in 1925. Rev. Self celebrated his birthday with family and friends. "Congratulations cousin Fred. We love you."