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This page was written by our cousins. The articles appearing here provide glimpses into our lives, memories, and interests, brief biographies of our ancestors, and our experiences in Self Family research. All cousins are encouraged to contribute to this collection by sending material to Webmaster.

"Death of Geo. P. Self."

Morgan County Illinois Illinois Daily Courier, July 8, 1886:
contributed by Cousin Kay to the USGenWeb Archives on RootsWeb


by Bill Garrard
as it appeared in the Sunday, January 1, 1922 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Reprinted with permission from The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution

and contributed by Cousin Rochelle,
close relative of the author

The beautiful life lived by Aunt Donie Fowler and her passing to the great beyond on January 9th is the occasion to these reminiscences of the family of the late Daniel Self. Aunt Donie, the third daughter of Daniel and Sarah Self, of old Virginia stock, was rounding out her seventy-third milestone. Her father was born in Prince Edwards county Virginia in 1804, and his wife was Sarah Garrett, of the same county. They left their Virginia home in 1836 and came through in a wagon, taking them seven weeks to make the journey. My mother and Uncle John Robert were born in the state of Virginia. Grandpa's old friends, Charles and Jack Harris had preceded him and their glowing account of old Meriwether caused grandpa to come to Georgia. They landed and pitched their tents near Campbell's upper mill, about six miles south of Greenville and stayed there six weeks. From there grandpa moved on the plantation of his old friend, Charles Harris. They thought as much of each other as twin brothers and at this place my grandfather lived thirty-five or fourty years, raising a family of ten strong healthy children. The boys were, John Robert, Joseph, William, Mirabeau, Felix, and Eugene Howard, commonly known as Bubber. The daughters were, Emma, my mother, who married Alfred Garrard, son of old Aunt Patsy, Aunt Mollie, who married F. M. Waddell, son of Preacher Joseph Waddell, Aunt Donie, who married G. W. Fowler, son of the late John B. Fowler, of good old South Carolina stock and the baby girl, Aunt Lelia, who married Mr. Milton Phillips of Greene county. Uncle John Robert joined John Robertson's show at Eufala, Ala. and was taken sick and died there. I was told by my old friend, John T. Harris, that Uncle Joseph was the best educated of any of the Selfs and that he was a brilliant young man and would have ranked high in the literary world. He died in the early fifties. My father, Alfred Garrard, Uncle William and Mirabeau volunteered in the Confederate army. While in the Western army my father was stricken with the measles and died. Uncle William and Mirabeau both fell mortally wounded in the battle of Perryville. Uncle Felix Columbus Self was a young confederate soldier doing guard duty at Andersonville, Georgia. He is the only living son and he and his good christian wife now reside with their eldest son, William Mirabeau Self, a splendid christian gentleman, who is good and active to his father and mother. "Bubber," the broad shouldered, good hearted man died some six years ago. Now after my father's death, my mother only lived a short time and while on her death bed gave me to grandpa, my brother Jim to Uncle Felix and my little infant sister to Aunt Mollie. My brother grew to be a strong hard working young man and married Miss Sallie Brown, daughter of the late James L. Brown. They moved west and raised a large family and they are both dead. My sister, Sallie, married Thomas Roland Fowler and lived at Winter Garden, Fla., and no brother ever had a more devoted sister. During the Civil war my grandpa was the most hearty man in the county, he was the master mill builder of the Cove, the loom builder, wheel and reel maker and anything else in that line. He could make anything out of wood or iron. I have seen axes that he forged on his anvil in Virginia. No man ever had better neighbors than grandpa and grandma. My old friend, Virgil Harris asked me once if I knew the nicest housekeeper in Meriwether and when I told him I didn't, he said "Your grandma Self." I think grandma washed the water she cooked with and dusted everything in her house once a day the year round, and if a fly came in and did not have clean feet he had to get out, or grandma would break his neck.

My dear old Aunt Donie, I have known her sixty-seven years. I was in school with her and all of her class mates loved her. I never heard grandma reprove her. She never failed to come to my bed and tuck the cover around my little body to keep me warm. I never heard her grumble or complain at any task. She had a smile for everyone. She was a christian who radiated the soul. Many a time have I visited her hospitable home where she and Uncle Jack always gave me a hearty welcome. She would still tuck the cover around me when I went to bed and after the meal would have to sit down and smoke the good old pipe of peace. You know the good and true Indians, if one proved to be his friend would have you to smoke the pipe of peace. Aunt Donie and Uncle Jack raised four as noble children as ever was in the country. Cousin Ada, the widos of Dan Hosey, lives near Manchester, Cousin Lucy married Mr. Jones Gill, son of the late big Tom Gill we called him, and he is a prosperous, christian gentleman of Meansville, Georgia. She used to be a seamstress and an excellent artist, often doing work for the late Sam P. Jones, the evangelist. The youngest daughter, cousin Ida, marries Mr. Albert Self, a splendid farmer and honest man living near Meansville. I witnessed her death and it was like the little lamb luring his mother to the sunny side and the barn, a splendid young man. I have often spoke of my good old christian Aunt to my old friends and when I die and am fortunate enough to get to heaven and do not find Aunt Donie there, I will at once decide there is a better place. Good by dear Aunt Donie, but never to be forgotten. Your devoted nephew, Bill Garrard.

Reprinted with permission from The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. Further reproduction, retransmission or distribution of these materials without the prior written consent of The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, and any copyright holder identified in the material's copyright notice, is prohibited.


contributed by Cousin Jim

My maternal great-grandmother was Eva Dewar. Eva was born in Salem, MO about 1870. In the early 1890's she went to St. Louis for work. She may have stayed with extended family members. While there she became pregnant (out of wedlock) with my grandfather, Bert Ellsworth Dewar, who was born Sept. 14, 1894. Before Bert was six years old Eva came back to Crawford County, MO with Bert to live with her grandmother. Eva became a school teacher in the "Roanook School" (sic?) and rented two rooms from Mrs. Self. There is where she met Guy Self and was married to him abt. 1904.

According to my grandfather Bert Dewar, everything was fine for a few months and "then hell started." Bert was 10 years old and said he "never got a kind word from (Guy) after that." In a letter to my mother written when he was a few weeks short of his hundredth birthday Bert went on to relate numerous cruelties inflicted by Guy prior to Bert's running away. Bert began a series of times away from home working for farmers, working in sawmills and harvesting wheat in Kansas. But occasionally, being only 13-15 years old, he could not hold a steady job and had to come home to live. He said that Guy's mother (the aforementioned Mrs. Self) saw what was going on between Guy and Bert and told Bert to stay with her whenever he came back.

In the meantime Guy and Eva had two sons:

Walton Self b. July 12, 1905, lived most of his life in Keokuk, Iowa, d. June 10, 1996, Loveland, Colorado. Walton married Margaret (date of marriage and her surname unknown)

Lawrence Self b. October 16, 1908 d. July, 1964 St. Charles, MO

According to Bert, Guy Self was killed in December, 1930 when he and a neighbor were unloading wood from a wagon and the mules started, knocking him down, and pulled the wagon over his chest.

Interestinly enough, Bert and Walton were very close in their adult lives, visiting each other several times every year (Bert lived most of his adult life in and around St Louis)

Eva Dewar d. April, 1942 in St. Louis, MO and is buried in Laurel Hills Cemetery in St. Louis. Bert Dewar d. March 9, 1996 in Sullivan, MO and is buried in New Home Cemetery in Crawford County, MO.

to His Aunt Julia Dean (Self) Chafin

transcribed and contributed by Cousin Scott

[left had corner of envelope "after 5 days return to E. T. Self Red Bay Ala.]

September the 28, 1924 Red Bay Ala.

Dear Uncle and Aunt,

I answer your letter I got the other day was glad indeed to hear from you all this leaves all well as far as I know this morning hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing. I haven't got much to write Crops is very short here the wet weather made us late in the spring and the dry weather hurt us in the summer so our crops is short. Aunt July [Julia; they may have called her "Julie"] all of us children is still a living but Masuril and Moran Moran was the youngest of Papa's children and Moran got killed in France Edd is half brother to us Him and Moran volunteered and went to France and Moran got killed with a flax of shell. They stayed together all the time in the army. Edd did not see Moran after he was killed All the children lives close together but Emit. His P.O. is in Maud Okla. I will tell the rest of them your P.O. and they can write you aunt. I have got 4 boys and 3 girls a living 2 girls dead 2 of the girls is married all the boys is still at home the oldest boy is 24 year old and I have got 2 grandchildren 1 boy and 1 girl the girl is 7 and the boy is 5. I will be 49 the 8 of Dec. I still live in the house Papa built I don't think I ever will move away . I went to see Uncle Bil Stokes in June he lives in our old house he is helpless and his mind is no good. he is a pitiful sight I hadn't seen him in 7 year His Pa is in Brilliant Ala. I saw Clovis Self his Pa is in Brilliant Ala. John D. Self lives in 1/2 mile of me. He has been living here 3 years. Uncle Joseph [my great-grandfather, Joseph Newton Chafin] I saw the old man Umbess the other day he was asking me about you. He looks as young as he did when you left here. His P.O. is Bellmont Miss. George Sims still lives at the same place. Calvin Joseph Lowery still lives here all of these P.O. is Red Bay Ala. Aunt July I haven't seen Aunt Linda in 7 year I was in a mile of her this summer but did not know it I think her P.O. is Brilliant Ala. I am sending you 1 of your mother's pictures (I wish I knew where the picture is) I had 6 made this summer I have got one for Aunt Lindy I have sent Aunt Sary 1 I haven't got ner one of Papa and mama only some enlarged one some of the rest has got some of them I will have some made and send you 1 of them I haven't got full graph [photograph] of my family I aim to have some made and I will send you 1 of them Aunt July if you have some pictures of your family I would like to have one of them I am going to write all the children a letter some of these days

Answer soon as always
E. T. Self to Unkle an Ant Chafin
ByBy for this time


contributed by Jim Self
collected by Lee Self and Jim Self

Item: Robert Selfe witness to will of John Temple, Sept. 24, 1658. Northumberland Co., Va. Record Book 1658-66, p.15. Wife is sole executrix. ( Temple’s wife is named as Ann in Sept. 5 1660 Northumberland Co. document involving Francis Clay. In document, Clay’s wife is referred to as widow of John Temple.(Northumberland Co. Order book 2, p. 130)

Item: Robert Selfe is witness to deed in which Francis Clay is purchasing land from a Henry Mouseley, Feb. 10, 1662. Northumberland Co., Va. Record Book 1658-66, p.88, 89. The former Ann Temple is now married to Francis Clay (see above)

Item: Francis Clay deceased by July 30, 1667, per will in Westmoreland Co.(former land in Northumberland Co. now part of Westmoreland Co. plus additional patents). Wife, Ann, is named as sole executrix and sole beneficiary in fee simple.

Item: OB 16,p.143 Westmoreland Co. dated Aug. 22, 1670, re. Capt. John Rogers, indicates his wife is Ann, widow of Francis Clay and John Temple. (Ann has married John Rogers sometime between Francis Clay’s death in 1667 and this trans.of 1670.)

Item: On Aug. 24, 1685, Ann, and her husband Henry Ross (she has married him sometime between 1678 –Rogers still alive- and this 1685 transaction) give 100 acres of land in Westmoreland Co. to Francis Self by Deed of Gift. The land given is land that Ann inherited from Francis Clay.( the above Gift is referred to in deed of Mar. 25, 1727, in which Francis Self is now selling this property. Westmoreland Co., Va. Deed Book 8, p.)

Item: Ann’s husband, Henry Ross, involved with several members of the Self family in Westmoreland Co. documents. Oct. 4, 1692, is witness of will along with John Selfe. As justice of Westmoreland Co. he appoints Francis Self to appraise an estate on Sept. 27,1693.

Ramifications / Questions of SELF family / Ann Temple Clay Rogers Ross connection

What was the relationship between Ann and the Self family?

The connection definitely seems strong and blood related. The 100 acre gift to Francis Self is through Ann (land she got from Clay). This would indicate a kinship, especially in those times. The possibilities for woman to man kinship are son, brother, cousin, nephew. Considering that Ann was married and widowed by 1658 (Temple’s will) and this gift was 1685 rules out brother (age difference) and son is ruled out due to documents that discount a marriage by Ann prior to that to Temple. Cousin is just as unlikely due to age difference. We know that Francis was not likely born before 1660.(Note: there is a 1728 Northumberland Co. land case referring to land that Ann and HenryRoss gave away in 1682 (Clay’s land) that states that Ann died without heir or making disposal) The most obvious kinship is nephew. (i.e. , Ann is Francis Self’s aunt.)

If this is the answer, then Ann would likely be sister to Robert Self. This would explain Robert being a witness to Ann’s husband, John Temple, will in 1658; and Robert being a witness to Ann’s husband, Francis Clay, deed in 1662. It would also explain her fourth husband, Henry Ross, involvement with other sons of Robert Self.

Again, if the above is the case, and Ann and Robert Self are brother and sister, then one means of tracing parents for Robert would to trace Ann’s lineage.

Does anyone have comments or information about the above ?


by Virginia Easley Demarce

There is no reason to presume that Anne was a sister of Robert Self. She could have been--but children also have relatives on the maternal side, so she might equally well have been a relative of whichever of Robert Self's wives was the mother of Francis Self (recipient of the 100 acres in 1685).

However, that far from exhausts the possibilities. The 100 acres to Francis Self wasn't the only 100 acre gift. Anne was apparently childless in all her marriages, or at least died without surviving children or descendants (died without heir). She got the land from her second husband, Francis Clay. Her fourth husband, Henry Ross, was apparently quite prosperous. They could have decided to:

(1) Distribute it among various of Francis Clay's relatives. If so, that would open the possibility that Francis Self's mother was a relative of Francis Clay, not of Anne; (2) Distribute it to her godchildren. This is not an off-the-wall suggestion: acting as a baptismal sponsor was a serious obligation and it would not be at all surprising for a childless godmother to give land to godchildren; (3) Distribute it to people who were somehow relatives or connections of Henry Ross. They could have been children by a prior marriage. If so, was the prior Ross wife a relative of Robert Self, or of one of Robert Self's wives?

There are almost certain to be other possible explanations.

In other words, I don't think we know enough right now to presume what the connection was. We only know that there was one and we ought to focus on the early Northumberland Co. VA records not abstracted by Fleet, where there may be more clues.

My Thoughts on the Walter Self Family and Olde Robert Selfe
contributed by Cousin Dorothy

I have read the article in the January 1999 issue of the "Self Seekers" Newsletter, "Linking the Old World With the New." In answer to Walter, I have found him marrying twice, I think--first Annes Wattes, 20th Oct 1581 and second, Annes Barber, 24th Sept. 1587, both married at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, Batch Number for M0 22431. I found all children except Lucy--found Robert born 1605, marrying Sisley Gold also at St. Giles, London. I have found John Selfe married [who ???]. They had son Robert, born 25 Mar 1583 in Melksham, then marrying Mary Ansty, 29 Nov 1608 at Bromham, Wiltshire. They had a son Robert born about 1620/2 in England, died 1698 WV USA. Do you think this Robert born 1620/2 emigrated before Olde Robert? Was he his father? I think this is the idea someone has submitted--they said he married Mary ??? Who was he if he existed? I have Olde Robert Selfe born about 1540. I have read such a lot of different dates for the birth of Olde Robert. I still say Olde Robert only married Jane and had 6 sons, born in the USA. I would be interested in discussing these findings with anyone who would like to correspond with me. I live in the UK.

My Thoughts on the Bridge Burning
By Tracy Self

I'm sure all of you Self "cousins" have heard about the infamous "Bridge Burner" of Lick Creek, Greene County, TN. If you haven't, it is available for your perusal at a number of web sites on the net. I won't bore you with it, but I would like to contribute my thoughts on it from the aspect of being the Great, Great, Great Grandson of the Bridgeburner himself, Harrison Self.

When I first read the account I was very excited about it, because it was news to me. If there is anything that is consistent about my branch of the Self Family it is it's great reluctance to speak of family. I knew the grandson of Harrison, my Great Grandfather Thomas Franklin Self. A finer man never lived than Dr. (Known as Doc, of course) Thomas Franklin Self. I learned many things at his knee, but do you think he would have told me about his Grandfather ? Never. Not so much as a peep.

That is the Self Family consistency of which I speak. Total silence about a family topic that could have inspired me to heroic feats as a child. I had to read about it from someone else's account.

As I began to become more involved in the research of the Self Family I became aware of some glaring inconsistencies about the Harrison Self family:

1. What was the Harrison Self Family doing living in Tennessee (A confederate state), and supporting the Union ? my children's response of, DUUUH ! comes to mind. I have researched the rolls of those with the surname Self who fought for the Confederacy, as opposed to those fighting for the Union and the majority of the Self Family was decidedly pro-Confederacy.

2. Who was this sweet talkin' fool that talked my ancester into burning that bridge any how ? Does, "We're from the gov'ment and we're here to he'p y'all," ring a bell ?

3. If my calculations hold true, Harrison's farm was within a stone's throw away from the Lick Creek Railroad Bridge. A. Did he think that no one would find out? B. Did he think no one would suspect him? C. Was his avocation of the consumption of locally manufactured beverage derived from the corn he grew ? D. Did they use healthy draughts of said beverage to start the timbers of that bridge on fire as they fueled their resolve with said beverage ? Answer ? I'll probably never know ! Because "Granddaddy" never talked about family.

4. The story about Harrison's daughter Elizabeth coming to his rescue is very touching and poignant. She was the true heroine of this escapade, and how I would have enjoyed knowing her. Now, I am no stranger to defending lost causes. (Aren't those the only kind?), but another consistency that I have deduced about Self Family members is the devotion of the fairer and gentler sex to their menfolk. I might also add that they seem to be gifted by a kind Providence with greater cranial strength (read brains) not possessed by their menfolk.

By now many of you are probably seething at the thought that I would dare to besmirch the name of my vaunted and venerable ancestor. But let me further explain !

My Great Great Grandfather Hugh Self b. 9 April 1845 was with his father and his brother Robert at the time of the Bridgeburning. When the Confederate authorities "deduced" that the Harrison Self Family was involved in the Bridgeburning, he being the tender and impressionable age of 16, was sent home because it was felt that he had no choice but to follow the lead of his errant father as an accomplice in burning the Lick Creek Bridge. He subsequently enlisted in the Union Army. (Battery "E" 1st Tennessee Light Artillery ), at "Bullsgap" Tennessee. At Camp Nelson Kentucky he contracted measles, was hospitalized and when his unit left he stayed behind in the infirmary. Eventually when well enough he traveled to Tennessee in January 1864 and rejoined his unit.

In the fall of 1864 he was taken prisoner at the "Battle of Bullsgap". He was listed as "missing in action" November 13, 1964 at Morristown, Tennessee. He was taken to Danville prison near Richmond, Virginia where he was kept for four months. He was paroled at James River, Virginia on February 22, 1865.

In his later pension application Hugh said he "was not clothed and took a disease of the spine and have got worse from that time until the present." A friend described him as a "Living skeleton" permitted by the prison authorities to go home.

Hugh was sent from Maryland to Camp Chase, Ohio on February 26, 1865. He arrived there on March 4, 1865, was immediately given thirty days furlough and he left for home. His entire company was discharged in Nashville on August 1, 1865.

Hugh went on to marry Happy Marie Ealy on August 25, 1875, and fathered two daughters Lillie b. April 13, 1876, and Esther Janie b. January, 1879, and my Great Grandfather Thomas Franklin Self b. September 21, 1881 in Missouri. Hugh died in McDonald County, MO. on October 20, 1910 at the age of 65.

I wonder if Harrison Self would have supported the Union cause if he had known the escapades of the Federal Government in this century, and especially now. The Self Family is notorious for it's patriotism. My Grandfather would have served in the military if he had been physically able. My Father Dolty Roy Self served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, and I served in the United States Marine Corps during Viet Nam.

Lest you think me ungrateful for my heritage and my ancestors, let me further explain. I admire Hugh, Robert and Harrison greatly. Think of the animosity they had to endure, even after the war, living amongst friends and perhaps family who opposed the Union.

I know that Harrison was sent to a Confederate Prison for the rest of the Civil War along with his older son Robert. I do not know what horrors they endured there, I can only surmise. I know that Hugh suffered the rest of his life due to the illnesses he contracted during this awful war of brother against brother.

In do not know what happened to Harrison and Robert after the war, although Harrison is listed in several census reports as living in Greene County, Tennessee. There is a ten year gap in my knowledge of Hugh's life previous to his marriage, but I do know that he left Tennessee with his family, and settled in McDonald County, MO. where other branches of the Self family lived and he could take advantage of the "health giving springs located in Southwest, Missouri".

This diatribe does have a purpose, forgive me for jesting and making light of my family--it is my natural proclivity. The purpose is to encourage you researchers of the Self Family, acquaint your children with their family. In this fast paced age of computers, and messages, sent with the speed of light, don't forget to talk about family to your children. Our family is the greatest possession we have been given by a loving Creator.

Lets not make the mistakes that have been made by our ancestors, write your life stories and preserve them, so that our progeny will not have to research us the way that we are having to research the family of Robert Self.

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