As with many of the "Historical Biographies" of locations and family names that arose after the American Centennial, Southern Notables was published by a vanity publisher.
Zella Armstrong never married.She was distantly related to me through the Isbells and, she believed, the Weirs.When she died in the 1960s, she left a number of family heirlooms, her historic home in Chattanooga, and her business, the Lookout Publishing Company and print shop, to her friends, the Kinchen Williams Exum family.She had intended for her home to become a museum, but unfortunately arsonists destroyed it.The business next door had been wanting to expand its parking lot.
Copies of her books and her magazine, The Lookout, are at the Chattanooga Library, and perhaps they have any of her files that were not destroyed, though I don't believe they do.
She published The Lookout from the 1910s through the 1960s.Her "Notable Southern Families" volumes were taken from genealogical articles appearing in issues of the Lookout through the years and it is interesting to compare the earlier versions published sometimes decades before the hardbound versions were published.
Besides Notable Southern Families, some of her other books include The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee (2 vols),
Twenty-Four Hundred Tennessee Pensioners: Revolution and War of 1812
Some Tennessee Heroes of the Revolution
Who Discovered America; the Amazing Story of Madoc (1950),
and a play, "Tennessee's Dream of Fair Women" (1931).In 1934, Miss Zella founded Chattanooga's annual "Cotton Ball," a major social event.
I find all of these books as great places for hints, but I find most of their research circumspect. Too many are based on remembrances, hear say and old family records. While sometimes local documents are utilized by the authors, without citation to the records, who is to tell where the source came from for their facts.
I tend to think of them as the Geni.com of days gone by. While some are put together with true genealogy in mind, many are just created by some prominent local to boost their community merit or own family agendas Sometime a golden nugget of data is found that can be corroborated by other better records, as with Joelle and Pam. But i would never use them as a single source as I have seen way too may times on WikiTree. JMHO