Rev 8: 4/14/2005


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Carlile / Carlisle:
One American Family

First Generation
James / Ann Irvine

Second Generation
James / Margaret Boles

Third Generation
Francis / Mary E. "Betsy"Grant

Fourth Generation
S. J.Y. / Elizabeth Leak

Fifth Generation
William M. / Emma Thompson

Sixth Generation
Lucile / Clifford C. Sarrett


William Madison Carlisle
1867 - 1946
Contributed by
Bobbie McCrary Taylor

Emmaline Thompson Carlisle
1874 - 1932
Contributed by
Bobbie McCrary Taylor

Best Chapel

In 1905 William M. Carlisle built Best Chapel where the family attended services. This is how it looked in the fall of 1998. To find Best Chapel from U.S. 41 north in Bartow County, GA., turn right at Ceder Creek Rd. (just north of Cassville Rd.) and follow the signs.

Sisters Marry Brothers

Will and Emma's daughters, Ruth and Ada, married brothers Fletcher B. and Charles McCrary.
• Fletcher B. & Charles - sons of Thomas B. McCrary
• Thomas B. - son of Andrew J. McCrary, born in 1824; living in Forsyth County GA in 1860.
• Andrew J. - son of James & Lucinda McCrary
• James McCrary was born in 1797 in SC. His wife, Lucinda, was born in 1805 in SC. All of their children were born in GA.

Fifth Generation

William Madison Carlisle, the seventh child and first son of Samuel Joseph Young Carlile and Elizabeth Leak, was born Aug 5, 1867 in Bartow County GA. He married Emmaline Thompson on Jan 20, 1895 and died Jan 23, 1946.

Emmaline Thompson was the daughter of Floyd Thompson and Masanah Covington of Pine Log in Bartow County, GA. She was born Aug 11, 1874 and died in Atlanta on Mar 2, 1932.

William Madison Carlisle was a farmer and building contractor. Besides the house commonly referred to as "the homeplace" next to Quarryman near Cartersville, GA, his most enduring work is Best Chapel Methodist where the family went to church.

William Madison Carlisle and Emmaline Thompson lived on Spring Place Rd. in Cassville near Five Forks School where their six daughters and two sons went to school. Will and Emma moved to Atlanta in 1930 and are both buried there in Greenwood Cemetery.

Aunt Pearl's Memoirs

Though she professed an intense dislike for writing, Will and Emma's second child, Pearl Elizabeth Carlisle Pratt, filled so many spiral notebooks with personal memories that, stacked up, they measured more than two feet high.

Aunt Pearl died Oct 16, 2000, a month shy of her 104th birthday. At her funeral, the minister recounted a visit in which he asked what she wishes she had done during her lifetime that she had not. Her reply? To go dancing and wear a bathing suit.

Here is an except from Aunt Pearl's first spiral notebook.


November 26, 1984

Mable gave me this note book on my 88th birthday and ask me to do my autobiography. The one thing I hate to do is write, and my knowledge of words and phrases is very limited, but I will try to write a few things that have happened in the last 88 years.

I was born in Bartow County, GA on Nov 18, 1896. My mama said it was one of the coldest days in history. I was the second child in a family of eight children. My sister, Ruth, was just one year older than I and was a sickly baby, so I was always the leader in the work field.

We lived in the country and believe me, there was always plenty of work to do. My father was a carpenter by trade, but we lived on a farm in order to grow our own vegetables, and we had a cow, raised hogs and chickens. Papa kept a black family on the farm, and we planted cotton, corn, grain, and peanuts.

Believe me, I always did my share of the work. I have chopped cotton, thinned corn, tossed hay, picked cotton and peas. I loved the country and still do, but I am so glad we don't have to work so hard today.

I sometimes wonder if we didn't enjoy life back then more than we do today. It seems we have so many things to worry about today that we did not have then, and another thing, we did not know the word "bored," you hear that so much today among the young.

My mother made a train trip to Fort Worth, TX with four little girls. It was the year 1901 and I was five, Ruth was six, Ada was three, and Lucile was one and a half. We did not get a sleeper, we rode a day coach for two days and nights. We had fun, but our poor mother was exhausted when we reached our destination.

I learned to cook at an early age. I was eleven years old when my youngest brother was born. There were now seven in the family. I cooked three meals a day for two long weeks. I was so glad when Mama took over.

Church was about all the diversion we had from our daily chores. When we played, it was most always going to church and baptisms. We had a creek running through our farm, and although we were Methodist, we would baptize our play members in the creek. We really had a good time.

I am so thankful that we grew up in a Christian home. We had family prayer every night and never missed church and Sunday School. We only had preaching twice a month; every second Saturday and Sunday. The preacher's home was in Kingston, about 12 miles from our church. Our preacher and family would come up on Saturday and stay until Sunday evening at our place, which was where they stayed most of the time.

I joined Best Chapel Methodist Church when I was 12 years old, and I still enjoy going back there to the annual homecomings.

The little schoolhouse, where I attended school, was just one-quarter mile from our home. It was called Five Forks School. We only had five months of school during the year; three months in winter and two in the summer. My father was one of the school's trustees, and we always had the best teachers in Bartow County. I finished eighth grade and that was it so far as school goes.

My sisters, Ruth and Lucile, took courses in teaching and both were teachers in Bartow County. Teaching was far from what I wanted to do, and my father and mother thought that was all a nice girl could do outside the home.

When I think now how little it took for us have a good time when I was a teenager, I can't believe it. Our biggest social affair was a pound supper. The way that was, each person that was invited brought a pound of something good to eat. The hostess would have a table set up for all the goodies. We would have an hour for all the fun games we played then, and after the games, we would choose partners and eat supper.

We were never allowed to stay out after ten o'clock. There were lots of dances in our neighborhood, but Papa and Mama would not let us go, which I have always regretted, for I just love dancing and never danced a step in my life.

My courtship and marriage was a little unusual. I dated several boys my age, but was never serious with any of them.

When my sister, Ruth, married, I spent a lot of time with her as she did not know how to cook. She would want me to come over and stay a few days. I would do the cooking, and she would observe very closely everything I would do. She learned to cook and was really a better cook then I was.

Ruth lived with her husband's father and bachelor brother [the McCrarys], and when they were married about one year, the father and brother came down with typhoid fever. Dewitt Pratt (the one I married) came over and nursed them, and I was there with Ruth helping her with the cooking and cleaning.

Dewitt and I had known each other all our lives, he was eight years older than I, and it was really a surprise when he asked me for a date. Ruth objected to me dating him, but I was 20 years old and was capable of making my own decisions.

Dewitt was quite at playboy. He had been a firemen on the railroad, but decided he had enough money to have a good time on, so he just quit his job and came over and took care of Mr. McCrary and his son. We had several dates, and he went back to railroading.

It was just a short while until he was drafted into the army. He did not ask for a leave of absence from the railroad when they drafted him, and he was turned down from the army for physical reasons. When he went back to the railroad, they refused to hire him.

He proposed to me before he left for the army. I asked him to wait a while for an answer. When he came home, and they would not take him back on the railroad, he went to work at the gin and saw mill just crossed the road from where I lived.

We decided then that we would be married in November of 1919. He rented 20 acres of land from George Gaddis and planted it in cotton. His father, mother, and sister went to California in 1918, so there was a little cabin on the place that he had rented, and he moved in there in Jan of 1919.

He was over home every night begging me to get married, as it was so lonesome over there in that dark hollow. I finally consented, and we were married on Apr 8, 1919. We lived in that little cabin until Oct 1919, when we moved to Papa's farm in the house where I was born.

Our cotton crop was a success that year, and we decided we would plant more cotton and also corn. The next year our cotton was a complete failure. That was the year the boll weevil hit our country. We did not make enough money to pay our guano bill.


Children of William Madison Carlisle and Emmaline Thompson:

1. Ava Ruth Carlisle b. Oct 31, 1895, m. Fletcher B. McCrary, d. Aug 26, 1982.

2. Pearl Elizabeth Carlisle b. Nov 18, 1896, m. Bascomb Dewitt Pratt Apr 8, 1919, d. Oct 16, 2000. Aunt Pearl had the rare distinction of having lived in three centuries and two millennium.

3. Ada Lillian Carlisle b. Nov 8, 1898, m. Charles McCrary, d. Sep 20, 1974.

4. Eddie Lucile Carlisle b. Apr 12, 1900, m. Clifford Connor Sarrett May 5, 1920 at Kingston, Bartow County GA, d. Oct 28, 1983.

5. Alice Aileen Carlisle b. Jan 5, 1904, d. Sep 30, 1983.

6. William Madison "W.M." Carlisle, Jr. b. Jul 31, 1906, m. Nell England, d. Mar 18, 1962.

7. Samuel Jackson "Jack" Carlisle b. Apr 15, 1908, m. Annie Robertson, d. Jun 11, 1964. Jack and Annie changed spelling to Carlyle.

8. Mary Frances Carlisle b. Mar 12, 1914, m. Ben Scott, d. Sep 6, 1971.