Elvis Presley’s Irish roots

Do you remember when you heard Elvis Presley had died?

I recall vividly. During August 1977 a temporary assignment had me working in Nebraska. I was driving into O’Neill, NE, on Tuesday afternoon, August 16, when I heard the breaking news.

While I’m late posting about the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ death, it’s because only now have I read about Elvis’ Irish roots — and realized the coincidence of hearing the sad announcement about his demise while in “Nebraska’s Irish Capital.”

I missed the story about Elvis’ heritage when it first appeared in the Irish Times in 2016. An 18th century court document supposedly proved Elvis’ Irish ties. Court of Assizes records dated August 1775 indicate William Presley told a magistrate he’d been violently assaulted by a group of men and feared for his life. Another hearing was to be held although the outcome is not known. Presley, who originally lived in the townland of Stranakelly near Shillelagh, County Wicklow, emigrated to America with his son Andrew later that year and settled in New Orleans.  The story says William Presley was Elvis’ 4X great-grandfather.

The following genealogy comes directly from the Irish Times:

…William Presley later moved to Tennessee, where he died in 1802.

His granddaughter Rosella “never married but had several children and one of these was a son called Jesse Presley.”

In 1913 Jesse married Minnie Mae and they gave birth to one Vernon Elvis Presley in 1916.

“Vernon married Gladys Love Smith in 1933 and their son Elvis Aaron Presley was brought into the world in January 1935.”

The article cites no sources, and Ancestry.com family trees show different details (but also with limited documentation).

You can read the Irish Times article – www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/elvis-presley-s-irish-roots – and make your own determination about its veracity.

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