Elvis Presley Family Lineage 1669-2008

By: Elvis Australia
Source: For Elvis Fans Only
November 24, 2008 - 3:03:15 PM
Elvis Biography, Elvis Articles

Johannes Valentin Bressler, the founder of the Presley family in America, was born in the Palatinate, Germany, 1669 in the village of Hochstadt (where the Preslar family was first mentioned in 1494); Valentine was employed there as a vine dresser; he married Anna Christiana Franse (Born Germany 1674) and immigrated to New York in 1710; In the early generations of the family, in America, the German surnames were often turned into English (in parenthesis); after the mid-1800s many members of the family changed their last name to Pressley or Pressly. This continued down Elvis Presleys 'line' to his grandfather Jessie (J.D.).

(Johannes was shortened to Johann and then John).

In June of 1710, approx. 2,400 Germans (Palatinate) arrived in New York and New Jersey from England. On June, 14 arriving on the ship 'Fame', Captain Walter Houxton, were the following: Johann Valentin Bressler, 41, Anna Christiana, 36, Anna Elisabetha, 14, Anna Gertrud, 12, Andreas, 6, Antoni, 4, and (son) 1-1/2.

Regarding the sons of Valentine and Christina Bressler/Preslar, the following information as given by a Preslar descendant, Robert Allen, who defines that the two sets of Preslars living in Anson County, NC, are not only the children of Andreas and Antje (Anna) Wells, but of Hans Jurie Preslar, brother of Andreas. It appears that the descendants of Hans Jurie kept the 'Preslar' surname while the descendants of Andreas seem to have shifted over to Pressley and Presley, perhaps to differentiate between the two families.

Allen writes that '... Valentine Preslar, the founder of the family in America, was born in the Palatinate, Germany, 1669 in the village of Hochstadt (where the Preslar family was first mentioned in 1494); Valentine was employed there as a vine dresser; he married Christina Franse and immigrated to New York in 1710; In the early generations of the family the German surnames were often turned into English (in parenthesis); after the mid-1800s many members of the family changed their last name to Pressley or Pressly'. This continued down Elvis Presleys 'line' to his grandfather Jessie (J.D.) and on occasion his Father, Vernon.

Johannes Valentine Bressler/Preslar Line

Children of Valentine and Anna Christiana:

Anna Elizabeth Preslar b. 1696
Anna Gertrude Preslar b. 1698
Andreas (Andrew) Preslar b. 1704 (ancestor of Elvis Presley)
Anthony Preslar b. 1705
Maria Agnes Preslar b. 1710
Hans Jurie (John) Preslar 1713-1777
Martinus Preslar b. 1716
Pieter (Peter) Preslar b. 1717

(Some sources list Andreas (Andrew) Preslars year of bith as 1701)

Andreas Preslar was born in Germany in 1704 and died 1759 in Anson, North Carolina, USA. He was to marry Antje (Anna) Wells of Staten Island, New York, in 1727, they moved through New York through PA to Maryland and then to Anson Co. NC. Antje Wills born 1697 in Southold, Suffolk, New York, USA and died 1765 in Anson, North Carolina, USA. (Some sources have her last name as Wills).

Children born and baptized in St. Stephen's Parish, Cecil County, MD:

Christian Preslar b. 1725
John Valentine Preslar b. 1726
Sarah Preslar b. 1728
Thomas Preslar b. 1730
Andrew Preslar, Jr b. 1732

Andrew Presley, Jr. Line - first generation NC/SC/TN/MS {Elvis direct line}

Andreas (Andrew) and Antje (Anna) Preslar had five children born and baptized in St. Stephen's Parish, Cecil County, MD; Christian Preslar b. 1725, John Valentine Preslar b. 1726, Sarah Preslar b. 1728, Thomas Preslar b. 1730 and Andrew Preslar, Jr younger brother of Thomas, was born 1732.

Andrew Preslar Jr's children, were: Charles, John, Andrew III, Peter, and Joseph. John, born in Rowan County, NC in 1748, served in the American Revolutionary War for his brother, Peter, born in 1756. After the war, John relocated to Monroe County, TN, where he filed for a pension and received it beginning 1833. John was in Monroe County, TN, at the same time as Dunning Presley and Dunning, Jr. who was born in Monroe in 1827. However, John, it was said, moved there to be close to his children. Charles Presley also served in the American Revolution along with his wife, Polly Keziah. (Hereafter referred to as Presley).

John Presley, son of Andrew, Jr. is the father of Dunning (Dunnan) Presley. Dunning, Sr. is listed by himself on the 1810 Buncombe County Census, and on the 1820 census record for Buncombe County, NC, along with John Presley. It is now believed that John Presley may have been married to a Casiah/Keziah, daughter of Dunning Casiah, the neighbour of Andrew Prestley, and whose other daughter, Mary Polly Keziah, married Andrew's eldest son, Charles. ohn's son, Dunning John Presley, providing that his mother was a Casiah, would have been, in Tuscarora tradition, named for the maternal grandfather, in this case, DUNNING Casiah.

Interesting to note here are the census records and applications for Rev. War pensions that show us Andrew Presley/Priestly with Charles, John, and Anthony, and Andrew III, born in 1754, also a son of Andrew, Jr., also had a son named John, both of who also moved to TN. Both Andrew Presley and his brother John were given Bounty-Land Warrants which is why they moved to SC and TN from NC. We have Charles Presley/Priestley who served of his own accord but also stepped in to serve in the stead of both Andrew and John, his brothers. John had recalled in his pension that he had served in the stead of his brother, Peter. Dunning (Dunnan) Presley, Sr. was born 1780 in Lancaster County, South Carolina, and died at age 70 in 1850 in Polk County, Tennessee. He married (1) Mary. He married (2) Catherine on Abt. 1808 in Lancaster County, South Carolina.

Children of Dunning Presley and Catherine are:

+ Dunning Presley Jr ., b. July 1, 1827, Monroe County, Tennessee, d. March 10, 1900 in Mississippi.

Dunning Jr was the son of John Presley, grandson of Dunning Presley Sr. and great grandson of Andrew (Andreas) Preslar, the first immigrant of the family to America. On November 1, 1847 at the age of 20 he enlisted at Knoxville as a private in Captain Jno. C. Vaughn's Company C of the 5th Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers. His regiment served in the War with Mexico, and between February and April of 1848 he was in San Juan, Mexico, and in May 1848 he was at National Bridge, Mexico. In Vera Cruz, he contracted a severe gastrointestinal disease which remained with him throughout his life. Dunning serves nobly and on July 2, 1848 he is back on ship for home where he is discharged from service on July 20, 1848 in Memphis, TN.

On November 7th he was issued a warrant for 160 acres of land based on his army service. It was sent to him in care of Rufus Smith in Madisonville, Tennessee - Read the Elvis Presley Family History 1669-1935

Dunning returned home to his wife and eldest daughter whom he had left in Tennessee. He had married Elizabeth in 1845 in North Carolina or Tennessee and to this union were finally born five children: Elvira E. in 1846, Elizabeth in 1848, Joshua in 1851, Dunning (III) in 1852, and Nancy Jane in 1854.

In 1860, Dunning Presley's life is touched by despair when his beloved, Elizabeth, died. Left with five children , the oldest fifteen, the youngest six, Dunning leaves them in the care of relatives and sets out to claim land from his grant. He had heard that land in Mississippi was fairly cheap and so he headed into northern MS. While in MS, Dunning meets a young lady, Martha Jane Wesson several years his junior, whom he marries on August 15, 1861. His first wife is gone over a year and Dunning is in need of companionship. The joy of their marriage is overshadowed by a new and different war which began in April of 1861. In February of 1862, the couples first child, Rosella Elizabeth Presley, is born. As in his first marriage, he soon went off to war again.

Suffering still from his colon malady, Dunning was 37 years old during the War of Northern Aggression. He had already served in a previous war and was still adjusting from the effects of that service when he chose to enlist again. On May 11, 1863 he enlisted at Grenada, Mississippi, in Company E, Hamm's Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry. Perhaps, like many other Civil War soldiers, he was concerned about his family back home and temporarily deserted in order to investigate their circumstances, because from January 18 to June 30, 1864 he was listed as deserted and absent without leave.

Martha Jane gives birth to the couple's second daughter, Mary Jane 'Rosalinda' Presley in 1864. Dunning goes back to his unit in 1864, probably after Rosalinda's birth. He returned to his unit for the final roll call and stays there until the end of the war, 1865.

After Dunning's return there are problems in the household. On a Sunday while Martha Jane and his daughters attend Mass, Dunning walks away from that family, never to see them again. We are told that he had gone back to TN and assume it was to check on his family there. Reports vary, (It has been over 100 years) .

Martha Jane married William Steele between 1866 and 1867. She died in 1868, during childbirth. The two daughters of Dunnan and Martha Jane, named Rosella (Elvis' great-grandmother) and Mary Jane, found themselves being reared by their maternal grandmother, Millie Wesson. Though neither daughter was educated or ever married, they reared thirteen children - who all took the Presley name.

The 1880 Federal census for Independance Arkansas states Rosella and Rosalinda's father Dunnan Presley Jr's last name was in fact Presley. Dunning died March 10, 1900 in Mississippi, at 73 years of age.

Jessie D. McDowell Presley
Jessie D. McDowell Presley
Children of Dunning Presley, Jr. and Martha Jane Wesson are:

+ Rosella Elizabeth Presley b. Feb. 1862, Fulton County, Miss. d. July 30, 1924, Pineville, Itawamba County, Mississippi. Rosella Elizabeth Presley never married, according to records, and some family members speculate for different reasons. However, Rosella lived alone and was a sharecropper in Mississippi, raising her children, most of whom could not read or write.

The 1900 US Federal Census for Itawamba, Mississippi states that Rosella's middle Initial was M. She is listed with several of her children. However other sources list it as Elizabeth.

Mary Jane 'Rosalinda' Presley, b. 1864, d. date unknown.

Children of Rosella Elizabeth Presley are:

1. Walter G. Presley b Dec 1880 in Itawamba Co, MS
2. Joseph Warren Presley b About 1886 in Itawamba Co, MS
3. Minnie Elizabeth Presley b July 1889 in Itawamba Co, MS
4. Noah E. Presley b: August 1890 in Itawamba Co, MS - m. Susan Izora Griffin, 1911, Itawamba County, MS and; m. Christine Mary Houston, 1940
5. Jessie D.McDowell Presley b: April, 9 1897 in Itawamba Co, MS
6. Calhoun Presley b May 9, 1898 in Itawamba Co, MS
7. L. Presley b: Before 1900 in Itawamba Co, MS
8. Mack Presley b: About 1901 in Itawamba Co, MS
9. Robbie Presley b March, 1 1903 in Itawamba Co, MS

Jessie D. McDowell Presley was born April 9, 1896 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, to Rosella Presley, unmarried, and John Wallace. Though the rightful surname should have been Wallace, Rosella gave her children her own name, her maiden name of Presley.

Jessie D. McDowell Presley died 19 April 1973. He married (1) Minnie Mae Hood on July 20, 1913. She was born June, 17 1888 and died May, 8 1980. He married (2) Vera (Kinnaird) Leftwich.

More About Jessie D. McDowell Presley and Minnie Mae Hood:

Divorce: August 03, 1954, Lee County, Mississippi.
Marriage: July 20, 1913

Children of Jessie D. McDowell Presley and Minnie Mae Hood are:

Vester Presley b. Sept, 11. 1914 d. January, 18 1997 m. Clettis Smith
child: Patsy Presley b.
+Vernon Elvis Presley b. April 10, 1916, Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi, d. June 26, 1979.
Delta Mae Presley b. m. Biggs
Gladys Earlene Presley b. m. Morgan
Lorene Nashval (Nash) Presley b. m. Earl Pritchett

Vernon Elvis Presley was born April 10, 1916 in Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi, and died June 26, 1979. He married Gladys Love Smith on June 17, 1933 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. He later married Davada Mae Stanley.

More About Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith:
Marriage: June 17, 1933, Pontotoc County, Mississippi.

Children of Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith are

+Elvis Aaron Presley, b. January 8, 1935, Tupelo, Mississippi, d. August 16, 1977, Memphis, Tennessee.
Jessie Garon Presley, b. January 8, 1935, d. January 08, 1935.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, and died August 16, 1977 in Memphis, Tennessee. He married Priscilla Ann Beaulieu.

Children of Elvis Aaron Presley and Priscilla Ann Beaulieu are:

Lisa Marie Presley

Children of Lisa Marie Presley and (1) Danny Keough:

Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie Presley
Daughter: Danielle Riley, born May 19, 1989
Son: Benjamin Storm, born Oct. 21, 1992

Children of Lisa Marie Presley and (3) Michael Lockwood:

Twin girls born October 7, 2008:

Harper Vivienne Ann
Finley Aaron Love

- Gladys and Vernon Presley - Elvis Presley's Mother and Father
- Jessie D. McDowell (J.D.) Presley - Elvis Presleys Grandfather

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- Elvis Presley Family History : 1669-1935
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- For a more (very) detailed history of Elvis Presley see our pages; starting at Elvis Presley 1935-1953

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.

This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.

The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.