What do Elvis Presley and former President Jimmy Carter have in common? Two prominent twentieth century American political figures are descended from Thomas Preslar, the son of Andrew. Through his daughter, Susannah Preslar, who married John Helms, can be traced three descents of Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and through his daughter, Sarah Preslar, who married George Helms Jr., can be traced the lineage of former President James Earl (Jimmy) Carter. Thus, Senator Helms is related to Elvis Presley in three different ways, a seventh cousin in two lines and a seventh cousin once removed in another line, and he is a seventh great-grandson of Valentine Pressler. President Carter is a sixth cousin once removed to Elvis Presley, and a sixth great-grandson of Valentine Pressler.
The publishers of RootsWeb Review said the findings were first published in a scholarly work, 'More Palantine Families', in 1991 by Henry Z. Jones, a researcher specializing in Palantine (German) genealogy. According to Jones, the immigrant ancestor of Presley's paternal line was Valentine Preslar, born in Germany around 1669, who immigrated to New York with his wife, Anna Christina Framse, in 1709. Among their three sons and two daughters was Andreas Preslar, who was born in Germany in 1701 and died in Anson County, North Carolina in 1759, Jones found.
The same research shows that Carter also descends from Valentine Preslar (the name sometimes is spelled Presslar, Presler, or Bressler) and Anna Christiana Framse, through their son Andreas and his wife Anne (Antje) Wells. In another book titled 'Notable Kin, Volume Two', genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts concludes that Presley is probably a sixth cousin once removed from Carter. RootsWeb also said, 'If you find names like Preslar, Presslar, Presler or Bressler on your family tree, you might be related to a president and a king too'.
Following Presley's death in 1977 US President Jimmy Carter stated in respect to Elvis Presley:
'Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself'.
'He was unique and irreplaceable. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense and he was a symbol to people the world over, of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country'.