Elvis Presley grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, before making his name in Memphis, Tennessee. Few presidents are from Mississippi, though three hailed from Tennessee, which arguably was Elvis’ spiritual home. But is it really the case he is related to two former presidents of the United States of America?
Since Elvis Presley’s death, many have tried to trace back his family life and work out from whom he was descended.
His mother, Gladys Love Presley, née Smith, was born on April 25, 1912.
Meanwhile, Vernon Presley was born on April 10, 1916 in Fulton, Mississippi, and met and married Elvis’ mother Gladys Smith when he was just 17.
They married in 1933, and only a couple of years later she had twins Elvis and Jesse on January 8, 1935.
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Jesse Garon Presley, however, was born stillborn, meaning Elvis grew up as an only child.
In tribute to Jesse, Elvis’ middle name was Aron, however, years later he changed his name to Aaron.
While Elvis was known to being close to both his parents, it has often been reported he was far closer to his mother, who was, by many accounts, the most dominant member of the family.
However, tracing further back becomes even more interesting, given some genealogies of The King suggest he was related to two influential presidents: President James “Jimmy” Carter and President Abraham Lincoln.
The two genealogies, if they are accurate, would show two sides of his father Vernon’s lineage to include these two presidents.
On one side, Isaiah Harrison, an Englishman who travelled to America in the early 1700s and had two wives: Elizabeth and Abigail.
Elizabeth’s family, according to various sources, includes a line which goes to Vernon Presley, and then his son Elvis.
On the other side, through Abigail, is President Abraham Lincoln, who was born in 1809 and was the 16th president of the USA.
He is best known for the abolition of slavery in the USA, and for his assassination in 1865 at a theatre with his wife.
Another supposed line begins with Valentine Preslar, who is also believed to be an ascendant of President Jimmy Carter, who was president at the time of Elvis’ death.
According to RootsWeb Review, President Carter is the sixth cousin once removed to Elvis Presley, and a sixth great-grandson of Valentine Pressler.
RootsWeb Review 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.”
When the singer died, President Carter said of his legacy: “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 humour of his country.”
Of course, it is hard to know how accurate these genealogies are, but The King and two presidents related could be true legacies together.
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