William Presley (Elvis Presley)

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

William Presley

You can keep Obama, we’ve got The King!


The first Presley land transaction we have in Carlow is dated 1654 for Andrew Presley purchasing land from John Richmond "late a soldier in Col. Henry Pritres troops". No idea if Andrew was himself a soldier or an adventurer but more likely he was an adventurer as most of the disbanding soldiers were selling not buying.

Source: Michael Purcell <carlowmike@gmail.com>

By Brendan Lawrence

Were it not for a dispute over land in 1775 in Hacketstown, Elvis Aaron Presley might have sung with a Carlow accent and Graceland might be nestling at the foot of Eagle Hill in Hacketstown. Uh-huh-huh.

Amazing new facts uncovered through the hard work of Carlow local historian Michael Purcell and his American counterparts reveal that a William Presley was forced to flee his home close to Hacketstown after 'a band of yeomen and many other evil disposed persons did riotously, routously and unlawfully make an assault and did beat, wound and ill treat him so that his life was greatly despaired of.’

Image of the original parchment that places the Presley family in Carlow

The facts, printed on faded parchment (above) records, show that the attack took place with swords and sticks and the attackers were of the Morris, Wilson and Maher families. Shipping records soon after this event show that William and his brother Andrew Presley left Ireland for New Orleans in America.

“William sought the protection of the King in Carlow,” explained Michael Purcell, “so despite his address being in both Wicklow and Carlow, when push came to shove he considered himself a true Carlovian,” he added. In 1780, William and his family were living in Carolina and a son called Dunnan was born to him. A year later, they moved to Tennessee. William died in 1802 and his son Dunnan married twice. His third son, also called Dunnan, was born in 1827.

Then in 1863, Dunnan junior’s daughter Rosella was born. Rosella never married but had several children and one of these was a son called Jessie Presley. In 1913, Jesse married Minnie Mae and they gave birth to one Vernon Elvis Presley in 1916.

For those who might not already know, Vernon married Gladys Love Smith in 1933 and their son Elvis Aaron Presley was brought into the world in January 1935.

How different would Elvis’s career have been had his great-great-great-great-grandfather William Presley not fled the country? Imagine the songs he sang and how different they would have been. There’s no hotel in Hacketstown so one of his biggest hits would have been Heartbreak B&B.

Other titles that might have been altered would have been Hacketstown Garda Station Rock, That’s alright Mammy and Viva Graiguecullen.

Source: The Nationalist Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From: "Roger Nowlan" <RNowlan@primus.ca>

MacDowell & Hodges & PRESLEY??

Below are a few MacDowell tid bits drawn from my hard drive using a local search.

In brief, based upon the tipbit’s, it seems as if there was a MacDowell presence in Co. Carlow starting in the mid-1700s (a John MacDowell).   During the 1798 time period a James MacDowell was a member of the Hackettstown infantry.

[RN: I note that a JOHN PRESLEY was also a member of the Hackettstown infantry.]

The James MacDowell who was in the Hackettstown infantry in 1798 is likely the same as the one who put his name on a list  of Protestants wishing to emigrate from counties Carlow and Wexford in 1817.

In the early 1820s (1821-1822) there were at least two MacDowell families in the Bagenalstown area, a David ‘Davy’ MacDowell and family (in Ballinkillen) and a Patrick ‘Patt’ MacDowell and family.

In 1825, a Thomas MacDowell was the Governor of the Gaol in Carlow.

Provided by Michael Purcell <carlowmike@gmail.com>

Hacketstown Elvis Festival, October, 2014.

Transcription of one of the documents linking the ancestry of Elvis Presley (yes, that Elvis) with Carlow / Wicklow.  I'm sticking in a few commas here and there and disregarding the long medial S which was used up to the early 1800s.

20th August 1775 ~~

County of Carlow to wit.

Andrew Morris of Mullannashea in the County of Wicklow, yeoman, Francis Morris of Whiterock in the said County, yeoman, Samuel Morris of Crossin in said County, yeoman, Thomas Morris late of Hacketstown in the County of Carlow, yeoman, William Wilson and Thomas Mathers both late of the same in the said County, yeomen, ~~~~~~~~~with many other evil disposed Persons and Disturbers of the Peace of our said Lord the King, whose Names the Jurors aforesaid are ignorant of, on the seventeenth ~ Day of  August ~~in the fifteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, with Force and Arms, that is to say , with Swords, Sticks, and so forth at Hacketstown ~~~ in the said County of Carlow ~~ did riotously, routously and unlawfully assemble and associate themselves together, and the said Persons being then and there so riotously, routously and unlawfully assembled and associated, in and upon one William Presley a true and faithful subject of our Lord the King in the peace of God and of our said Lord the King then and there being did make an Assault and him then and there did beat wound and ill-treat so that his life was greatly despaired of and other wrongs to him then and there did Contrary to the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity. 

No Bill [signed]

 for self & fellows.

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