Elvis Presley family lineage

Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi to Vernon Elvis Presley, and Gladys Love Presley (Smith was her maiden name), in the two-room shotgun hWM Elvis Family Tree Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo Mississippi, on January 8, 1935 having been delivered by the local doctor via a “house call” (i.e. the physician came to the home as opposed to a hospital) . This home was built by Vernon Presley, Elvis father, in the type of home known, in the south, as a “shotgun house” which meant that if you were to shoot a shotgun standing in the front door it would go all the way through the house without hitting anything else while passing through the back door (I.e. there were no walls other than the 4 exterior walls). Jesse Garon Presley, who was Elvis identical twin brother, was delivered (approximately) 35 minutes before him, (sadly) stillborn.

As an only child, Elvis became close to both parents and formed an unusually tight bond with his mother. The family attended an Assembly of God church where he found an outlet for his  musical inclinations.

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; with some French Norman; one of Gladys’ great-great-grandmothers was Cherokee Indian and, according to family accounts, one of her great-grandmothers was Jewish. Gladys was regarded by relatives and friends as the dominant member of the small family.

Elvis Presley descended from the Bressler (Presley) line, the name being Americanized down the line, first into Preslar, then Pressley and finally Presley but only because  his Great Grand Mother, Rosella Pressley adopted her maiden name for her children. She never did tell any of her children who their father was.

Rosella bore nine ‘illegitimate’ children, never once identifying to her   children who their fathers were. Rosella stubbornly, and resourcefully,   supported them through sharecropping. Mrs. Doshia Steele, one of Rosella’s   daughters, said this of her plight. ‘I can’t remember anyone ever talking about   who our father was, It was a big mystery when we were children. My mother   just didn’t talk about it’. Rosella, internalized the abandonment and re-enacted   it throughout her life. Beginning at age nineteen and continuing over 28   years.

Rosella’s son, Jessie D. McDowell   (J.D.) Pressley (1896-1973) was Elvis’   Grand Father. He was born on April 9, 1896 in Itawamba County,   Mississippi, to Rosella Presley, unmarried, and John Wallace (Elvis’ great-grandfather). So though the rightful   (traditional) surname would have been Wallace, Rosella gave her children her   own name, her maiden name of Presley.

Elvis Grandfather, Jessie, J.D. Presley used the double ‘s’ before changing to the single ‘s’ after his great grandson attained international fame.

October 9, 1973 Elvis’ divorce was final (by Jeff Schrembs)

Starting from the first time Elvis met Priscilla, while Elvis was in the US Army stationed in Germany and Priscilla was there with her family with her Father who was in actuality her step father a fact that was kept from her, there was an immediate mutual attraction.

Note –  Priscilla’s biological father was US Navy pilot James Wagner. His parents were Kathryn and Harold Wagner. On 10 August 1944, at the age of 23, he married Priscilla’s mother; they had been dating for more than three years.  He was killed in a plane crash while returning home on leave when Priscilla was six months old. When Priscilla discovered this “..family secret…” while rummaging through an old wooden box of family keepsakes, she was encouraged by her mother to keep it from the other children as she feared it would endanger our family closeness. In 1948 her mother met a United States Air Force officer named Paul Beaulieu, from Quebec. The couple were married within a year. Beaulieu took over the raising of Priscilla and was the only father Priscilla would ever know

Though Elvis only met Priscilla a few months before being honorably discharged from the US Army, in March of 1960, and Priscilla was only 14 years old at the time (a fact that was contrary to her; looks, demeanor, maturity, outspokenness, and her outlook on life) Elvis had a deep caring for Priscilla that would eventually be consummated in their marriage on May 1, 1967.

Elvis and Priscilla, through mutual shortcomings and actions adverse to the marital vows they took, (sadly) split up in  1972 and formally divorced with the final divorce decree issued on October 9, 1973.

The property settlement agreement, dated  August 15, 1972, was between Elvis Aaron Presley and Priscilla Ann  Presley.

It stated the couple had agreed to split the  property to avoid further legal costs.

It reads: ‘The parties were married on May 1,  1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

‘Unfortunate circumstances and unhappy  differences have arisen between the parties  by reason of which they have lived  separate and apart since February 23, 1972, and by reason of which they intend  to dissolve their marriage.

‘By this property settlement the parties wish  to avoid unnecessary  litigation and the emotional stress and expense which  would accompany.’

Some of the interesting details of their divorce settlement are as follows:

Elvis signed over ownership of three of his prized possessions – a 1971  Mercedes-Benz car, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado and a 1971 Harley Davidson  motorbike.

Priscilla had originally agreed to a cash  settlement that was 7.5 times less than the amount she finally  received.

She signed the paperwork that confirmed she  would receive a $100,000 tax-free lump-sum payment.

The official document is at odds with the  $750,000 payment she eventually received after she appointed new lawyers who  advised her to seek more money.

As well as Elvis’ cars and cash, actress  Priscilla also stood to receive half the income from the sale of their three  properties in California.

‘The agreement granted Priscilla ownership of  a 1971 Mercedes Benz, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado, a 1971 Harley-Davidson  motorcycle, $100,000 in cash, and half the income from the sale of their three  houses in California.

‘It is initialed in ink by Elvis and  Priscilla on page three and signed by them on page nine.

‘The supplement specifies that taxes applied  to the cash would be paid by Elvis.’

Here are two copies of the actual divorce proceedings

Initialled: Elvis agrees to give Priscilla two luxury cars, a motorbike and $100,000

.Binding: As well as Elvis' cars and cash, actress Priscilla also stood to receive half the income from the sale of their three properties in California

Elvis’ divorce adversely effected him throughout the remainder of his life. Though he was blessed with the birth of his daughter, who he truly loved with all his heart being Lisa Marie born exactly nine months after the wedding, the reality that his marriage had ended contributed to his failing health which included mental, emotional, and addictive behavior.

Elvis Presley endured his triumphs, and his failures, in the public eye. Fortunately, for us and for Elvis, he had an outlet to share his feelings…and his soul being his singing and performing.

During the 1970s Elvis recorded several poignant songs that, to this very day, resonate as they apply to those going through separation, divorce, children of divorce, etc. This include, but are not limited to, these songs; Suspicious Minds, You Gave Me A Mountain, My Boy, Separate Ways, It’s Over, It’s Easy For You, Always On My Mind, etc.

Lastly, Elvis loved Priscilla and she loved him. They both made mistakes and both contributed to the deterioration of the marriage. They were, are, and will be (simultaneously) an American (with an assist from Germany) Love Story as well as an American Divorce Story. This is part of the life, and legacy, of Elvis Presley that continues to fascinate Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide.

Jeff Schrembs



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