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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


William Presley


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

 Elvis.

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.


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