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Court document reveals why Elvis Presley’s ancestors left Ireland

A document dating back to 1775 that explains why Elvis Presley’s ancestors left Ireland is to be auctioned.

The historical court paper reveals that Presley’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather William Presley was savagely beaten and hounded off his land in Co Wicklow.Court document reveals why Elvis Presley's ancestors left Ireland

The paper is a document recording the cases that were heard in Carlow Court of Assizes on August 25th, 1775.

William Presley was a farmer in Co Wicklow. He claimed he had been “violently insulted, assaulted, beat and abused” by a group of men in Hacketstown, Co Carlow. The attack was presumably about a dispute over land.

Presley described the assault, saying the men had used “whips and fists, dragged him down by the legs” and given him “several kicks in his body and face”.

Presley also stated that the men were “swearing they would have his life” and he had been left feeling in “great dread and fear of his life”.

The document also reveals the names of Presley’s attackers as “Andrew Morris of Mullannashea; Francis Morris of Whiterock; Samuel Morris of Cross; Thomas Morris, William Wilson, Thomas Matthers and Several Other Persons whose names Deponent knoweth not.”

The court deferred the case to a later date, presumably so that more investigations could take place.

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However, that same year William Presley and his son Andrew left Ireland and moved to New Orleans. The family later moved to Tennessee and then Mississippi where Elvis Presley was born in 1935.

The court document will be auctioned in May 2016 and the estimated sale price is between €500 and €700.


One thought on “Court document reveals why Elvis Presley’s ancestors left Ireland

  1. Nancy Kelly-Bushly

    Having a very hard time finding my ancestors. They are Kelly’s my father said Black Irish. I have found that the Irish helped the Spanish repair their ships. The Spanish Armada, some married into the families of the Irish and became known for their dark skin. Is this why I have Olive cmplexion and Auburn hair? We’re they from Halfway or Cork?

    26/04/2016 at 6:29 pm

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