Presley Family Heritage

Elvis' father Vernon Elvis Presley was born on April 10, 1916 in Fulton, Mississippi. Vernon's parents were Jessie D. McClowell Presley (1896 - 1973) and Minnie Mae Hood Presley (1893 - 1980). Jessie was a farmer and was said to have been a good looking man. Minnie Mae has been described by her family as skinny, peppy and a hard worker.

Elvis' mother Gladys Love Smith was born on April 25, 1912 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. Gladys' parents were Robert Lee Smith and Octavia Luvenia "Doll" Mansell. Octavia was said to have received her nickname "Doll" because she was a very beautiful and fragile woman. She gave birth to nine children and was bedridden most of her life, dying at the age of 59 from tuberculosis. Gladys' father Robert was a handsome man with black hair. He was a cotton farmer and an occasional moonshiner. He would often pick up extra jobs to help support his large family. In his fifties, he died suddenly of pneumonia, leaving the then 19-year-old Gladys to find work in Tupelo as a seamstress to help support the family.

Gladys had black hair and dark eyes. As a youth she liked to play basketball. She played the position of forward and was very good at it. She also loved music and dancing. Vernon was tall and fair haired. He, too, liked music and had a good singing voice. He also enjoyed working on cars. In Tupelo, Mississippi they met and fell in love. They eloped on June 17, 1933 and were married in Ponotoc County. Their son Elvis, destined for fame, and his stillborn twin Jessie were born January 8, 1935 in their small home in Tupelo.

Various authors have researched Elvis' genealogy to varying degrees of accuracy. Although an official genealogy has not yet been completed by Graceland Archives, there is evidence that Elvis' ancestory is from several countries. His heritage includes Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish, French, Dutch, German and Cherokee ancestory.