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SMALL IRISH TOWN CLAIMS ELVIS
September 13, 2015 - IRISH MIRROR / Elvis Express Radio
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The second Elvis Roots Festival takes place there this weekend, with well over 4,000 fans expected to slip on their blue suede shoes.

A small Irish town Just Can’t Help Believin’ the news the King of rock ‘n’ roll has roots there.

Few would have thought Elvis Presley was referring to Hacketstown, Co Carlow when he sang of the Green, Green Grass of Home – but a local historian has proved the Presley
family were originally Irish.

The second Elvis Roots Festival takes place there this weekend, with well over 4,000 fans expected to slip on their blue suede shoes.

Local festival chairman Harry Kenny spoke to the Irish Sunday Mirror to explain the connection between Carlow and the King.

He revealed: “It was discovered in America about 20 years ago. A genealogist over there had been doing a bit of detective work and he first discovered the link.

“He eventually contacted Michael Purcell, a very well-known historian from Carlow about it.

“Michael began his own research, he even travelled over to Graceland to investigate.

“He was able to prove beyond doubt that Elvis’ ancestors came from Carlow.

“We are at present working towards opening a museum and memorial garden and, if possible, to twin with Tupelo, the birth place of Elvis, and make our town a place to be proud of
in the future.

“We have baptismal certs dating back to 1701 from Hacketstown. They were found in the Aghowle Church of Ireland.

“That was for Arthur Presley and his father, who eventually bought land in Hacketstown. Arthur had a son called William, who had to emigrate in around 1775 because of a dispute
over the land. He went to New Orleans.

“There are some who say that their origins were Scottish, not Irish, but that’s only because in them days you couldn’t go directly from Ireland to America. You had to go to Scotland
or England first.

“So they emigrated in around 1775 and ever since then the original Presley name has carried through.”

Almost 140 years later, in 1913, William’s great-great grandson, Jessie married Minnie May. Their son, Vernon, married Gladys Love Smith in 1933 and in January 1935 Elvis Aaron
Presley was born.

It is hoped the Elvis Roots Festival will become an annual pilgrimage for fans of the King.