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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Presley family come from? What is the English Presley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Presley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Presley family history?

The ancestors of the name Presley date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in or near a clearing in a wood owned by priests. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English elements preost, which means priest, and leah, which means forest clearing. The name as a whole therefore means "dweller in or near the forest clearing owned by priests." There are several places that have this name; they are found in Bedfordshire, Hertsfordshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire.


Presley has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Priestley, Priestly, Preistley,Pressley and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Presley research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Presley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Presley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Presleys to arrive on North American shores:

Presley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Presley, who landed in Maryland in 1658
  • Fran Presley, who arrived in Maryland in 1679

Presley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Presley, who landed in South Carolina in 1772

Presley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Presley, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1846
  • John Presley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856


  • Alexander "Alex" C. Presley (b. 1985), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Wayne Presley (b. 1965), American retired professional NHL ice hockey right winger
  • Brian Joshua Presley (b. 1977), American actor
  • Priscilla Ann Presley (b. 1945), née Wagner, an American actress and businesswoman, ex-wife of singer Elvis Presley
  • Lisa Marie Presley (b. 1968), American singer and songwriter, the only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley
  • Russell Vern II Presley, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Virginia State House of Delegates 3rd District, 2011
  • Marion Presley, American Republican politician, Chair of Franklin County Republican Party, 2002; Mayor of West Frankfort, Illinois, 2007
  • Lawrence Presley, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State Senate 3rd District, 1964
  • Kathleen Presley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 2008
  • Florence C. Presley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1928



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Respice finem
Motto Translation: Regard the end.


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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  11. ...

The Presley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Presley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 November 2015 at 10:23.

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