By: Elvis Australia
November 26, 2011 - 11:40:50 AM
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Johannes Valentin Bressler, the founder of the Presley family in America, was born in the Palatinate, Germany, 1669 in the village of Hochstadt (where the Preslar family was first mentioned in 1494); Valentine was employed there as a vine dresser; he married Anna Christiana Franse (Born Germany 1674) and immigrated to New York in 1710; In the early generations of the family, in America, the German surnames were often turned into English (in parenthesis); Preslar (Johannes was shortened to Johann and then John). After the mid-1800s many members of the family changed their last name to Pressley or Pressly. This continued down Elvis Presleys 'line' to his grandfather Jessie D. McDowell Pressley (J.D.). In June of 1710, approx. 2,400 Germans (Palatinate) arrived in New York and New Jersey from England. Johannes Bressler and family had left Germany looking for a better life in America. They arrived in London between May and November of 1709. On 14 June 1710 among those arriving on the ship 'Fame', (Captain Walter Houxton), were the following: Johann Valentin Bressler, 41, his wife, Anna Christiana, 36, and children; Anna Elisabetha, 14, Anna Gertrud, 12, Andreas, 6, Antoni, 4, and (son) 1-1/2. Andreas Preslar was born in Germany in 1704 and died 1759 in Anson, North Carolina, USA. He was to marry Antje (Anna) Wells of Staten Island, New York, in 1727, they moved through New York through PA to Maryland and then to Anson Co. NC. Antje Wills was born 1697 in Southold, Suffolk, New York, USA and died 1765 in Anson, North Carolina, USA. (Some sources list Andreas (Andrew) Preslars year of bith as 1701) There were two sets of Preslars living in Anson County, NC, they were not only the children of Andreas and Antje (Anna) Wells, but of Hans Jurie Preslar, (1713-1777) brother of Andreas. It appears that the descendants of Hans Jurie kept the 'Preslar' surname while the descendants of Andreas seem to have shifted over to Pressley and Presley, perhaps to differentiate between the two families. Andreas (Andrew) and Antje (Anna) Preslar had five children born and baptized in St. Stephen's Parish, Cecil County, MD; Christian Preslar b. 1725, John Valentine Preslar b. 1726, Sarah Preslar b. 1728, Thomas Preslar b. 1730 and Andrew Preslar, Jr younger brother of Thomas, was born 1732. Andrew Preslar Jr's children, were: Charles, John, Andrew III, Peter, and Joseph. John, born in Rowan County, NC in 1748, served in the American Revolutionary War for his brother, Peter, born in 1756. After the war, John relocated to Monroe County, TN, where he filed for a pension and received it beginning 1833. John was in Monroe County, TN, at the same time as Dunning Presley and Dunning, Jr. who was born in Monroe in 1827. However, John, it was said, moved there to be close to his children. Charles Presley also served in the American Revolution along with his wife, Polly Keziah. (Hereafter referred to as Presley). John Presley, son of Andrew, Jr. is the father of Dunning (Dunnan) Presley. Dunning, Sr. is listed by himself on the 1810 Buncombe County Census, and on the 1820 census record for Buncombe County, NC, along with John Presley. It is now believed that John Presley may have been married to a Casiah/Keziah, daughter of Dunning Casiah, the neighbour of Andrew Prestley, and whose other daughter, Mary Polly Keziah, married Andrew's eldest son, Charles. John's son, Dunning John Presley, providing that his mother was a Casiah, would have been, in Tuscarora tradition, named for the maternal grandfather, in this case, DUNNING Casiah. Interesting to note here are the census records and applications for Rev. War pensions that show us Andrew Presley/Priestly with Charles, John, and Anthony, and Andrew III, born in 1754, also a son of Andrew, Jr., also had a son...