American Royalty

Another rainy, nasty day in New York City, but I didn't want to waste my day so I decided to go down to the Library and do some genealogy work in their research room. I love going to the Main Branch on 42nd street. It's such a grand old building, full of high ceilings and sweeping marble staircases and arches and wood. It just FEELS like a place you go to do some serious learnin', you know? I'm also constantly surprised at what they have available in their genealogy section. This New York City institution has things like the book I was looking at today: a history of a relatively obscure and overlooked county in eastern North Carolina. Why? I have no idea, but I'm happy to have such easy access to it.

I have several branches that all came from Anson county, NC, so the biggest work today was sorting through the aforementioned book for references to my family. Now... I've made some interesting discovers about my family, a man with 40 children, a ancestor who claimed "benefit of clergy" in a murder case in Colonial Virginia (one of the very few times that ever happened in the United States), a member of the Virginia House of Commons, one of the founders of Hartford, CT... but no one really famous or historically important yet. I also know that once you get more than 8 generations back the lines become so numerous and convoluted that you can claim descent from just about anyone (yes, if you can find the right combination of ancestors you ARE descended from Cleopatra!)... but I still find the discovery I made today fairly titillating.

It seems that I share a common ancestor with royalty. Well, American Royalty. In fact, the King himself: Elvis Presley. In 1720 John Valentine Preslar came to North Carolina. He had 4 sons. I am descended from one of those sons, and from another came the line that eventually led to Elvis. So nearly 300 years ago my family and the Presley's were one. Pretty cool, huh? Think I can get in on some of the estate?

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