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BBC Wales's Gavin Thomas
"Supporting the theory is the legend of St Elvis of Muster who, it is claimed, baptised St David."
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Monday, 5 June, 2000, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Elvis the King of Cymru
Elvis Presley
Members of Elvis's family had Welsh names
The king of rock and roll Elvis Presley may have been Welsh.

A Cardiff academic has published new evidence that Elvis's ancestors came from the Preseli hills in west Wales.

Pembrokeshire coast
It is claimed the Presleys hailed from west Wales

Fans who make the pilgrimage to Graceland in the American Deep South, have long believed their hero was of mixed Scottish and Cherokee blood.

But Terry Breverton, who lectures in business studies at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, claims in his new book - the A-Z of Wales - that this is a distortion of the truth.

According to Mr Breverton, his roots are in west Wales - the name Presley is related to Preseli - a hill range in Pembrokeshire.

Supporting his theory is the legend of St Elvis of Muster who, it is said, baptised St David.

Mr Breverton claims the family could well have had links with a nearby chapel dedicated to St Elvis - the only one known in Britain.

Elvis Presley
Favourite colour? Elvis in patriotric Welsh red
His book also points to the roots of Elvis's mother, who gave birth to the rock and roll hero in 1935.

"His dead twin, Jesse Garon Presley, had a Welsh second name, and his mother Gladys had a Welsh name too," said Mr Breverton.

"His grandmother Doll Mansell may have come from the famous family of Mansel from Oxwich on the Gower peninsula."

Gower Society Secretary Ruth Ridge said: " We will be appealing for help to see if there is any truth in the claims.

"It would be wonderful if there was."

Paul Smith, of the Elvis Presley Fan Club (UK) said he was more inclined to believe the Elvis's possible ancestral links with Scotland.

"I think everyone would like to make a claim to say that Elvis was born in their nation," he told BBC News Online Wales.

"I think it would be a very good thing if Elvis - way, way back - had some connection with Great Britain, be it from Scotland or Wales.

"The family names mentioned bear out as being Welsh.

"We have one of our club evenings tomorrow (Saturday) and I have no doubt it will be a topic of conversation."

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See also:

18 Mar 00 | Scotland
Marking The King's UK visit
25 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Elvis: Always on their minds
06 Sep 99 | Entertainment
The King of all auctions
17 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Keeping the King's flame alive
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