The surname Presley and variants Pressley and Pressly are thought to be ultimately of English origin. Later, if not found in some form originating also in Scotland, the name made its way across the border to that country, then on to Ireland and to the United States. The surname came to prominence in the person of Elvis Presley, the American music icon, but the surname appertaining to him is documentable not to be a British Presley/Pressley/Pressly of any similar spelling, but rather a Preslar/Presler, from what is now present-day Germany. The name transformed into the Anglicized "Presley" in the first or second American generation.

Former President Jimmy Carter, through his mother, is thought to be a descendant of the same Johann Valentin Preslar/Presler, the German emigrant ancestor of Elvis Presley, who along with his family reached America and later the then frontier area of the central Carolinas sometime during the mid-18th century. Today, Presley ranks as the 1,825 most common surname in the United States.


  • Alex Presley, American baseball player
  • Annette Presley, New Zealand businesswoman
  • Brian Presley, American actor
  • Elvis Presley, American musician
  • Gerald Presley, Canadian bobsledder
  • Gladys Presley, Elvis Presley's mother
  • Harold Ray Presley, American law enforcement officer
  • Hovis Presley, English comedian
  • Jenna Presley, American porn star
  • Jim Presley, American baseball player
  • Leo Presley, American footballer
  • Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley's daughter
  • Priscilla Presley, Elvis Presley's wife
  • Reg Presley, English singer/songwriter
  • Sam Davis Presley, American sailor
  • Sharon Presley, American activist
  • Teagan Presley, American porn star
  • Vernon Presley, Elvis Presley's father
  • Wayne Presley, American ice hockey player

As a first or other name:

  • James Presley Ball, American daguerreotypist
  • Presley Chweneyagae, South African actor
  • Presley Underwood Ewing, American politician
  • Presley T. Glass, American politician
  • Presley Neville O’Bannon, American soldier
  • Presley Marion Rixey, American physician
  • Presley Spruance, American merchant

Variants of the name:

  • Anne Pressly, murdered KATV anchorwoman
  • Ebenezer Erskine Pressly
  • Jaime Pressly, American actress
  • Chris Pressley, American professional football player
  • Harold Pressley, former American basketball player
  • Henry Roosevelt Pressley, blues and soul instrumentalist
  • Janet Pressley, American singer/songwriter
  • Robert Pressley, former NASCAR driver
  • Steven Pressley, Scottish footballer

Famous quotes containing the word presley:

    I wish not to be given a title or an appointed position. I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large, and I will help best by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages. First and Foremost I am an entertainer but all I need is the Federal Credentials.
    —Elvis Presley (1935–1977)