ELVIS PRESLEY MUSEUM

1933 Rites Of Matrimony


Historic Holy Grail Document 1933 Vernon and Gladys hand signed Marriage Licence and Certificate/1948, 13 year old Elvis Presley's Marriage Licence and Certificate. Elvis Personally hand wrote and hand signed marriage licence and certificate to his first proper girlfriend.

Vernon and Gladys Presley were married on June 17, 1933 in the State of Mississippi, County of Pontotoc. He was 17, she was 21. Vernon's name was misspelled as 'Virnon', Presley was also misspelled using one 's' instead of two. Vernon never went back to using Pressley after they were married. At age 13 and two days prior to the family moving from Tupelo to Memphis, ELVIS personally hand wrote in pencil on the back of the document; Elvis Presley and Magdline Morgan Issued: September 4, 1948-Married: September 11, 1948. All the writing in pencil on the back was written by Elvis.

This original document bears the original signatures of both Vernon and Gladys as typed on the document. Vernon; 'Virnon Presley and Gladys; Miss Gladys Smith along with the original signatures of Justice of the Peace and Circuit Clerk. The official gold Seal of Pontotoc County State of Mississippi is affixed.


Accompanied by a Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity hand signed by Jimmy Velvet Elvis' friend of 22 years and the Founder and President of the world famous Elvis Presley  Museum

This piece was in Jimmy Velvets legendary Elvis Presley Museum auction catalogue Lot 290 page 55,  The Elvis Presley Museum Collection June 18 & 19, 1994 in Las Vegas, San Francicisco & Los Angeles. Butterfield & Butterfield. Before the Auction Jimmy decided to keep this historic piece as it was a very precious item so it is presented here for the first time.

A number of years ago before Magdalene passed away she was interviewed below is part of the interview.

"On seeing the marriage license, Magdalene shouted, 'My Lord! Where did this come from?! I never saw it before!' Scanning it more closely, she noted, first, the signature was not in her handwriting; besides, her name was even misspelled. (As said above, Elvis, never got around to learning how to spell her name correctly.) Then she noted the date on the license Just hours before Elvis and his parents were moving to Memphis. Perhaps this was his feelings about the girl he left behind. Given that thought, tears formed in the eyes of Magdalene Morgan.
Original interview with Magdalene Morgan by Bill E. Burk


Elvis Presley's Parents Wedding June 17, 1933 the 21 year old Gladys Love Smith and 17 year old Vernon Elvis Presley made the long trip to Pontotoc, Mississippi to get a marriage license. They could not get the licence in Tupelo because of Vernons age. Their friends Marshall & Vona Mae Brown (Vernons first cousin) were witness. The Presleys were married by the Verona Justice of the Peace, Robert Emmit Kelly. Gladys & Vernon spent the first few days of their marriage at Marshall Brown's house in Verona, Mississippi.


Gladys Love Smith was born on Thursday April 25, 1912, in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. Vernon Elvis Presley was born on Monday April 10, 1916, in Fulton, Mississippi.

When Gladys Love Smith met Vernon Elvis Presley in 1933 at the Evangelical First Assembly of God Church in East Tupelo, where her uncle was a preacher, she was 21, he was 4 years younger. Vernon was blond and handsome but immature, and not much of a catch as a breadwinner. Unambitious, he had no trade and little application, working his way through a succession of unskilled jobs, unable to hold any of them down for long. On the other hand, Gladys, who was no beauty but definitely pretty with delicate features, slaved for her wages on 12 hour shifts at a clothing factory. But there must have been love - their relationship would survive numerous traumas, including Vernon's imprisonment, evictions, chronic poverty and Gladys's obsessive love for her only son. They married with a little ceremony in June 1933, after borrowing the $3 license fee from friends and running away with another couple to another town to tie the knot.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born 19 months later at approximately 4.35am on 8th January, 1935 under the sign of Capricorn. His stillborn identical twin, Jesse Garon, was buried in an unmarked grave in Priceville Cemetery, near the two roomed wooden shack built by Vernon on Old Saltillo Road, East Tupelo. The glorious blue-eyed good looks that would become iconic were inherited from mixed stock: Scottish, Cherokee and, maybe, Jewish . After a hard birth, Gladys, was told she could never have any more children and so Gladys lavished her maternal affection on little Elvis. When Elvis was two, his father was sent to jail. Vernon, his brother in law Travis Smith and another man Luther Gable, were convicted for fraud after they changed the sum on a cheque for the sale for a pig from $3 to $8. They were all sentenced to 3 years in jail. Although he was released early, after only 18 months, and his wife and child had visited every weekend. By the time Vernon came out, the bond between Elvis and Gladys was immutable, they even communicated in their own exclusive baby language. However, while it is not uncommon for immature men to feel usurped in their wife's affections by their first born, Vernon, who had all intents and purposes been the older Gladys's baby until their son was born, doesn't seem to have exhibited jealously at being relegated to second place in her affections. Vernon was a doting father till the very end.

As the focus of all this mothers love, the little boy thrived. Elvis was Gladys's little man, her adored prince. He called his mama baby or satnin the meaning of which can only be guessed at, though it may derive of satin, the sheeny fabric that is soft to the touch and pleasant to stroke, almost like skin. In their tactile, affectionate relationship, feet or footies were sooties. She fed him up on the best they could afford: his favorite burned bacon, mashed potatoes, biscuits and what is known in the south as thickening gravy - not made with meat juices, but a gluey sauce based on cornflour - and eggs that had to be as tough as rubber before he would touch them. She taught him manners and how to comb his hair to greased perfection, a habit he never lost.

As they moved from home to home, Gladys did her best to create a cosy, insular world for the three of them. Elvis, who had inherited his father's dirty blond hair, had a few play-mates until he entered his teens. His mama was his best friend, though she didn't spare the rod when she though it necessary, she believed that there was a place for discipline when it came to keeping Elvis on the path she deemed right. He was a shy child, torn between wanting to have fun with other boys and keeping his beloved mother happy.

Elvis started school when he was 5 or 6 years old. Gladys liked to walk the half mile to East Tupelo Consolidated. Vernon was in and out of work and the family was often In debt but there was always enough money to provide Elvis with the comics he enjoyed. There were Smiths and Presley relatives around, too, but church was a vital focus for the family. At The First Assembly Church, Elvis became a fan of the black music and gospel. He also loved to join in. When Elvis was only 2 years old, he jumped off Gladys' lap, run up the aisle and scramble up the platform. He would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them.

In September 1948, Gladys and Vernon sold their furniture and packed up all they owned. They wanted to move to Memphis and Elvis was excited to see where they would end up. They arrived in Memphis, they moved into run-down homes around Memphis and Elvis went to high school. Then they were moved into a different housing, called 328. It had 2 bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bathroom. This was heaven for the Presley family. Elvis was now attending LC Humes High School and made a small handful of friends. Elvis even got himself a girlfriend called Betty McMann, a local neighbor. Elvis was a normal teenager, he suffered from spots and other teenage pains. Yet he was a charming young man who loved his mama.































To view 1948, 13 year old Elvis Presley's marriage licence and certificate. Elvis personally hand wrote and hand signed marriage licence and certificate to his first proper girlfriend. Please click on the image below.