The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Jack Soden

Graceland s Chief Executive Officer

Born in Kansas, Missourri in 1954

The Man who Started 'Gracelands’

When the King ‘Elvis Presley’ died on 16th August 1977, his immediate beneficiaries to his great fortune were his parents and his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who was only nine years old at the time. Priscilla Presley, his wife, got the house ‘Gracelands’, which though, of course, valuable had to be maintained. In general they faced a situation where unless managed correctly and judiciously the legacy that was Elvis Presley could dissipate far and wide.

So, the Presleys enrolled the expert advice of Jack Soden, investment counsellor, from Kansas, Missouri. Jack Soden became Chief Executive Officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises, May 1990. He had been Executive Director of the Graceland Division since 1982. He was involved in other charitable such as The National Civil Rights Museum, Professional Advisory Board-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the Society of Entrepreneurs.

Within nine months Soden had put together a plan, which would maximise the full potential of the Presley legacy to the mutual benefit of family and fans worldwide. A trust was set up till young Lisa Marie came of age. Then the company Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) was founded which controlled and developed every aspect of the Presley legend. All promotional materials and in particular the development and maintenance of Elvis’ home, ‘Gracelands’, Tennessee were vital elements of the strategy. Soden started it in 1982 and a quarter of a century later; he was still at the helm and supervising one of the most successful entertainment promotions and legacies in the world.

From Lavey, Co. Cavan

Though the name might not suggest it, Jack Soden’s great ancestors hail from Co. Cavan. His great-great-great-grandfather, John Soden left the townland of Lattaghlohan, in the parish of Upper Lavey in 1854. The parish of Upper Lavey has been the birth-, marriage- and burial site of many members of this branch of the Cavan and Kansas Sodens since the beginning of the eighteenth century. After working in construction in his early years, he obtained a number of lucrative contracts for road building. John Soden was deeply involved in church matters and financed the construction of the main Roman Catholic church in Kansas, City, Missouri.

The King is still alive’

So, over forty years after Elvis’ death thanks to Jack Soden and his 350 colleagues at EPE, the world could continue to experience the songs, singing and music of Elvis, his music and ‘Gracelands’. The magic and charisma of Elvis and the attraction of his music seems even greater among a generation, which has never had the unique experience of one of his live concert but relies solely on his exhilarating visual and sound-recordings thanks to the work of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

REGIS MAGAZINE, Keeper of the King, MATT K. JOHNSON, APRIL 29, 2020



Francis Soden, the teacher , was the great-great-grandfather of Mary Soden McNerney, now a resident in Leixlip, Co.Kildare on the banks of the River Liffey near Dublin and the Sodens of Templevanny, Co. Sligo , some of whom attended the Soden Reunion in 2000.

Francis Soden was born in Reading, England and employed as a teacher in the schoolhouse at Templevanny, now a ruin. He died Mary believes in 1867. This means the Sodens of Templevanny would have experienced the full blow of the Great Famine and the 1867 Fenian Insurrection.

Rev.Fr. Francis Joseph Soden, 1842 - 1906

Francis had at least one child, a son, Francis Joseph Soden, [1842-1906], who became a Roman Catholic priest and worked in England. The family in Keash, Co. Sligo had a framed picture of him. One of the parishes he served in was St. Mary’s, Euxton, England from which source his biography has been acquired.

Fr. Francis Joseph Soden , descended in a direct line from Francis and Amy Soden of Rowington, Warwickshire, the same line as that of Kenneth Gould, whose grandmother was Alice Soden, the subject of Ken’s novel, ‘ Time and Time Again’ published in 2009.

Francis Soden, the teacher in Templevanny, Co. Sligo was born in Rowington, Warwickshire, in 1802, the son of Francis and Amy Soden.

Fr. Francis Joseph Soden, was born in Templevanny, Co. Sligo , the son of Francis Soden, national school teacher in the parish of Toomour. He was born in 1842 and died in England in 1906.

He was educated in his parish and then entered All Hallows Seminary in Drumcondra, Dublin where he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the England mission on 24th June, 1865.

He served in the 1860s in the Preston area, by 1870 he was serving at St. Patrick’s Liverpool and had moved to Wigan by 1875. In 1878 he became the priest-in-charge at Sacred Heart, Chorley and remained there till 1893 when he moved to Euxton. In 1896 moved to Mawdesley, Wigan and Southport till he was appointed priest-in-charge of St. Joseph’s Mission, Withnell in September, 1904. His health had greatly deteriorated and he died on 24th June, 1906 at the age of 64, the 41st anniversary of his ordination. He is buried in the graveyard at St. Chad’s Whittle on 27th June, 1906.


Jack Soden

Website for the Soden Family name –

Filippo, Chet, Grace land, The Living Legacy of Elvis Presley, Michael Beazley, 1993

Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, Elvis and Me, New York, Putnam, 1 1985


Francis Soden, 1802-67, and Fr. Francis Joseph Soden, 1838-1906

St. Marys Euxton Parish Archive, 2013, United Kingdom

Ms. Mary Soden McNerney, Leixlip, Dublin , great great great grand daughter

John Garvin, local historian, Templevanny, Co. Sligo

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Francis Soden, 07 Jan, 1802, Rowington, Warwickshire, England , FHL microfilm 599,891

Family Tree of Kenneth Gould, Dorset, England [ The Rowington Line and the Birmingham Line], 2000

Story 3


Story 12 – Fr. Francis Soden

Francis Soden …

History of Achonry, 1689-1818

By Liam Swords,published 1997

Page 182

(See de Brun pp. 85,182,238,240,256.

Parliamentary Papers (1825) volume 12

Appendix 223,page 617 and

O’Hara Papers Ms. 20,285)


Parochial Returns for Sligo

Appendix no.22 to the Second Report

from Commissioners of Irish Education Enquiry H.C.1826-1827,

X11 pp. 1308-1330.

Francis Soden

Roman Catholic

page no.1316

Parish Drumrat

Location Templevany


Pay school 1/3 yo 2/9 per qtr.School house built from lime and

stone for £80 - £90.

Names of primary schools in different counties and their parishes:


Parish School Name in 1826

Drumcliffe Kilsellagh/Carney/Ballinful

St.John's Sligo Prison,Oakfield,Sligo Female,Clover Hil,Cabry Female,Upr. St.John's.

Ahamlish Mount Temple

Ballinasoden Ballinasoden (Hibernian London)

London Hibernian Society

No return.

Related Reports:

Hibernian Society for Soldiers' Children/1844 (363) XLIII.155

page 427

The Sixth Report :Hibernian Society for Soldiers' and Sailors'

Children 1826-1827 (441) XIII/35

from Dingfelder/NL IR 372/d/38 (4 vols.) &

Irish Education Enquiry/NL IR 372/1/6 (2 vols.)


TAB [Tithe Applotment Books]

Reel 93

Page 5

Diocese Achonry

Parish Toomour

Townland Templevanny

Name Francis Soden

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