Many of us in the Mansker branch of the family have heard growing up that we had some Native American heritage, usually that we were part Cherokee.

So far the truth of these legends has escaped me.

My best guess is that the connection, if there is one, came down through the Brileys. Louisa Briley married William Mansker, son of George (see the Descendants page). There are a number of Brileys on the Dawes Rolls and our Brileys came out of North Carolina, ancestral home of the Cherokees. And, as you are probably aware, there was much intermarrying in the early days, especially on the frontiers where white women were scarce.

Of course earlier generations may not have been as eager to claim Native American heritage as we are, and the Cherokee connection may have been covered up as much as possible in the 19th Century.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that since someone from nearly every branch of the family descending from William and Louisa that I've been in contact with has asked me about it, there must be something to the stories that have been handed down concerning our Native American heritage.

If anyone can shed light on the subject, please let me know about it: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From David W. Thomson III - I have had a DNA test and my results showed no Native American DNA. This does not conclusively eliminate Native American ancestry for the Manskers, as it is possible that the Native American markers were edited out after several generations. More Mansker descendants will need to take DNA tests before we can say with certainty whether or not we have Native American ancestry. My results are available online at