Elvis Presley -- Native American Ancestry?

+16 votes
It's come to the attention of the Native Americans project that there is disagreement about the Native American origins of Elvis Presley.  His profile is still connected to at least two supposed Native Americans.   

What will it take to confirm or debunk this ancestry? Is the lineage correct but the claims about his ancestors' heritage incorrect? Or is there a place in his line that needs disconnecting?

I bet a number of folks would be interested in improving the sourcing in this line. Can you help? Thanks!
WikiTree profile: Elvis Presley
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (757k points)

Found this:


I don't like the leaps in conclusions it makes while at the same time questioning the various claims. 

I'm yet to be convinced of ANY of the Native American ancestry claims. I'm also so very surprised that no solid Genealogical research has been done on this very very famous man. 

I have checked all but one of the references on Wikipedia that "support" the Native American ancestry.  NONE of them cite their source.  I'm surprised that the Wikipedia editors have allowed such crummy references on such a highly visible and trafficked profile. 

The one reference I haven't checked. Elaine Dundy 's 1985 book. I found a cheap used copy and ordered it. 

By the way, I've opened a separate thread to focus on William Mansell/Manscil. https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/982332/elvis-ancestry-who-were-the-parents-of-john-mansell

Elijah Isaacks aka Cherokee Indian aka Cherokee Man White White/ Presley -Relationships List


5th–8th cousin

8 cM across 1 segments

Half 5th cousin 1x removed

View relationship


Jessica Palmer

5th–8th cousin

8 cM across 1 segments

Half 6th cousin


View relationship

Elaine Presley


Elijah Isaacks aka Cherokee Indian aka Cherokee Man White White/ Presley is your 5th great-grandfather

I can answer all your questions, just give me a list.


William Mansell

Mourning Flowers White, Mother

Edward Green Mancill, son of mourning

Is there anyone familiar with DNA sourcing who can explain to Elaine what's needed here please ?
The William Mansell who was the son of Richard Mansell was born in JacksonCounty, TN about 1812, married a woman named Arena Carr in 1834, moved to Illinois and lived there until he died in 1876  Not the William connected to Elvis.  He is Mansell-90 on Wikitree.

Hello Elaine,

Which DNA testing company is showing your match with Elijah Isaacks and Jessica Palmer?  Are Elijah or Jessica in WikiTree?  Who are their ancestors back to the shared ancestor(s) you have with them?

Thank you and sincerely, Peter


The DNA segment matches you suggest are quite small and need to 'triangulate' to confirm they are coming from the same ancestor.  Can you tell us which chromosomes they match on and the segment position?  

For relationships beyond 3rd cousins, you need at least 3 descendants (from different descent lines) to all overlap in the same location on the same chromosome to confirm the relationship, referred to as triangulation.  The overlap needs to be at least 7cMs.  

Ideally the individual segments would have been 'walked back' from closer cousin matches to ensure that 'triangulated' segment for each of the testers is confirmed up the right ancestral line for each of them.

Refer https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Triangulation


Dear Veronica,

I realize that now,  I am just learning the rules. Thank you for assisting me. 

4 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I have not found any evidence that Elvis has Native American. We share the same 5th Great Grandfather, Christopher Overton Harris, through my Mother (Music)
by Lillian Porter G2G3 (3.3k points)
selected by Amanda Phillips
+3 votes
I and Lisa Marie, have Cherokee heritage DNA, in contact with many Cherokee Cousins, it's true, Elvis is Cherokee.
by Here Noone G2G1 (1.1k points)
We look forward to seeing documentation that confirms this.  Thanks.
Sorry, but “Elvis as Cherokee” is a myth.  None of his ancestors appears in any Cherokee record.
DNA facts overrule myths.
I shall certainly work on this, Ma'am,  an important task for our family, to keep the records correct.
No DNA test can identify a specific Native American tribe in the United States.  A documented paper trail to a person who is documented as a Cherokee is the only way to make that connection.
True and is why we based the valuation of our heritage on DNA, records, locations, family, history. We realize no DNA can determine Native American yet, simply is not enough data.
Where is the documentation?  Records that seem to be for the William Mansell who died in Marion, Alabama in 1842  place in him Franklin County, Tennessee in 1820 with a wife and two children, all white.  Franklin is in what was then called Western Tennessee, on the Alabama border, 100 miles from the Cherokee Nation.  There is also no record of William Mansell in any unit at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend - Tennessee, U.S., or Cherokee.  I also cannot find him in the available Tennessee State Militia muster rolls 1812-1836. He next appears on the 1840 census in Marion, Alabama with six children and possibly a second wife (the age on the census is too young to be the 1820 woman), although the age might just be an error.
I am working on this for you, Ma'am.
+4 votes
by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (136k points)
Thanks, Veronica. I wish I had the time and mental bandwidth to get my head around DNA, but I long ago chose to leave DNA genealogy research and sourcing to others.  I appreciate that there are folks like you who I can turn to for help.
0 votes
In https://www.quora.com/To-Sam-Morningstar-Have-you-ever-investigated-a-non-tribal-Americans-claim-of-Native-heritage-and-found-it-to-actually-have-a-kernel-of-truth/answer/Sam-Morningstar, Sam Morningstar, a Native American that has debunked many Native American ancestry claims, says that there's very strong evidence that Morning Dove White was, indeed, Native American. However, she couldn't have been Cherokee and was more likely Creek.
by Paulo Canedo G2G Crew (730 points)
Unfortunately, the author cites absolutely nothing to support the statement that Elvis' ancestress was Native American. He doesn't even say what evidence exists.

Sorry, Paulo, I found that article very disappointing-- it shed absolutely no new light on our dilemma here.
Thing is, Sam Morningstar has debunked several Native American ancestry claims and is skeptical of such stories. However, he finds this one case very likely. Here's an article on this, BTW, https://www.voanews.com/archive/southern-genealogy-yields-surprises. It also concludes that she was a Native American but more likely Creek.
I've seen copies or variations of that same article. Again, no sources. And little discussion of the evidence. It starts from the premise that William Mansell partnered/had children with a Native American. This is the premise that we seek to find evidence of.

Julian Riley's book appears only available through amazon. It's not in any library, nor submitted to the Library of Congress. Unless one wants to spend over $50 for it, there's no way to check its sources.

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