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John Mansker (abt. 1765 - 1813)

John Mansker
Born about in Paxtang Twp, Dauphin, Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 15 May 1792 in Jefferson County, Kentuckymap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 48 in Rockwood, Randolph, Illinois, USAmap
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Profile last modified | Created 13 Dec 2014
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John Mansker was a pioneer settler in Illinois before it became a State.

A biography of John Mansker is at The Mansker Chronicles, and a narrative of his life is at Southern Illinois Pioneers.


John was born about 1765 at Paxtang Township, Dauphin, Pennsylvania. [1]


  • "John Mansker was one of the pioneers of Kentucky and Tennessee. At St. Clair's defeat by the Indians he received seven different wounds, but effected a miraculous escape from the field of carnage. In 1804 he settled in Ste. Genevieve county, Missouri, three years later located on the island opposite Rockwood, and in 1812 on the river above Rockwood. His son, Samuel Mansker, has since lived in the same vicinity, and is now one of the oldest citizens of the county."[2]
  • John moved to Ste Genevieve District (now Perry County), Missouri in 1804.
    Name on memorial, 29 Dec 1805, to the President by citizens of the District of St Genevieve expressing their support and confidence in Governor Wilkinson [pages 345-349].[3]
  • in Mar 1806, at Ste Genevieve, Missouri John encountered financial problems and was sued by Philip Shackler for $70.10 on a promissory note plus $20 damages (interest).[4] The judgment ended such that John had to pay $70.10 plus $6 damages.
  • In 1807, John and his family moved to Illinois and located at Mansker Island, opposite Rockwood, which was later renamed Liberty Island. This continued to be their home for about five years, when a final move was made to section 10, township 8, range 6. To the small original purchase was added adjacent property until the estate aggregated at one time two thousand acres. The rising of the river obliged him to move his residence further from the stream, and in 1844 he built his final home.[5][6][7]
  • John Mansker was originally from the neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. In 1801 he brought his family to Missouri and settled opposite section 11, where he remained about six years. He then came to Randolph county, and in 1807, located on Liberty formerly called Mansker Island, where he remained till 1813, when he settled on section 10. The site of this settlement has been swept away.[8]
  • John attended the estate sale of Jean Baptiste Godfroy who died 1809 at Rockwood, Illinois. His estate was administered between 1809 to 1818 at Randolph County Court.[9]


John and Margaret married 15 May 1792 at Jefferson County, KY. [10]

  1. Child: Nancy Mansker.
  2. Child: Elizabeth Mansker.
  3. Child: Samuel Mansker.
  4. Child: William Mansker.
  5. Child: James Mansker.
  6. Child: Louisa Mansker.
  7. Child: John Mansker.
  8. Child: Elvis Mansker.


John was a soldier who later became a pioneer in Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois.


Sergeant John Minsker served in the Second Regiment under General Arthur St. Clair in Captain John Smith's Company in Major Thomas Butler's Battalion from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. John entered service 19 Apr 1791 and left the service 15 Nov 1791.[11] [12]

Muster Date: 24 Sep 1791
Service Year 1791
Military Unit: Second Regiment
Rank: Sergeant

After escaping with his life from St. Clair's Defeat, john moved to jefferson County, Kentucky, where he married Margaret Robinson in 1792. He then joined Adair's Regiment.

Muster Date: 16 Nov 1793
Service Year 1793
Military Unit: Adair's Regiment, Cavalry Volunteers
Rank: Private[13]

Less than two weeks after joining Adair's Regiment, John was enlisted with the Scouts and Spies.

Muster Date: 29 Nov 1793
Service Year 1793
Military Unit: Scouts and Spies
Rank: Sergeant[14]


John died 13 Dec 1813 at Rockwood, Illinois. [15] This date is likely contained in the Mansker Family Bible, which at one time was in the possession of Lucy Irene Jackson. The current whereabouts of this family Bible are unknown.


In his ledger dated 10 Feb 1853, son Samuel Mansker wrote:

"In consequence of the river wearing, I have changed my burying to the hills or beside them on a high bench due north from the 'old place' near half a mile. Three of my children that was buried there I moved to the foot of the hill but the other coffins were so rotten I could not move them and put it off until time after time and so it remains."



  1. Beginning in July 1824, Samuel Mansker, the oldest son of John Mansker, starting writing in a ledger book the beginning of his family history:
    "John Mansker, my father, was born about the year 1765. He came through Pennsylvania into Kentucky. He was a Captain in the Spy Company under St. Clair and Wayne in the French/Indian War [sic], and served as a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War. He received seven wounds in St. Clair's defeat by the Indians, and saved himself by a miracle from the dreadful carnage.
    "When the two companies moved to Tennessee, John was sent to his uncle, Kasper Mansker, a wealthy and prominent citizen of the State of Tennessee, who lived on Mansker Creek near Goodlettsville, to recuperate from his wounds. While he was away from the fighting, he met and married a sixteen-year-old girl by the name of Margaret (Peggy) Robinson [Roberson] who was born about 1771. The next year he was sufficiently recovered to join General [Mad Anthony] Wayne in his action against the savages from which he returned safely."


  1. Find A Grave (see below)
  2. Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties, Illinois page 71
  3. Territorial Papers of the US; Volume Number: Vol 13; Page Number: 348; Family Number: 19
  4. Missouri Judicial Records Historical Database
  5. Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry, and Monroe Counties
  6. The History of Randolph County page 51
  7. The Pioneer History of Illinois, John Reynolds page 364
  8. Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties, page 467
  9. Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties pages 106
  10. Kentucky, County Marriage Records, 1783-1965
  11. National Archives records at (pay site)
  12. U.S. Compiled Service Records, Post-Revolutionary War Volunteer Soldiers, 1784-1811 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011 Ancestry Record 2237 #20776
  13. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served from 1784 to 1811 Ancestry Record 2237 #14989
  14. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served from 1784 to 1811 Ancestry Record 2237 #6021
  15. Find A Grave (see below)

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with John:

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