of Front Royal, VA
George Cheek was probably born roughly 1740 and died aft. 1807 in Dearborn Co., IN. He married Leannah, last name unknown.
Possible children of George & Leannah Cheek:
- George Cheek, Jr., b. roughly 1760 in Virginia; died unnown. He is probably the George Cheek, Jr., in the 1807 Tax List of Dearborn Co., IN. Not listed in the census in any year. In 1833, George Cheek gave a declaration in support of the Rev. War Pension Application of Isaac WAY of Ripley Co., IN (originally of Front Royal, VA). (NARA File No. S16568.) Children: possibly James Cheek (c.1788) of Decatur Co., IN.
- Nancy Cheek, b. bet. 1770-1780, Frederick Co., VA; d. May 1833, Dearborn Co., IN; m. Eli GREEN (b. bet. 1760-1770; d. May 1833). Nancy and Eli Green and several of their children died in a cholera epidemic. It's said that Nancy's brother Page Cheek was the first to contract the disease when he buried the body of a man who died on a steamboat. See History of Dearborn County, Indiana (B.F. Bowen & Co., 1915), p.362. The following children are listed in Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana (B.F. Bowen & Co., 1909), p.603: Elizabeth Green (m. James BRIDGES), James Green (m. Phoebe CHAMBERS), Leah Green (m. Seth PARKS), Christopher Cheek Green (m. Keturah NORRIS), Tabitha Green (m. Bethany BRIDGES), Page Green (d. of cholera), Hiram Green (d. of cholera), Elston Green (m. Ann BOWERS), Ansy Green (m. Nathan BOWERS), Eliza Green (d. of cholera). (A cholera pandemic ravaged European cities in 1831 and reached North America in 1832, killing thousands of people in Quebec, New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Flare-ups were reported across the United States in 1833.)
- Francis Cheek, b. bef. 1775, Frederick Co., VA. Francis appears on the 1807 Tax List of Dearborn Co., IN, and the 1820 census (over age 45). In March 1826, the court of Dearborn Co., IN, ordered that real estate be sold to settle Francis CHEEK's insolvent estate; William V. CHEEK, adm'r.
- Nicholas Cheek, b. bef. 1775, Frederick Co., VA; d. bef. 1840, Dearborn Co., IN; m. Barbara KENDRICK (b. abt. 1775; d. 1861). Nicholas is listed in the 1820 census of Dearborn Co., IN (over age 45). He and his wife Barbara arrived in Dearborn Co., IN, in 1794, according to a biographical sketch published in 1858 in Cotton's Keepsake of Poems of Various Subjects by Rev. Judge A.J. Cotton, p.370. Rev. Cotton writes that Barbara Cheek was "now one hundred and two years oldthe oldest person now living in the county, and smart and vigorous still". Unfortunately, Barbara seems to have exaggerated her age, as she was 60-70 years old in the 1840 census and 75 in the 1850 census. Rev. Cotton describes "Old Nick" Cheek as "a great, big, double-fisted, 'knock-down-and-drag-out' sort of a man." The book History of Wayne County, Indiana (Inter-State Pub. Co., 1884), p.352, recounts an incident where Nicholas Cheek, at the very first court session held in Dearborn Co., IN, struck the judge with a board and broke his arm. Rev. Cotton writes that Nick Cheek was a brother of Tavner Cheek and had a grandson named Stroder Cheek. Note that Stroder or Strawder Cheek was the son of a George Cheek who was born about 1794 and died in 1850 in Dearborn Co., IN. This George Cheek is sometimes mistakenly identified as a son of George Cheek, Sr., but it appears he was actually a son of Nicholas Cheek.
- Page Cheek, b. Feb. 14, 1785, Frederick Co., VA; d. May 7, 1833, Dearborn Co., IN (cholera epidemic); m. Nancy LONG; bur. Cheek Cemetery, Center Twp., Dearborn Co., IN. Page Cheek entered a land claim in Dearborn Co., IN, in 1811, and he appears in the Dearborn census in 1820 and 1830. Brother of Nicholas, Tavner, and Francis Cheek, according to History of Dearborn County, Indiana (B.F. Bowen & Co., 1915), p.158. Another history states that "Page Cheek, in early life, was an energetic and dashing man, with kind impulses and undaunted courage." He once made a perilous journey to Shawneetown, Illinois, to obtain salt for the entire community. When Indiana voted to abolish slavery, Page Cheek set his slaves free rather than take them across the river to be sold. (History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana (F.E. Weakley & Co., 1885), pp.428-429.) Daughter Huldah Cheek m. Lt. Samuel OSGOOD.
- Tavner Cheek, b. about 1790, Frederick Co., VA; d. aft. 1860, Dearborn Co., IN; m. Elizabeth (b. abt. 1792 in KY). Tavner is in the 1807 Tax List of Dearborn Co., IN, and the census from 1820-1860. He was 60 years old in 1850 and 69 in 1861. Tavner was the brother of Nicholas "Old Nick" Cheek, according to Cotton's Keepsake of Poems of Various Subjects by Rev. Judge A.J. Cotton, pp. 370, 420. According to Rev. Cotton, Tavner Cheek located in what became Dearborn Co., IN, in 1796 and lived to a "good old age".
The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
eorge Cheek, Sr., was one of the founding fathers of Front Royal, Virginia. This scenic town in the Shenandoah Valley was originally part of Frederick County, Virginia. It is now the county seat of Warren County, Virginia. One of the oldest buildings in Front Royal is the Petty-Sumption House, a log house which George Cheek built in 1788. In addition to his property in Front Royal, George Cheek also owned land in neighboring Culpeper County, Virginia.
According to a book of Virginia history written in 1845, the town of Front Royal "was established in 1788, on 50 acres of land, the property of Solomon Vanmeter, James Moore, Robert Haines, William Cunningham, Petter Halley, John Smith, Allen Willey, Original Wroe, GEORGE CHICK, William Morris, and Henry Trout The town is neatly built, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery." (Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia (orig. pub. 1845; reprinted by Clearfield Co., 1969), p.497.)
There is a lot of conflicting information about George Cheek, Sr., and his children. Some sources indicate that he was born in 1722 and had 11 or 12 children, whose birth dates range from the 1740's to the 1790's. But as best as I can determine, George Cheek, Sr., was probably born somewhere between 1735 and 1745, and his children were probably born between the 1760's and 1780's. The researcher Eula Marie Holtze Brown, whose book Parks Family History: Ancestors and Descendants of George Washington Parks contains the most comprehensive published account of George Cheek, Sr., concluded that he was born about 1738. It's possible that less careful researchers pushed George's birthdate back to 1822 because his son Nicholas's widow, Barbara, claimed to be 104 years old in 1858. (See Cotton's Keepsake of Poems of Various Subjects (1858), p. 370.) However, census records indicate that Barbara was 75 years old in 1850, so born about 1775.
During the late 1790's, George Cheek and at least some of his family left Virginia and moved to the territory of Indiana, settling on the Ohio River in an area that later became Dearborn County. According to History of Dearborn County, Indiana (1915), p.155, the brothers Nicholas Cheek and Tavner Cheek arrived in 1794 or 1796. Nicholas' widow Barbara Cheek claimed that she and her husband were the fourth family to settle in the township (in 1794) after George Groves, Benjamin Walker and Ephraim Morrison. However, "Tavern [Tavner] Cheek, a brother of Nicholas, gave the year of their coming as 1796, which is very probable." This source also states that Tavner Cheek and Nicholas Cheek were brothers of Francis Cheek and Page Cheek of Dearborn County.
In Cotton's Keepsake, supra, page 421, Tavner Cheek describes the abundant wildlife found in Dearborn County in the early days of the settlement, and says that "his father had killed as many as thirty deer in the Lick, close by where he now lives, on Wilson Creek." To the extent this statement is reliable, it indicates that George Cheek, Sr., did come to Dearborn County with his sons. Significantly, the names George Cheek and George Cheek, Jr., both appear on the 1807 Tax List of Dearborn County, along with Francis Cheek, Tavner Cheek, and William Cheek (all, possibly, sons of George Sr.). The first census was taken in 1820 in Dearborn County, and includes seven Cheek households, all in Lawrenceburg Township: Francis Cheek (over age 45), Nicholas Cheek (over age 45), Tavner Cheek (age 26-45), Page Cheek (age 26-45), William V. Cheek (age 18-26), George Cheek (age 18-26), and James Cheek (age blank).
The evidence of the Cheek family's connection to Front Royal, Virginia, comes from a Revolutionary War pension application filed in 1833 by Isaac WAY of Ripley County, IN. (NARA File No. S16568). George Cheek of Dearborn County, IN, provided a supporting declaration. This was probably George Cheek, Jr., not George Cheek, Sr., who does not appear in the 1820 or 1830 census and may have been deceased by 1833. The applicant Isaac Way states that he enlisted in the army in Front Royal, Virginia, in 1780 when he was about 18 years old. His friend, George Cheek states that he was acquainted with Isaac Way during the Revolutionary War.
The origins of George Cheek, Sr., are a mystery and there is no record of him before he appears in the court records of Frederick County, VA, in the 1760's. There is no evidence that he was related to the Cheek and Chick families of Tidewater Virginia, who are believed to be descendants of John Cheek of Old Rappahannock Co., VA. Recently, a descendant of James Cheek (b. abt. 1788) of Decatur County, IN, who may have been a grandson of George Cheek, Jr., of Dearborn County, had a DNA test through the Cheek/Chick DNA Project. His results did not match the descendants of John Cheek of "Old Rapp." Moreover, it turned out that his DNA "haplogroup" is "E3b" which is fairly rare in northern Europeans. Although E3b is occasionally found in people from the British Isles, Germany, and Austria, it's more common in the Mediterranean region, especially the Balkans. We are currently seeking more descendants of George Cheek for the DNA study. If you are a direct male-line descendant of George Cheek, click here for more information!
Mar. 1, 1767. James COLLINSWORTH to George CHEEK, 143 acres in Culpeper Co., part of a 400 acre parcel surveyed for COLLINSWORTH on Sept. 27, 1762, on south side of the Blue Ridge and north side of Lands Run in the fork of the Indian River.
Mar. 1, 1770. Land grant to George CHEEK of Frederick Co., VA, 143 acres on Blue Ridge in Culpeper Co., VA, surveyed for James COLLINSWORTH and plat returned by Richard YOUNG Mar. 22, 1763; on Lands Run. (VA Northern Neck Land Grants Book O, p.258.)
1772. George CHEEK appears on a quit rent (tax) roll in Berkeley Dist., VA.
Geographical note: The Berkeley District was created in 1772 from the northern part Frederick Co., VA. It's now in West Virginia.
Apr. 30, 1774. Land grant to Thomas BARBEY of Frederick Co., VA, 842 acres in Culpeper & Dunmore Cos. surveyed by Richard YOUNG by two warrants, adj. Baranabas RYLER, branch of Indian River, Thomas NEAL, Argan TAYLOR, Happy Creek, the Manour of Leeds, branch of Lands Run, & George CHEEK. Land escheated and is granted to Mr. David ALLASON of Stafford Co., VA. (VA Northern Neck Lands Grants Book P, p.264.)
Feb. 4, 1794. Andrew MCKAY & wife Jane lost a court case to George CHEEK & wife Lennah, 38 acres situated in Manor of Leeds near Happy Creek, Russell's corner, Grant line & Little Creek. (Frederick Co., VA, DB 24a, p.364.)
1807 Tax List, Dearborn Co., IN: George Cheek, George Cheek, Jr., Francis Cheek, Tavner Cheek, William Cheek.