John Cheek, Jr. -
Abstracts of Records

Essex Co., VA

Nov. 14, 1706. The will of John GATEWOOD of South Farnham Parish, Essex Co., VA, mentions 100 acres on John CHEEK's line "that I formerly bought of Edwin THACKER". Also mentions 150 acres "part of land that I formerly bought of Capt. Richard HAILE, now decesed, being also part of 5,000 acres which did formerly belong unto Collo. Thomas GOODRICH, Mr. Henry AUBREY and Maj. George MORRICE [MORRIS], all deceased." (Essex Deeds and Wills No. 12, p. 328; click here for transcription)

Note: the 5,000 acres referred to John GATEWOOD's will were originally patented by George MORRIS on May 8, 1664, and Apr. 16, 1683. The land described in these two patents encompasses the entire area where the CHEEK family lived during the 1700's. MORRIS's 5,000 acres lay between the Mattapony and Rappahannock Rivers in New Kent and Rappahannock Counties (which later became King & Queen and Essex Counties, respectively). Landmarks mentioned in the patents include Tuckahow (Tuckahoe) Swamp, the Portobago Path, Piscataway Creek, and Jelson's (Gilson's) Creek. Adjoining landowners included Col. GOODRICH, Henry AUBERY, BAGBY, BRONELL(?), Henry PIGG, and Richard WHITEHEAD. (VA Land Patents 6, p.516; VA Land Patents 7, p.248.)

1710. John CHEEK brought an action for debt against Jeffery DYER. (Essex Orders 1708-1712, p.347.)

Mar. 6, 1714/15. John CHICK of South Farnham Parish to Erasmus ALLEN of same, 100 acres in South Farnham Parish being part of 1,563 acres, formerly granted the said CHICK by Mr. Edwin THACKER & to the said THACKER by patent dated 20 Apr. 1687, adj. Thomas HUCKLECOT, James TAYLOR, James BOUGHAN, Andrew DYER, & John GATEWOOD. Signed: John (X) CHEEKE, Sinor (X) CHEEKE. Wits: John ALLEN, Herbert WAGONER, James (X) RICHARDSON. Ack'd by John CHEEKE Mar. 15, 1714, & ordered to be recorded. (Essex Deeds & Wills 1714-1717, pp. 347-348.)

Note: Edwin THACKER's land patent, dated Apr. 20, 1687, describes 1,563 acres of land on the south side of the Rappahannock River between the main swamp of Piscataway Creek and the main swamp of Hoskins Creek, but touching nor abutting neither, adj. the Rowling Path, Mr. Henry AWBERY, VAUGHAN, James TAYLER, Jno. EVANS, & John MEDOR. (VA Land Office Patents, No. 7, p.564.) This is immediately south of the town of Tappahannock, VA.  View a Google map.  The statement "part of 1,563 acres" in the deed from John CHEEK to Erasmus ALLEN simply means that John CHEEK's 100 acres was part of Edwin THACKER's original 1,563 patent; it doesn't mean that John CHEEK owned the entire 1,563 acres. On the contrary, Edwin THACKER seems to have divided up this land into several smaller pieces. He sold 200 acres to Andrew & John WAGONER on Sept. 1, 1690 (Essex DB 8, pp.239-240); another 200 acres went to James TAYLOR (Essex DB 26, p.28).

1715. John CHEEK does NOT appear on the 1715 quit rent roll of Essex County. (See Virginia Tax Records (Gen. Pub. Co., 1983), p.72, originally pub. in William & Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol. 20 (Apr. 1938), pp. 203-206.) Either he did not own land at the time the roll was taken, or he managed to stay off the roll and avoided his taxes.

Aug. 15, 1715. Capt. James BOUGHAN of South Farnham Parish to John CHEEKE of same, 117 acres in South Farnham Parish, part of a tract of 550 acres granted Mr. William JOHNSON of South Farnham Parish on Apr. 26, 1704, & by him sold to James BOUGHAN's father. Signed: James BOUGHAN. Wits: Jos. BAKER, A. SOMERVELL. Recorded Aug. 16, 1715. (Essex Deeds & Wills 1714-1717, p.381.)

Note: William JOHNSON's patent, actually dated Jan. 26, 1704, describes 500 acres "upon the branches of Gilsons Creek joyning upon the land of Capt. BEVERLEY, Elick ROBINS, Theo. WHALE," part of a patent originally granted to Edwin THACKER & James BOUGHAN dated Apr. 21, 1695 and by them deserted. (VA Land Office Patents, No. 9, p.588.) Gilsons or Jilsons Creek, is now called Mount Landing Creek. It enters the Rappahannock River about 2 miles north of Tappahannock, VA.  View a Google map.

Oct. 17-18, 1715. John BOUGHAN of Essex Co. to John LONDON of King & Queen Co., 100 acres in Essex Co. adj. land of John CHICK, part of a tract of 550 acres granted to William JOHNSON, Apr. 26, 1704, and by him sold to James BOUGHAN. Wits: Jos. BAKER, John PICKETT. Rec. Dec. 21, 1715. (Essex Deeds No. 14, p.445.)

May 23, 1717; July 17, 1717, Jan. 22-23, 1717/18. The Essex County order books make reference to cross-actions for debt brought by John CHEEK against William RICHARDSON and by William RICHARDSON, assignee of Richard HOLT, against John CHEEK. On Jan. 22, 1717/18, John CHEEK was ordered to pay costs to Henry SHACKLEFORD for 8 days attendance as a witness. On Jan. 23, 1717/18, a jury found in favor of John CHEEK and awarded him 650 pounds tobacco. (Essex Order Book 1716-1723 Part I, pp.47, 49, 71-72, 105.)

Note: The colonists in Virginia often used tobacco as a form of currency.

Nov. 17-18, 1717. John CHEEK of Essex to Richard CHEEK, for 830 lbs tobacco, 48 acres in South Farnham Parish, part of 550 acres granted William JOHNSON (Apr. 26, 1704) and which he sold to Capt. James BOUGHAN, part of which he sold, in turn, to John CHEEK. On the north side of a great branch. Wits: John DYER, Joseph (X) MUNDAY, Jno. ROGERS. Ack'd by John CHEEK on Nov. 19, 1717; wife (unnamed) relinquished her dower. (Essex Deeds & Wills No. 15, 1717-1718, pp.116-119; see also Essex Order Book 1716-1723 Part I.) Note: On Mar. 19, 1721/22, Richard CHEEK sold to James JOHNSON these same 48 acres "now in actual possession of James JOHNSON". (Essex Deed Book 17, pp. 26-27, 312). James JOHNSON, in turn, sold the 48 acres to Wm. ROBERTS on May 16, 1724. (Id., pp.312-313.)

Note: Ten years later, two of the names mentioned in the above deeds also appear in a court record in Essex Co., VA, dated Aug. 22, 1728, in the case of Richard CHEEK vs. John EVANS. CHEEK paid William JOHNSON, Gentleman, for three days attendance and travel from Spotsylvania (55 miles), John DYER from Essex (20 miles), and John EVANS from King and Queen (27 miles). Judgment was entered in CHEEK's favor.

March 19, 1717/18. John CHEEK was sued for debt by Richard BUCKNER, gent., assignee of Thomas HENMAN, but failed to appear. (Essex Order Book 1716-1718 Part I.) On July 17, 1718, the defendant John CHEEK "hath oyer"(i.e., the case was ordered to a hearing). (Id. at p.158.) On Sept. 17, 1718, John CHEEK failing to appear, judgment granted to the plaintiff for £1.3 sh. Sterling. (Id. at p.199.) Judgment confirmed on Nov. 19, 1718. (Id. at p.228.)

March 16, 1718/19. John LONDON of St. Anne's Parish, Essex County, to William CHEEK of South Farnham Parish in said county, for 1600 pounds of sweet scented tobacco, 100 acres at a corner hickory of John CHEEK's, formerly sold to John LONDON by James BOUGHAN. Signed: John (X) LONDON. Wits: Js. BAKER, Wm. PICKETT, Saml. STALLORD. Ack'd by John LONDON Mar. 17, 1718/19. (Essex Deeds No. 16, 1718-1721, pp.1-2.) Mary LONDON relinquished her dower. (Essex Order Book 1716-1723 Part II, p.282.)

May 18, 1720. Suit brought by John CHEEK against Thomas BECKHAM is dismissed. (Essex Order Book 1716-1723 Part III, p.436.)

Feb. 20-21, 1720/21. John GATEWOOD of South Farnham Parish to John ALLEN of same, 50 acres being one plantation where I now live on south side of Rappahannock River in South Farnham Parish, adj. Henry REEVES, Thomas TODD, Thomas BELL & John CHEEK. Wits: A. SOMERVELL, Wm. ALLEN, Jno. BYROM. Ack'd by John GATEWOOD. (Essex Deed Book 16, 1718-1721, pp. 270-273.)

June 22, 1720. John CHEEK was sued by Leonard HILL but failed to appear. William CHEEK stood surety for this appearance at the next court. However, he failed to appear on both June 22 and July 19, 1720. Plaintiff was awarded 5 pounds 4 pence plus attorney's fees & costs. (Essex Order Book 1716-1723 Part III, pp. 463, 474.)

Nov. 20-21, 1721. Wm. CHEEK of St. Ann's Parish, Essex County, to Martha COLEMAN of South Farnham Parish in said county, widow, for 50 and 4000 pounds of tobacco, 100 acres on a corner hickory of John CHEEK's, being the land that was formerly sold to one John LONDON by James BOUGHAN. Signed: William (X) CHEEK. Wits: Pr. GODFREY, John CHAMBERLAIN. Ack'd by William CHEEK Nov. 21, 1721. (Essex Deeds No. 16, 1718-1721, pp.326-239.)

Feb. 20, 1727/28. John CHEEK sued William ARVEN for trespass and assault. The case was tried on June 20, 1728 and found for the defendant. John CHEEK was ordered to pay Thomas HYDE for 5 days attendance as a witness. John REDD, Jr. was also bringing a similar charge against ARVEN at the same term of court. (Essex Court Orders 1725-1729 Part II, pp. 216, 234.)

Feb. 22, 1737. Joseph FOSTER, John SMITHER & John CHEEK post a bond of £200 Sterling for Joseph FOSTER to administer the estate of John FOSTER. Signed: Joseph FOSTER, Jno. SMETHER, John (X) CHEEK. (Essex Will Book 1735-1743, pp.113-114.)

Oct. 19-20, 1739. James MUNDAY of St. Anne Parish, Essex, to William JONES of South Farnham Parish, Essex, for £36 current VA money, 130 acres (in said JONES actual possession for one year) adj. a branch of Gilsons Creek, a branch of Brices Run, land of Col. Joseph SMITH, James MERRITT, Capt. Christopher BEVERLEY, & Thomas & Charles MUNDAY, & GRAVE's spring branch. Wits: John CHEEK, William (X) CARNELL, John (X) SOULES [or SORLES]. (Essex DB 1738-1742, pp. 90-95.)

Jan. 4, 1739/40. South Farnham Parish Vestry Book. "Processioned the land of Capt. Francis SMITH shewed us by James HARPER in behalf of the sd SMITH in the presence of John CHICK. Processioned the land of Capt. Thoms. BELFIELD shewed us by George COLEMAN in behalf of ye sd: BELFIELD in the presence of JOHN CHICK. Wee could not procession the land of Capt. Thomas STHRESHLEY Deceasd being Orphans land. Processioned the land of Mrs. Hannah STHRESHLEY in the presence of George COLEMAN John CHEEK James HARPER. Processioned the Land of John HILL in the presence of John CHEEK George COLEMAN James HARPER." (Ann K. Blomquist, The Vestry Book of South Farnham Parish Essex County Virginia 1739-1779, pp.22-23.)

June 20-21, 1741. Essex Co., VA. George COLEMAN, planter, of South Farnham Parish, Essex, to John DAVIS of St. Anne's Parish, bricklayer, 100 acres adj. corner hickory of John CHEEK same being the land formerly sold to John LONDON by James BOUGHAN. Wits: Erasmus Wethers ALLEN, John ALLEN, Jr. Dinah COLEMAN wife of George reliquished her dower. (Essex DB 1738-1742, pp. 259-263.)

Nov. 20, 1741. The name JNO. CHICK appears on a poll for election Burgesses from Essex Co., VA. He voted for William BEVERLEY and James GARNETT. (Virginia Tax Records (Gen. Pub. Co., 1983), p.77, originally pub. in William & Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol.22 (1942), pp.54-60).

Sept. 17, 1745. John CHICK purchased goods from the estate of Mr. Nicholas BALDWIN. (Essex Will Book 1743-1747, pp.371-372.)

Drawing of Tidewater Plantation

A Tidewater Plantation, 1750

King & Queen Co., VA

John Cheek and his family left Essex County sometime between 1741 and 1744 and moved a few miles west to neighboring King & Queen County. This is based on the following deed recorded in Essex County:

Feb. 19, 1744/45. John CHEEK of Drisdell Parish, King & Queen County, planter, to Joseph CROSS of St. Anne's Parish, Essex County, for £14, 10 shillings current VA money, 62 acres in South Farnham Parish, Essex, on Gilsons Creek adj. HOWELL's land. Signed: John (X) CHEEK. Wits: W. RENNOLDS, Absalom WELLS, Saml. (X) CROSS. Possession was delivered to Joseph CROSS in the presence of the witnesses "by turffle and twigg". John CHEEK ack'd the deed on Feb. 19, 1744/45 at the court held in Tappahannock. (Essex DB 23, 1742-1745, pp.211-213.) The sale is also mentioned in a 1758 deed from Samuel CROSS to Richard GRAVES, which describes 62 acres which Joseph CROSS bought from "John CHEEK of Drysdale Parish" on Feb. 19, 1744/45. (Essex DB 28, p.79.)

Note: "by turffle and twigg" refers to the ancient legal ritual called livery of seisen, in which the seller symbolically conveyed the land to the buyer by handing him a clump of earth and twigs.

1749-1752: The Noonian Boog Registers. Virtually all the official records from King & Queen County were destroyed when the courthouse was burned during the Civil War. Fortunately, researcher Larry Cates discovered evidence of the Cheeks in one of the few surviving documents, an account book kept by a merchant with the unlikely name of Ninian BOOG. Mr. Boog managed a mercantile store on the Mattaponi River for the firm of Buchanan & Hamilton out of Liverpool, England. Goods were delivered at Norfolk and shipped upriver by sloop. The store served the central and upper portions of the County and was convenient to purchasers in both Drysdale and St. Stephen's Parishes. There are three extant registers, a daybook and indications of a fourth register and all are preserved at the Virginia State Library in the business records collection, Accession No. 28893. They are partly abstracted in The Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vols. 28 & 29 (1990-1991).

Ledgers of Ninian Boog's Store:
A = 25 Feb 1749-21 May 1750
B = 23 May 1750-16 Mar 1751
C = 19 Mar 1751-4 Aug 1752
• John CHECK [CHICK], Sr. appears A:51, B:37, C:47
• John CHECK [CHEAK, CHICK], Jr., appears A:99, B:86, C:210
• Richard CHECK [CHICK] appears A:26, B:86, C:86
• Robert CHECK appears A:49
• William CHECK appears A:51

John's sons (John Jr., Richard, Robert, William) have been deduced from the above account book.

Another reference to John CHEEK, Jr. -- presumably the son of the elder John Cheek Jr. (now Sr.) then living in King & Queen County -- appears in the 1745 will of Henry PAGETT of Essex County, as follows:

Sept. 28, 1745. The of Henry PAGETT, South Farnham Parish, Essex Co., VA, leaves all property to wife Marget PAGITT (no children mentioned) and appoints William WEALKINS and "JOHN CHICK, Junr. of the County of King an Queen" as executors. Signed: Henry (X) PAGETT; wits: John PAGETT, Jr. & John MERRITT. Will presented to court on Dec. 17, 1745, by John CHEECK. ON Dec. 17, 1745, John CHECK, Jr., Henry CRITTENDON & John MERRITT posted a £500 administrator's bond. (Essex Will Book 1743-1747, pp.403-406.)

1750's & later.  John Cheek's (presumed) son Richard Cheek (Chick) lived on "Tuckahoe Swamp" in King & Queen County, according to a 1758 land patent granted to his neighbor John WATKINS (VA Patent Book No. 33, p.459), which describes a tract of land adjoining Richard CHICK.  There are also numerous references to a CHICK family in the court order books of Caroline County during the 1760's and early 1770's.  It's not known whether this was the same Cheek or Chick family found in King & Queen County, but the first names are similar, including William Chick, Richard Chick, and James Chick.  Moreover, James and William Chick must have lived very close to the Caroline-King & Queen County line because they were still in Drysdale Parish.  Only a small part of Drysdale Parish overlapped into southern Caroline County; most of the Parish was in King & Queen County.  On Nov. 10, 1768, the grand jury of Caroline County issued a presentment against James Chick for failing to pay tithes to Drysdale Parish.  There is a deed from 1763 in Halifax Co. which identifies William Chick as "William Chick of Caroline County and Parish of Drisdale" (Halifax DB 5, p.16).  Finally, Richard Chick also lived in southern Caroline County based on a road order dated June 13, 1765, where he was made overseer of Burkes Bridge Road by Capt. DIXON's plantation to the White Marsh Run.  Burkes Bridge Road crosses the Mattaponi River a little north of Reedy Mill, about 15 miles upriver from Tuckahoe Creek.  There was also an Ann CHICK whose will was recorded in Caroline County on Jan. 14, 1779.  (Caroline County Orders 1777-1780, p.146.)  She might have been the widow of James Chick, but unfortunately, the actual will has not survived.

Upper Essex and King & Queen Counties, Virginia
Map of Virginia

A small excerpt of Fry & Jefferson's famous map of Virginia (1751).  Hoskins Creek and Piscataway Creek are shown on the right side of the map near the town of Tappahannock.  Note also Tuckahoe Creek, a branch of the Mattapony River, near the center of the map.  John Cheek's son Richard Cheek owned land in the vicinity of "Tuckahoe Swamp", according to a land patent granted to John Watkins in 1758 (VA Patent Book No. 33, p.459).  Tuckahoe Creek/Swamp is now Chapel Creek.  Click here to view Fry & Jefferson's map at the Library of Congress website