John Cheek
of Orange County, NC

John Cheek, son of Robert CHEEK & Ann COCKE, was probably born between 1768-1774 in Bute or Orange Co., NC, and died July 26, 1827, in Orange Co., NC. He married Susanna "Susan" Estridge (Estes), daughter of Thomas ESTRIDGE (ESTES) and Elizabeth BURROUGHS (BURRIS), on Apr. 1, 1794, in Orange Co., NC. She was born abt. 1775-1780 and died Jan. 18, 1872, in Orange Co., NC.

Children of John Cheek:

  1. +Major John Cheek, b. Sept. 6, 1793(?), Orange Co., NC; d. Nov. 1849, Orange Co., NC; m. (1) Maggie, last name unk., Aug. 15, 1814, Orange Co., NC; m. (2) Martha "Patsy" STEVENS, Oct. 17, 1822, Orange Co., NC (b. Oct. 26, 1797; d. 1850-1860).
  2. +Stanford Cheek, b. abt. 1797, Orange Co., NC; d. aft. 1880 in Morgan Co., GA; m. Mary "Polly" WILLIAMS, Sept. 20, 1819, Orange Co., NC (b. abt. 1797; d. 1870-1880).
  3. Unknown daughter, b. abt. 1800. On Mar. 19, 1817, John CHEEK & Daniel CLOUD came to an agreement about compensation to CHEEK's daughter on behalf of her child of Thomas BREWER, Esq. Wits: J. MCKERRALL, Thos. BREWER. (NC Archives, CR.073.325.53, Civil Action Papers, Orange Co., NC, found by Larry Cates.)
  4. James A. Cheek, b. 1800-1810; m. Deborah WALLIS, daughter of William WALLACE, Nov. 28, 1822, Orange Co., NC, with bondsman B. CHEEK.  Identified as a resident of Laurens Dist., SC, in papers filed with the court of Orange Co., NC, dated Nov. 29, 1835, Mar. 1837, and Dec. 8, 1837, concerning the estate of his late wife.  Appointed guardian of daughters Catherine G. CHEEK & Susannah CHEEK who had inherited certain property from their mother Deborah CHEEK which passed by deed of gift to Deborah Cheek from her father William WALLACE.  Burroughs Cheek acted as James' agent though power of attorney.  He may be the James CHEEK, age 50, who is listed in the 1850 census of Laurens, SC, with wife Frances, age 65 (presumably a 2nd wife). Children: Catherine G. Cheek, Susannah Cheek.
  5. Unknown daughter, b. 1805-1810. Maybe Margaret CHEEK who m. John WORKMAN, July 13, 1831, Orange Co., NC; bondsman Alvis CHEEK.
  6. Ellis Cheek.  Named as a son of John CHEEK in a petition filed Spring term 1846 for sale of land on New Hope Creek, part of estate of John CHEEK.  It's thought he may have gone to South Carolina with his brother James CHEEK.  Or he might be the Alvis CHEEK (b. 1810-1820) who is listed on the 1840 census of Orange Co., NC.  Alvis CHEEK m. Nancy WHITE, Jan. 17, 1833, Orange Co., NC, with bondsman John CHEEK.  On Aug. 22, 1842, land of Alvis CHEEK, 217 acres on Turkey Hill Creek adj. James SYKES, was sold to satisfy a $90 debt (Orange DB 32:123).
  7. +Ruffin Cheek, b. abt. 1815, Orange Co., NC; d. aft. 1880, Orange Co., NC; m. Elizabeth "Bettie" LLOYD, daughter of Henry LLOYD & Elizabeth STROUD, Jan. 20, 1845, Orange Co., NC (b. abt. 1822; d. aft. 1880).
  8. Susan Cheek, b. abt. 1820, Orange Co., NC; d. 1900-1910, Durham Co., NC; m. William Sanders CATES, May 19, 1838, Orange Co., NC (b. abt. 1815; d. 1880-1900). Children: Mary Jane Cates (c.1839), John Estes Cates (c.1841), Martha E. Cates (c.1844), Susan E. Cates (c.1846), Emma Cates (c.1850), Tula Cates (c.1852), Margaret Lithia Cates (c.1858).
  9. +Nash Cheek, b. Aug. 29, 1823, Orange Co., NC; d. Nov. 22, 1904, Durham Co., NC; m. Margaret Alice BISHOP, daughter of James BISHOP & Cynthia CARROLL, Sept. 17, 1844, Orange Co., NC (b. Feb. 25, 1824; d. Dec. 28, 1913); bur. Maplewood Cemetery, Durham Co., NC.


John Cheek was born between 1765 and 1774 based on census entries, but he was probably born no earlier than 1768, assuming he married in his early to mid-20's.  He and Susannah ESTES posted a marriage bond in Orange County, NC, on April 1, 1794, with his brother James Cheek as bondsman.  John and his family lived on a 200 acre tract on waters of New Hope Creek bounded on the north by heirs of Jonathan HOBBS, on the east by Thomas D. FAUCETTE, on the south by Baxter DAVIS, and on the west by Frederick WILLIAMS.  (Orange Co., NC, DB 27, p.544).  John Cheek's relationship to his father Robert Cheek, Sr., is proven by a lawsuit that went to trial in Orange Co., NC, in 1823.  (NC Archives No. CR.07.325.136, "Civil Actions Concerning Land," 1823 folder).  Click here for more about the McKerral v. Cheek lawsuit.

John died intestate on July 26, 1827.  His widow petitioned the Orange County court to allot a year's support and maintenance to her and "several small children."  This was granted, and reports of the maintenance allotment and of sale of personal property were filed with the Court on Oct. 18, 1827, by the Administrator, William BROWN.  Of 94 lots in the personal estate sale, 37 lots (kitchen and household items and livestock) were purchased by the widow, Susan CHEEK; 29 lots (farming implements) were purchased by son John CHEEK, 9 lots by son Stanford CHEEK, and one or two lots each by Anderson CHEEK, Burroughs CHEEK, and Morgan (Morton?) CHEEK (the last 3 were probably nephews).  The land remained undivided until sold by Court order upon petition of the widow and children on May 25, 1846.  The petition identifies John CHEEK's children as James CHEEK, Sanders CATES & wife Susan, Ruffin CHEEK, Stanford CHEEK, John CHEEK, Nash CHEEK, and Ellis CHEEK.  (NC Archives, Orange Estate Papers, Box CR 073.508.10.)  (Info kindly provided by Donald J. Cheeks.)

In 1829, John's widow Susan and her sister Martha, wife of James Cheek, joined a family lawsuit against their brother Burroughs (or Burris) Estes in Henry Co., TN.  According to this family tree posted by Jim Estes, Susan and Martha's uncle Moses Estes (the brother of their father Thomas Estes) was a Revolutionary War soldier who died without issue.  In 1819, Burris Estes obtained a warrant for 640 acres bounty land as Moses Estes' heir.  Ten years later, Moses Estes' other heirs, including Susan, Martha, their sister Elizabeth, two uncles and a cousin filed a petition to force Burris to sell the land and divide the proceeds.  The petition (which was unsuccesful) states, in part, "that a certain Moses ESTES, who has long since deceased without issue leaving four brothers, to wit, Thomas ESTES, who was the senior of the said brothers, who is also now deceased leaving four heirs, to wit, Burris ESTES together with three sisters, namely, Martha CHEEK, the wife of your Petitioner James CHEEK formerly Martha ESTES, and Susannah CHEEK, the relict &c of John CHEEK deceased, and formerly Susannah ESTES, who is also one of your petitioners and Elizabeth PITMAN the wife of Josiah PITMAN, your petitioner, who was formerly Elizabeth ESTES…"  (Henry Co., TN, Court Minutes, March 4, 1829.)

Susan's father, Thomas ESTES (also spelled Eastridge or Estridge), was an active Tory (Loyalist) during the Revolution.  He was captured and sentenced to hang for treason in 1782, but he was pardoned after a large number of his friends and neighbors signed a petition to the Governor.  His life was spared on condition that he join the North Carolina militia for one year.  He did so, and was killed in action.


Apr. 1, 1794. Orange Co., NC. John CHEEK & Susannah ESTES posted a marriage bond; bondsman: James CHEEK; witness: A.B. BRUCE.  [Note: her family's name is spelled both ESTES and ESTRIDGE in various records.]

1800 Census, Orange Co., NC, p.553: JOHN CHEEK
Data Analysis
2 w/m under 10 b.1790-1800 = Maj. John (c.1795?), Stanford (c.1797)
1 w/m 26-45 b.1755-1774 = John (c.1768)
1 w/f under 10 b.1790-1800 = unknown daughter
No slaves  

1810 Census, Orange Co., NC, p.147: JOHN CHEEK
Data Analysis
2 w/m under 10 b.1800-1810 = Stanford (c.1797), James
1 w/m 10-15 b.1795-1800 = Maj. John (c.1795?)
1 w/m 26-45 b.1765-1784 = John (c.1768)
1 w/f under 10 b.1800-1810 = unk. daughter
1 w/f 10-15 b.1795-1800 = unk. daughter
1 w/f 26-45 b.1765-1784 = Wife Susan
No slaves  

1816 Tax List, Orange Co., NC: John CHEEK, New Hope, 194 acres, $400. (NCGSJ, 5:117, May 1979.)

1820 Census, Orange Co., NC, p.314: JOHN CHEEK
Data Analysis
3 w/m under 10 b.1810-1820 = Ruffin (c. 1815) + 2 males, prob. sons of Maj. John
1 w/m 10-15 b.1805-1810 = Ellis
2 w/m 16-25 b.1795-1804 = Maj. John (c.1795?), James
1 w/m over 45 b.bef. 1775 = John (c.1768)
1 w/f under 10 b.1810-1820 = Susan (c.1820)
1 w/f 10-15 b.1805-1810 = unk. daughter
1 w/f over 45 b. bef. 1775 = Susan
4 slaves  

Mar. 4, 1829. Henry Co., TN. Susannah (ESTES) CHEEK, widow of John CHEEK and daughter of Thomas ESTES, was a party to a lawsuit against Martha's brother Burris ESTES for a share of 640 acres of Revolutionary War bounty land which Burris Estes had obtained as an heir of their deceased uncle Moses Estes. The other petitioners included Susannah's sisters Martha CHEEK (wife of James Cheek) and Elizabeth PITMAN (wife of Josiah PITMAN), their uncles Elisha ESTES and Aaron ESTES, and a cousin, James ESTES, the son of their uncle James ESTES, deceased. (Henry Co., TN, Court Minutes.)

1840 Census, Orange Co., NC, So. Div., p.221: SUSAN CHEEK
Data Analysis
1 w/m 20-29 b.1810-1820 = Ruffin (c.1815)
1 w/f under 5 b.1835-1840 = unk. female (maybe a grandchild?)
1 w/f 20-29 b.1810-1820 = daughter Susan (c.1820)
1 w/f 50-59 b.1780-1790 = Susan

In 1850, 1860, and 1870, Susan was living with her daughter Susan who married Sanders CATES.