Robert Cheek & Ann Cocke
of Orange County, NC

Robert Cheek, possibly the son of John Cheek, Jr., was born around 1730 probably in Essex Co., VA, and died bet. 1817-1820 in Orange Co., NC. He married Ann COCKE, daughter of Brazure & Frances COCKE, around 1761 in Brunswick Co., VA. She was born around 1741-1745, probably in Williamsburg, James City Co., VA, and d. aft. 1817 in Orange Co., NC.

Children of Robert Cheek & Ann Cocke:

  1. +James Cheek, b. Aug. 16, 1762, Brunswick Co., VA; d. Sept. 1834 in Orange Co., NC; m. Martha "Patty" ESTRIDGE (ESTES), daughter of Thomas ESTRIDGE (ESTES) & Elizabeth BURROUGHS, Sept. 6, 1783, Orange Co., NC.
  2. +Mastin (Masting Martin) Cheek, b. bet. 1760-1765, Brunswick Co., VA, or Bute Co., NC; d. bet. 1841-1847, Orange Co., NC.
  3. +Hartwell Cheek, b. bet. 1765-1774, Bute or Orange Co., NC; d.(?) bet. 1820-1830, Orange Co., NC.
  4. +John Cheek, b. bet. 1768-1774, Bute or Orange Co., NC; d. July 26, 1827, Orange Co., NC; m. Susanna ESTRIDGE (ESTES), daughter of Thomas ESTRIDGE (ESTES) & Elizabeth BURROUGHS, Apr. 1, 1794, Orange Co., NC.
  5. +Nancy Cheek, b. abt. 1775, Bute or Orange Co., NC; d. unknown; m. Charles CARROLL, Jan. 4, 1796, Orange Co., NC.
  6. +Robert "Robin" Cheek, Jr., b. abt. 1777, Orange Co., NC; d. bef. Aug. 1866, Orange Co., NC; m. Martha "Patsy" ANDREWS, daughter of William ANDREWS & Mary LLOYD(?), Nov. 27, 1798, Orange Co., NC (b. abt. 1778; d. 1870-1880).
  7. +Richard Cheek, b. abt. 1780, Orange Co., NC; d. Feb. 2 or 3, 1865, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Jane "Jennie" ANDREWS, daughter of William ANDREWS & Mary LLOYD(?), July 3, 1805, Orange Co., NC (b. 1785; d. 1870-1880).
  8. +Mary Cheek, b. abt. 1782, Orange Co., NC; d. 1866, Grayson Co., VA; m. John ANDREWS, son of William ANDREWS & Mary LLOYD(?), Nov. 30, 1801, Orange Co., NC (b. abt. 1770; d. Mar. 28, 1860).
  9. +Elizabeth Cheek, b. abt. 1790, Orange Co., NC; d. 1860-1870, Orange Co., NC; m. Charles JONES, Jan. 18, 1806, Orange Co., NC (b. 1765-1775; d. 1820-1830).


Robert Cheek of Orange County, North Carolina, may have been a son of John Cheek, Jr., of Essex and King & Queen Counties, Virginia, although this is not proven.  The name "Robert Cheek" appears on a merchant's register in King & Queen County in 1749-1750 along with John Cheek, John Cheek, Jr., Richard Cheek and William Cheek.  (See notes under John Cheek, Jr.)  After that, there is no record of Robert Cheek in the Tidewater Virginia area.

Robert Cheek arrived in Amelia County, VA, by 1752, when he first appears on a tax list.  Assuming he was in his early 20's at that time, he was probably born roughly 1730, or perhaps a bit earlier.  In 1754, the tax lists show that Robert was living in the household of a man named Dibdale or Dibdall HOLT. According to an Amelia County court record, Robert worked as Dibdale HOLT's overseer.  (Mag. of VA Genealogy, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp.285-286 (Nov. 1998).)

"Robert CHICK" of Nottoway Parish, Amelia County, purchased land in neighboring Brunswick County, VA, in 1753.  (Brunswick DB 5, pp. 472.)  However, he continued to live in Amelia County until at least 1756 based on tax lists.

Robert's wife Ann (her first name appears in various land records) was probably the daughter of Brazure COCKE of Brunswick County, VA.  Brazure's 1766 will refers to a daughter, Ann CHEEK or CHICK.  (Brunswick Co., VA, WB 4, p.32.)  Robert's employer Dibdale Holt was Brazure Cocke's son-in-law, and in 1756, Robert was living with Brazure's first cousins Abraham Cocke and Stephen Cocke.

Robert Cheek and Ann Cocke probably married around 1760.  They lived in Brunswick County, VA, until 1762, when they moved to the Sandy Creek area of Bute County, NC.  They sold their land in Bute County around 1772 and moved to Orange County, NC.  It is not clear exactly when they first arrived in Orange County, but they were definitely there by 1778, when Robert obtained a land grant for 300 acres on New Hope Creek which is south of Hillsborough, near the present-day town of Chapel Hill, NC.

In 1833, Robert and Ann's son James Cheek filed an application for a Revolutionary War pension which documents the above chronology.  In the application, James Cheek states that he was born in 1762 in Brunswick County, VA, and lived in Bute County, NC, until the age of 10, when his family came to Orange County, NC. (NARA Pension File No. S8190.)

Robert Cheek died intestate in Orange County, NC, sometime between 1817 and 1823.  There has been a lot of confusion about his relationship to the various other Cheeks in Orange County.  Many of the family trees floating around are conflicting and unreliable.  The researcher Larry Cates solved the riddle by tenaciously searching the Orange County records.  Eventually Larry found court records (see page 6) that prove Robert Cheek was the father of James Cheek, John Cheek, Robert "Robin" Cheek, Richard Cheek, and Elizabeth Cheek who married Charles JONES.  Robert's relationship to Mastin Cheek, Hartwell Cheek, Nancy Cheek who married Charles CARROLL, and Mary Cheek who married John ANDREWS is not as well established, but supported by circumstantial evidence.

The "Other" Robert Cheek

It's important not to confuse this Robert Cheek with his cousin Robert Cheek of Moore Co., NC, who was the son of Richard Cheek of Beaufort Co., NC.  The two Roberts were about the same age and lived in some of the same places, but not at the same time.  During the 1750's, Robert, son of Richard (a.k.a. Robert "of Moore" Cheek) owned land on Fishing Creek in Granville County, NC.  Robert, son of John (a.k.a. Robert "of Orange" Cheek) was living in Amelia and Brunswick Counties, VA, during the 1750's, and moved to the Sandy Creek area of Granville/Bute County in the 1760's.  In 1762, Robert "of Moore" Cheek obtained a grant of 241 acres on "Tice Creek" (Tyson's Creek) in Orange County, NC, on the waters of the Deep River at the border of Orange and Cumberland Counties (now the border of Chatham and Moore Counties).  Robert "of Orange" Cheek came to Orange County around 1778 and lived on New Hope Creek.  Robert "of Moore" Cheek was a Quaker and a member of the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting until 1770, when he was disowned for taking up arms, probably in the Regulator Rebellion.  There is no evidence that Robert "of Orange" Cheek was a Quaker.

James Cheek

At one time, some researchers believed that a man named James Cheek, not Robert, was the ancestor of the Cheek family in Orange County, NC.  However, this assumption turn out to be erroneous.  James Cheek (born between 1730-1735) was probably a first cousin of Robert "of Orange" Cheek.  James Cheek was a Quaker who lived on the north fork of the Little River in Orange County from 1758 to 1765.  He sold his land in 1765 and moved to South Carolina.  Robert "of Orange" Cheek arrived in Orange County around 1778, twelve years after James and his family left.  James Cheek had no descendants in Orange County.