Ellis Cheek
of Laurens Dist., SC

Ellis Cheek, son of James CHEEK & Ann MAYO, was born June 26, 1760, in Orange Co., NC, and died Sept. 9, 1838, in Laurens Dist., SC; buried Cheek Cemetery, Gray Court, Laurens Co., SC. He married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Drury & Sarah SMITH. She was born Apr. 6, 1765, and died Jan. 9, 1838, in Laurens Dist., SC.

Children of Ellis Cheek & Elizabeth Smith:

  1. William Cheek, b. 1784, SC; d. 1873, Jasper Co., GA; m. (1) Lavinia, last name unk.; m. (2) Temperance PIERCE, Jan. 23, 1824, Pike Co., GA (b. 1804; d. 1877). Children: Ellis Cheek (c.1818), John W. Cheek (c.1821), Sarah Cheek (c.1828), William Riley Cheek (1831), Rebecca Ann Cheek (c.1834), Thadius Cheek (c.1836), James Cheek (c.1838), Woodville Cheek (c.1840), Brittain Lafayette Cheek (c.1841).
  2. Richard Cheek, b. 1790-1800, Laurens Dist., SC; d. aft. 1840, probably in Laurens Dist., SC. Might be the father of William CHEEK (c.1820) who is listed in the 1850 census of Laurens Dist., SC.
  3. Sally Cheek, m. Joseph SENTELL. They moved to Jasper Co., GA.
  4. Mary Cheek, m. __ RHODES.
  5. Jane Cheek, m. __ RHODES.
  6. Cassandra "Cassey" Cheek, b. Sept. 26, 1803; d. Sept. 26, 1871; m. Landon Waters FARROW, son of Landon FARROW & unk. WALKER (b. Dec. 1799; d. Aug. 12, 1845). Children: Landon, Martha, William, Abner T., Robert, Waters, Sarah, Caroline, James Pattillo.
  7. Malinda "Linney" Cheek, b. abt. 1805; m. Harrison RIDDLE.
  8. Willis Drayton Cheek, b. 1806, Laurens Dist., SC; d. abt. 1849, Laurens Dist., SC; m. Priscilla SIMS (b. 1806, d. Oct. 24, 1860). Willis D. CHEEK & Priscilla CHEEK are named in the will of Frances SIMS (Laurens WB A, p.128). Children: James Melton Cheek (1826), Jane Cheek (c.1826), John P. Cheek (1827), William or Willis Cheek Jr. (c.1829), Starling Tucker Cheek (c.1834), Mary E. Cheek (c.1836), Ellis V. Cheek (c.1839), Thomas Cheek (c.1841). The will of Willis D. CHEEK, dated Oct. 5, 1849, names wife "Prissilla" and son John; other children referred to but not identified by name. (Laurens WB A, pp.186-187.)


Ellis Cheek served in the Revolutionary War and received a pension for his service.  He was disowned by the Quakers for taking up arms.  He states in his pension application that he was born in 1761 in Orange County, NC.  At the time of war he was living on Fair Forest River, SC [now Union or Spartanburg District].  He enlisted in 1780 as a substitute for William McDOWELL and served a two-month tour of duty.  He reenlisted in Nov. 1781.  He moved to Laurens District before the conclusion of the war where he lived ever since.  (NARA Pension File No. S8204).

Ellis died testate in Laurens, SC, in 1838.  He and his wife Elizabeth are buried at the Cheek Family Cemetery on Cheek Road in Gray Court, Laurens County, SC.  (See photos below.)  See also "Laurens Co., SC, Tombstone Inscriptions; Cheek Family Graveyard," South Carolina Genealogical Register, Vol. IV, No. 3 (Sept. 1966), p.167.


Nov. 24, 1781. Bush River Monthly Meeting, Newberry Dist., SC. Ellis CHEEK, son of James, disowned for taking up arms in a warlike manner. (Hinshaw, Ency. of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. 1).

1785. Allias (Ellis) Cheek was a party to deeds in Laurens Dist., SC. (Laurens DB A, pp. 141-143.)

1790 Census, Laurens Co., SC: ELLIS CHICK
1 male over 16
2 males under 16
2 females

Aug. 12, 1797. Will of Drury SMITH of the County of Laurens, SC. To my wife Sarah SMITH, all that tract of land whereon I now live during her life or widowhood, 150 acres, and at her deceased to my son George SMITH; to my son James SMITH, all that tract whereon he now lives, 60 acres ?remainder divided amongst the rest of my children after my wife taking her thirds, Elliott SMITH, Elizabeth CHEEK, Mary FORD, William SMITH, Sarah SMITH ?wife Sarah and son John, exrs. Signed: Drury (X) SMITH. Wits: Daniel FORD, Henry VAUGHAN. (Laurens WB A, p.182; South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. IX, Summer 1981, p.140.)

Sept. 25, 1797. Ellis CHEEK obtained a plat for 13 acres on the Enoree River in the 96 Distict of SC (note, the old 96 Dist. included Laurens Dist.) (South Carolina Archives, Series S213192, Vol. 36:120.) The land grant was issued on Oct. 2, 1797.

Mar. 21, 1800. Laurens Dist., SC, Court Minutes. Ellis CHEEK sworn in as constable.

June 5, 1806. Laurens Dist., SC, Court Records; State v. William Roundtree. Ellis CHEEK was one of several "good and lawful men" appointed by the court to "view of the body of Thomas Owens then and there Lying Dead … [and] to Enquire for the said State when, where, how and after what manner the s'd Thomas Owens came to his death… " [This is what we would now refer to as a Coroner's Inquest.] The inquest panel determined that "the said Owens was wilfully and felloniciously shot in the back part of his head with a Leaden ball of which wound he lived about three hours and then died, done on the fourth of this instant, between the hours of ten and Eleven olcock in the forenoon, near the plantation of John Atterway in the District aforesaid and that they have Reasons to Believe and doth believe from strong presumtive Evidence that William Rountree Esq'r committed the felony aforesaid." [A trial was held and William Roundtree was found not guilty.] (South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. XVI, No. 2, Spring 1988.)

Mar. 2, 1809. Laurens Dist., SC. Ellis CHEAK was a witness on behalf of Starling TUCKER in a lawsuit against George GORDON et al. ("Western Circuit Equity Journal," South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. VIII, Winter 1980.)

1810 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.61: ELIAS CHEEK
1 w/m under 103 w/f under 10
1 w/m 16-251 w/f 10-15
1 w/m over 451 w/f 16-25
3 slaves1 w/f over 45

Nov. 20, 1810. Laurens Dist., SC. Solomon WALDRIP to Ellis CHEEK, for $600, 234 ½ acres where said Solomon WALDROP now lives, part of William WILLIAMSON's Big Survey of 550 acres conveyed to James WALDROP, Sr., and by him to said Solomon WALDROP. Witnesses: William CHEEK, John WALLIS and Starling TICKER, J.P. Sally WALDROP released dower rights. Deed recorded Jan. 11, 1811. (Laurens Co., SC., DB J, No. 187.)

Dec. 12, 1813. Ellis CHEEK was appointed to a coroner's inquest into the death of a Negro man named Tom on Col. Starling TUCKER's land.

Jan. 6, 1815. Farley Ellis CHEEK, Samuel Fleming THOMPSON and John MOSELEY take oath to appraise the goods & chattels of David FOWLER, deceased. Signed: Starling TUCKER, J.P.  On Feb. 12, 1815, Ellis CHEEK, Samuel FLEMING, Thompson FARROW, and John MOSELY are authorized to repair to such places within the district as Sarah FOWLER, Admx. of the late David FOWLER, deceased, shall direct, & make appraisement. Signed: David ANDERSON, Ordy. (Laurens Record Book D-D, transcribed by Grover Parsons Fowler, The House of Fowler: A History of the Fowlers Families of the South (1940), pp.662-663.)

Apr. 18, 1816. Commission to Sterling TUCKER, Ellis CHEEK, Henry MARTIN, Capt. John HUNTER, and John RIDDLE to make partition of land on Warrior Creek for heirs of Edward GARRETT. Commissioners' Return dated Apr. 18, 1816, recommended sale of the land. Sworn before Stephen GARRETT, J.P. ("Estate Partitions in the Washington District Court of Equity, 1803-1826," South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. III, No. 2, Spring 1975.)

1820 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.7: ELIAS CHEAK
1 w/m 10-152 w/f 10-15
1 w/m over 451 w/f over 45

1829 State Census, Laurens Dist., SC:
Richard CHEAK, 4
Willis CHEAK, 2
Randol CHEAK, 8
Ellis CHEAK, 5
James CHEAK, 3
(SC Mag. of Ancestral Research, Vol. IV, Spring 1976)

Mar. 6, 1829. Laurens Dist., SC. Ellis CHEEK witnessed the will of Isaac GRAY. (Laurens Will Book F, Page 261.)

1830 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.255: ELLIS CHEEK
1 w/m 60-691 w/f 60-69

1835 Pension List, South Carolina: Ellis CHEEK, Laurens Dist., private, SC Militia, $53.33 annual allowance, $159.99 received, pension started Apr.17, 1832, age 74.

Jan. 12, 1838. The will of ELLIS CHEEK, dated Jan. 12, 1838, proved Sept. 17, 1838, in Laurens, SC, names children William CHEEK, Richard CHEEK, Salley SENTELL, Mary RHODES, Jane RHODES, Cassey FARROW, Willis D. CHEEK, Linney RIDDLE. Execs: son Willis D. CHEEK, friend William ROSS. Wits: James B. HIGGINS, Samuel MILLS, Benjamin B. HIGGINS. (Laurens WB A, p.189.)

Ellis and Elizabeth Cheek

Cheek Family Cemetery, Laurens Co., SC
Photos kindly shared by Mike Hair

Ellis Cheek Gravestone
Click for closeup
Elizabeth Cheek Gravestone
Click for closeup
In Memory of
Son of James & Ann Cheek
who was born June 26th
and departed this life
Sept. 9th, 1838
Aged 78 years.
In Memory of
wife of
Ellis Cheek
& daughter of Drury
& Sarah Smith,
who was born April
6th 1765, & died Jany.
9th 1838.