• Sarah Noel(?)

Randolph Cheek of
Cape Girardeau Co., MO

Randolph Cheek, possibly a grandson of John Cheek, Sr., of Anson & Montgomery Co., NC, was born around 1780 in North Carolina, and died Jan. 25, 1874, in Bollinger Co., MO. He married Sarah "Sally" Noel or Meyers, abt. 1810 (verification needed for her last name) (possibly married twice?). She was born abt. 1790 in Virginia or North Carolina and died Feb. 1884 in Bollinger Co., MO.

Possible children of Randolph Cheek & Sarah "Sally" Noel (verification needed):

  1. Elizabeth Tignor Cheek, b. Dec. 2, 1808, in NC; d. Dec. 12, 1893, Lane Co., OR; m. Hiram LEE, Mar. 11, 1827, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. Children: James H. Lee (1829), Hiram Lee (1830), Penina E. Lee (c.1833), Elizabeth C. Lee (1835), Matilda Lee (c. 1840), Columbus Lee (c. 1842), Catherine Delphania Lee (1845), Malvina Lee (1848), Clementine Lee (c.1854).
  2. Unknown son, b. 1810-1815.
  3. Patience Cheek, b. abt. 1811 in NC or SC; d. aft. 1880, probably Bollinger Co., MO; m. Leonard WELKER, Mar. 29, 1832, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. Children: Randolph Welker (c.1835), Jacob Welker (c.1842), George Welker (c.1847), Amanda E. Welker (c.1850).
  4. Kanzada M. Cheek, b. around 1812; d. ?; m. John PROPES or PROBST, Mar. 15, 1832, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. No further records.
  5. James H. Cheek, b. Jan. 18, 1813 in KY; d. 1905, Bollinger Co., MO; m. Sarah HAHN, Oct. 30, 1834, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. Children: Surilda or Cerilda (c.1835), Catherine (c.1836), Elizabeth (c.1840), James (c.1842), Pernecia Emily (c.1844), Henry (c.1846), Solomon (c.1848), David (c.1851), Susan or Susanna (c.1852), Jesse Thompson (c.1855), Amanda Jane (c.1857).
  6. John Cheek, b. abt. 1814, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. ?; m. Lucinda MAYFIELD, Sept. 7, 1843. Child: Benton (c.1846). John is listed in the 1850 census of Bollinger Co., MO, with no wife, and son Benton (age 4). No further records in Bollinger Co., MO. However, may be the John CHEEK, age 42, who is listed in the 1860 census of Jasper Co., MO, with wife Susan J. (age 27) and children Benjamin R. (6), Andrew (3), Sarah E. (1), and John Jr. (4 mos.)
  7. Mary B. Cheek, b. July 20, 1820 or 1821, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. Oct. 23, 1893, Mayfield, Bollinger Co., MO; m. George Washington MAYFIELD, Dec. 19, 1839, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; bur. Marble Hill, MO. Children: Dewitt Mayfield (c.1840), John Jefferson Mayfield (1840), George Washington Mayfield (1841), Dr. Andrew Jackson Mayfield (1845), Margaret Mayfield (b. & d. 1847), Cynthia M. Mayfield (c.1847), Mary A. Mayfield (1847), William Henderson Mayfield (1852), Dr. Amanuel Benton Mayfield (1854), Dr. Stephen A. Mayfield (1856), Dr. Randolph L. Mayfield (1858), Dr. Eli Burton Mayfield (1862).
  8. Unknown son, born 1820-1825. Could be Randolph Cheek, b. abt. 1818 in MO; d. ?; m. Sarah J. __. Listed in the 1850 census of New Madrid Co., MO; 1860 census of Grayson Co., TX; 1870 census of Wharton Co., TX. Children: Sarah E. (c.1846), Benjamin F. (c.1847), F.C. (f, c.1849); Parmelia B. (c.1852), Edward G. (c.1854), Mary J. (c.1856).
  9. Jesse C. Cheek, b. abt. 1827, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. after 1880, maybe in Jack Co., TX; m. Mary Catherine GRABLE, May 12, 1846, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. Listed in the 1850 census of Cape Girardeau Co., MO; 1860 census of Bollinger Co., MO; 1870 - can't find him; 1880 census of Jack Co., TX. Children: John (c.1847); Sarah E. (c.1850), James H. (c.1852), George W. (c.1854), Lavina J. (c.1856), Francis M. (c.1859), Margaret (c.1866), Joseph (c.1868), Martha E. (c.1873).
  10. Andrew Cheek, b. abt. 1828, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. aft. 1880, probably Bollinger Co., MO; m. Sarah "Sally" CRITS (or CRITES), Dec. 30, 1847, Cape Girardeau Co., MO. Children: Polly (c.1849), Sophia (c.1854), Patience (c.1862), Barbara Ann (c.1865), Louisa Jane (c.1868), Pernecia E. (c.1872).
  11. Anderson Cheek, b. abt. 1829, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. aft. 1880, probably Bollinger Co., MO. Living with his parents in 1860 ("insane") and with brother James H. CHEEK in 1870-1880.
  12. Sarah Cheek, b. abt. 1833, Cape Girardeau Co., MO; d. aft. 1880, probably Madison Co., MO; m. Michael MOYERS, Aug. 20, 1850, Madison Co., MO. Children: Sarah E. Moyers (c.1854), Thomas F. Moyers (c.1855), William M. Moyers (c.1857), Mary F. Moyers (c.1859), Michael Moyers (c.1868), Francis L. Moyers (c.1866), Lavinna M. (c.1867), Jasper Moyers (c.1870), Henry J. Moyers (c.1872).


Randolph Cheek of Cape Girardeau and Bollinger Counties, Missouri, is often identified as Randolph CHEEK of Warren County, NC, the son of William CHEEK & Sarah BLAKE.  However, I believe these were two different Randolph Cheeks.  Their ages are simply not consistent.  Randolph Cheek of Warren County, NC, appears on a tax list in 1786.  Assuming he was at least 20 years old in 1786, he was born no later than 1766 and would have been at least 65 years old in 1830.

By contrast, Randolph Cheek of Cape Girardeau County, MO, was 40-49 years old in 1830, 50-59 in 1840, 69 in 1850, 84 in 1860, and 96 in 1870 (according to census records).  Therefore, he was born some time between 1774 and 1790, but probably closer to 1780 judging by the earlier census entries.  So, he cannot be the Randolph Cheek on the 1786 tax list of Warren County, NC.  Of course it is possible than Randolph of Cape Girardeau was a son of Randolph of Warren County, but there's no evidence.

Much of the confusion is the fault of a newspaper article that appeared in the Liberty Tribune, Clay County, Missouri, on Jan. 17, 1873, which claimed that Randolph Cheek, an "old citizen" of Bollinger County, was 104 years old (so born about 1769) and his wife was 99 (so born about 1774).  Unfortunately, census records prove the Randolph was actually born about 1780 and Sarah about 1790.  The article also stated that Randolph was born in North Carolina and had 11 children still living and 104 grandchildren.  This part of the article could very well be true; census records confirm that Randolph was from North Carolina, and it is certain that he had many children and grandchildren, although not all of them have been documented.

According to a family story posted on the internet, Randolph Cheek was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian who was born in North Carolina and came to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, long before the Trail of Tears.  There are similar stories about Native American ancestry in many Cheek families.  The Cheek surname is unusual, but in most cases, alas! it's boringly British.  All of the participants in the Cheek DNA Project have European Y-DNA.  Randolph Cheek may be an exception, but for now the question remains open.

The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River, Missouri

In any event, Randolph Cheek may have traveled to Missouri with Silas Cheek (perhaps a brother or cousin?) who is also listed in the 1830 census of Cape Girardeau County.  Silas apparently died or left the area before 1840, when he disappears from the census.  His widow might be Nancy Cheek, age 40-49 in the 1840 census, with 5 children.  Alternatively, Silas could be the Silas Cheek who is found in Monroe County, IL, in 1840, a few miles up the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau County.  Nancy Cheek also died or left Cape Gir. County before 1850.  Nancy was probably the mother of Mary Cheek (age 18), Peter Cheek (age 17) and Absalom Cheek (age 12) who are listed in the 1850 census of Cape Girardeau County, MO.

It is not clear exactly when the Cheeks arrived in Missouri.  There is a record of a Jesse Cheek who explored the Current River of Missouri with a man named Ben Rogan during the early 1800's (see Louis Houck, A History of Missouri, Vol. III (1908) p.185), but his relationship to Randolph Cheek, if any, is unknown.  Based on information in later census records, Randolph Cheek was in North Carolina in 1811 when daughter Patience was born, in Kentucky in 1813 when James was born, and in the Missouri Territory by 1820 when Mary was born.  Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, is about 30 miles up the Mississippi River from Kentucky.  The Cheeks settled in the western part of the county, which became Bollinger County in 1851.  This area was originally settled in 1800 by a group of 20 families of German descent from Tryon County, North Carolina.

Randolph Cheek's census entries state that he was born in North Carolina.  However, the 1880 census entries for Randolph's children James Cheek, Anderson Cheek, and Polly (Cheek) Mayfield, all state that their parents were born in South Carolina.  In addition, the 1880 census entry for Randolph's daughter Patience (Cheek) Welker states that she was born in South Carolina, her father was born in South Carolina, and her mother in Virginia.  Sarah (Cheek) Moyers' census entry states she was born in Missouri and both parents were born in Virginia.

Although Randolph's parents are unknown, it is possible that he was a grandson of John CHEEK, Sr., of Anson Co., NC.  John Cheek may have had several children and a number of grandchildren who lived for a time around the NC-SC border between Mecklenburg County, NC, and York and Lancaster Districts, SC.  Although the evidence is circumstantial, the first names Randolph, Silas, and Jesse do pop up a lot in these families.  Also, this could explain the children's confusion about whether Randolph was born in North or South Carolina.  The exact location of the state line between Mecklenburg Co., NC, and the neighboring districts in South Carolina was unclear during the 1700's due to the presence of the Catawba Indian Reservation.  It wasn't until 1813 that the boundary was finally established by legislation.  The people in this area are often found in the records of both states.

John Cheek of Anson Co., NC, is believed to be the father of Randolph CHEEK (c.1740-1815) who moved to Giles County, TN.  Randolph (c.1740) had a son named Randolph or Randall Cheek (b. abt. 1780) who married Sally KNOWLEN in 1807 in Mecklenburg County, NC (proven by marriage bonds).  Note that the name Sally KNOWLEN is curiously similar to Sally NOEL, the wife of Randolph Cheek of Cape Gir. according to some sources.  The Randolph/Randall who married Sally Knowlen disappears from the records of Mecklenburg County, NC, after 1812, whereabouts unknown.  Descendants of his brother Valentine Cheek (who moved to Texas) say that Randall never returned from a trip to California in 1849, but this has not been verified to my knowledge.


1830 Census, Cape Girardeau Co., MO, p.434: RANDOLPH CHEEK
Data Analysis
3 w/m under 5 b. 1825-1830 = Jesse (c.1827), Andrew (c.1828), Anderson (c.1829)
1 w/m 5-9 b. 1820-1825 = unknown
1 w/m 10-14 b. 1815-1820 = James H. (1813)
1 w/m 15-19 b. 1810-1815 = unknown
1 w/m 40-49 b. 1780-1790 = Randolph
1 w/f 5-9 b. 1820-1825 = Mary B. (1820 or 1821)
1 w/f 15-19 b. 1810-1815 = Kanzada (c.1812)
1 w/f 20-29 b. 1800-1810 = Patience (c.1811)
1 w/f 50-59 b. 1770-1780 = Sarah

1840 Census, Cape Girardeau Co., MO, German Twp., p.266: RANDOLPH CHEEK
Data Analysis
1 w/m 5-9 b. 1830-1835 = Anderson (c.1829)
1 w/m 10-14 b. 1825-1830 = Jesse (c.1827) or Andrew (c.1828)
1 w/m 15-19 b. 1820-1825 = unknown
1 w/m 20-29 b. 1810-1820 = unknown
1 w/m 50-59 b. 1780-1790 = Randolph
1 w/f 5-9 b. 1830-1835 = Sarah (c.1833)
1 w/f 40-49 b. 1790-1800 = Sarah (note age inconsistent with prior census)

1850 Census, Cape Girardeau Co., MO, Dist. 14, p.447 (HH#1524):
-- Sally, 60, VA
-- Lucinda, 3, MO

Geographic note: Bollinger Co., MO, was established in 1851 from Cape Girardeau County.

1860 Census, Bollinger Co., MO, German Twp., p.543 (HH#643):
RANDOLPH CHEEK, 84, NC <<note age is inconsistent with prior census records
-- Sally, 66, VA
-- Lucinda E., 12, MO
-- Winifref A., (male) 31, MO
1870 Census, Bollinger Co., MO, Lorance Twp., p.438 (HH#495):
RANDOLPH CHEEK, 96, NC, "deaf & blind" <<note age is inconsistent with prior census records
-- Sarah, 84, NC
-- Anderson, 25[?], MO, "insane" <<age seems wrong; actually should be about 41