Willis Cheek
of Laurens Dist., SC

Willis Cheek, son of James CHEEK & Ann MAYO, was born abt. 1771 in Orange Co., NC, and died Jan. 2, 1852, in Laurens Dist., SC. He married (1) Jemima Sanders, abt. 1794. She was probably born around 1775 and died between 1820-1830 in Laurens Dist., SC. He married (2) Elizabeth Gray, daughter of Abraham GRAY & Mary PARKS, bef. 1830. She was born Oct. 11, 1798, and died Dec. 9, 1884, in Laurens Co., SC. Willis Cheek is buried at the Rabun Creek Baptist Church in Laurens Co., SC.

Children of Willis Cheek & Jemima Sanders:

  1. Silas Cheek, b. abt. 1795, Laurens Dist., SC; d. Jan. 9, 1873, Macon Co., GA; m. Belinda Nelly HIGGINS (b. abt. 1794; d. Aug. 20, 1866); bur. Red Hill Cemetery (Hepzibah Primitive Baptist Church), Macon Co., GA.
  2. Rebecca Cheek, b. unk. in Laurens Dist., SC; m. Isom HAMMONDS. Children: Cassandra, Bethany, Lucinda, & Peter (b. 1821). Their son Peter HAMMONDS moved to Cass (now Bartow) Co., GA, in 1844. (Memoirs of Georgia, Vol. I (Southern Hist. Assoc. 1895), p.295.)  For more information, see "Hammond Genealogy" by Tom Hammond.
  3. +Randall (Randol) Cheek, b. Aug. 10, 1790, Laurens Dist., SC; d. May 11, 1865, Lowndes Co., AL; m. (1) unk.; m. (2) Lucinda WALDRUM, July 13, 1837, Lowndes Co., AL (b. abt. 1817; d. aft. 1880); bur. Cheek Cemetery, Lowndes Co., AL.
  4. Anna Cheek, b. Jan. 30, 1793, Laurens Dist., SC; d. July 24, 1843, Laurens Dist., SC; m. Stephen Harmon GARRETT, son of Nicholas Ware GARRETT & Sarah BRAMLETT (b. 1791; d. abt. 1850).
  5. Levy Cheek, b. abt. 1794, Laurens Dist., SC; d. ?; m. William RIDDLE (b. 1798; d. 1875).
  6. Austin Cheek, b. abt. 1800, Laurens Dist., SC; d. aft. 1850, Fayette Co., AL. He is listed in the 1830 & 1840 census of Coweta Co., GA, and the 1850 census of Fayette Co., AL (age 50, b. in SC, blacksmith).
  7. Ellis Cheek, b. Mar. 1, 1804, Laurens Dist., SC; d. 1850, Laurens Dist., SC; m. Hannah Mahulda ABERCROMBIE, Oct. 2, 1823, Laurens Dist., SC (b. Oct. 20, 1802; d. Feb. 9, 1876). Possibly the "EC" and "HAC" buried at the Cheek Family Cemetery in Gray Court, Laurens, SC.

Children of Willis Cheek & Elizabeth Gray:

  1. James William Cheek [twin], b. Dec. 17, 1833, Laurens Dist., SC; d. Sept. 9, 1864, Laurens Dist., SC; m. Elizabeth E. NESBITT, abt. 1853 (b. May 31, 1832; d. Feb. 14, 1918); bur. Rabun Creek Baptist Church, Laurens Co., SC.
  2. William Abraham Cheek [twin], b. Dec. 17, 1833, Laurens Dist., SC; d. Aug. 17, 1904, Princeton, SC; m. Sarah Lee FOWLER, daughter of Meredith FOWLER & Caroline C. CHESHIRE, Nov. 27, 1856, Laurens Dist., SC (b. Mar. 6, 1837; d. Dec. 30, 1902). (See Grover Parsons Fowler, The House of Fowler: A History of the Fowlers Families of the South (1940), p.659.)


1790 Census, Laurens Dist., SC: WILLIS CHECKE
1 white male >16
No white males <16
1 white female

1800 Census, Laurens Dist., SC: WILLIS CHECK
3 w/m under 10 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 26-45

1810 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.85: WILLIS CHEEK
1 w/m under 10 1 w/f under 10
2 w/m 10-14 1 w/f 10-14
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 26-45
2 slaves  

1820 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.35: WILLIS CHEAK
1 w/m 15-19 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 15-19
  1 w/f 26-45

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.)

1830 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.271: WILLIS CHEEK
1 w/m 60-69 1 w/f 30-39

May 20, 1832. "Willis CHEEK husband of Eliza GRAY" received $77.10 from the partition of the estate of Abram GRAY, deceased. ("Laurens District Estate Divisions, 1825-1834," SC Mag. of Ancestral Research, Vol. XIV, No. 1, Winter 1986.)

1840 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, p.44: WILLIS CHEEK
2 w/m 5-9 1 w/f 40-49
1 w/m 60-69  

1843 State Census, Laurens Dist., SC: WILLIS CHEEK

1850 Census, Laurens Dist., SC, (HH#1732):
WILLIS CHECK, 79, farmer, $4500, SC
-- Eliza, 52, SC
-- James, 17, SC
-- Willis, 17, SC

Nov. 7, 1845. The will of WILLIS CHEEK, dated Nov. 7, 1845. To wife Eliza, one negro man name Zack and his wife Treecy and their 4 children, together with my house & furniture, plantation tools, farming implements, horses, cattle, & 200 acres of land during her natural life; if she should marry then property to be divided between her & her 2 children James William CHEEK & Willis Abram CHEEK.  As to children of my 1st wife Jemima, viz: Randal CHEEK, Anna GARRETT, Silas CHEEK, Austin CHEEK, Rebecca HAMMONDS, Levi RIDDLE, & Ellis CHEEK, I have portioned them all off, & debar them from receiving any more of my estate, except Rebecca HAMMONS 4 children [not identified] to receive $5 a piece, & daughter Levi RIDDLE to have tract of land where she now lives during her natural life.  Balance of estate to be equally divided between sons James William CHEEK & Willis Abram CHEEK.  Exec: friend William M. DOROUGH. Wits: Joseph SULLIVAN, Hasting JOHNSON, Andrew MCKNIGHT. Codical dated Mar. 1, 1851, states that land given to Levi RIDDLE is to be held in trust by Wm. M. DORROH during her life then to be sold & proceeds divided between sons J.W. & A.W. CHEEK.  Also provides that property willed to J.W. & W.A. CHEEK should be kept together and not sold until they are of age.  Wits: MCKNIGHT, Barrington AVARY, and T.J. MAHON. (Laurens Wills Vol. 2, Book A, pp.234-236.)