An American Family History


Charles Cheney

Cheney has also been spelled: Chain, Chainey, Chania, Chaney, Chany, Cheyney, and China.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

Charles Cheney was born in 1703 in South River Hundred, Anne Arundel County. He was the son of Charles Cheney and Ann Jones.

When Charles was about 19, he married Mary Powell on April 13, 1721. She was about 14 at the time. Mary was a daughter of John Powell and Mary Dunstone.

A Charles Cheney married Elizabeth Green on November 12, 1723 and their children were Jacob Cheney (1724) and Rachel Cheney (1730). Doliante wrote that it was the same Charles married to both women who had children at the same time because children of both women were mentioned in Charles' will. A more reasonable explanation is that there were two Charles Cheneys. Jacob was not mentioned in the will and Rachel was mentioned last indicating that she was the youngest and not born in 1730.

His children may have included:
Charles Cheney (1722),
Dorcas Cheney (1725/26),
Ezekiel Cheney ( 1727),
Mary Cheney ( 1726).
Jeremiah Cheney (1729, married Naomi Twigg),
Jason Cheney,
Elizabeth (Betty) Cheney (1732,),
Nancy Ann Cheney (1734, married Cheney Ricketts),
Charity Cheney (1738),
John Cheney (1740),
Rebecca Cheney (1742,),
Nathan Cheney (1746, married Hannah Dawson), and
Rachel Cheney.

The family moved to Antietam in 1738. Their original tracts of land included Rich Hill, Cheneys Delight, Strife, and Cadiz.

Rich Hill was surveyed for Charles Cheney of Prince George's County on December 26, 1738, based on a warrant that he acquired on September 1, 1736.

Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.



from Mayland and Virginia Colonials: Genealogies of Some Colonial Families by Sharon J. Doliante

This is the only identified Charles Cheney of this era other than his father, we are greatly confused by the All Hallows and Queen Anne's Parish Register entries which appear to pertain to him. They show that he apparently had two wives. i.e. "Charles Cheney married Mary Powell 13 Apr 1721," and "Charles Cheney married Elizabeth Green 12 Nov 1723."

There is nothing unusual about these, but there are then at least ten children shown alternately as either issue of Mary or Elizabeth - seeming to indicate that both wives were living at the same time!

One might conclude that we had two men mixed up and that these were actually two families, but the will of this Charles (infra) names all of the children thus listed in the registers (except Charles and Ezekiel who may have pre-deceased their father), in addition to others not listed in the registers.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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