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So far, our project has identified three major Cheek/Chick lineages in the United States, as well as a number of unique lineages. For the DNA results tables, go to:


The members of Group 1 are descendants of various Cheek and Chick families in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and other Southern states. These families appear to be descendants of a man named John Cheek, Sr. (b. around 1650) who lived in Old Rappahannock (Essex) County, VA, or possibly from his male relatives such as brothers, uncles or cousins. Based on the DNA results, there is a 95%+ probability that the American members of Group 1 had a common male ancestor within the last 300 years. Group 1 also includes participants (in Australia and England) who are descended from Chick families in Somerset and Essex, England. The relationship between these participants and the American group is probably more distant (a few hundred years) but the genetic match is compelling evidence of a connection. Group 1 is distinguished by a very unusual result on the marker 464d. Most of the population has a value of 18 or less on this marker. Less than 2% of the population has a 19. But almost all of the participants in Group 1 have a "20", including the two descendants of the Somerset families. It's highly improbable that this could be a coincidence.
Haplogroup R-M269 (formerly R1b) - Western European

Refined Haplogroup L48 - this suggests that Group 1 is descended from people who originally lived the northwest coast of Europe (Frisia, Flanders, Belgium). They may have come to southern England around the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions or even earlier during the Celtic period.


The members of Group 2 are descendants of William Cheek who immigrated to Virginia from London, England, in 1754.  William lived for a time in Bedford Co., VA, before moving to Surry Co., NC.  He was married twice and had six sons: Thomas, Henry, John, Nicholas, William Jr., and Pleasant Cheek.  Some descendants remained in Surry and Yadkin Counties, NC, while other descendants traveled to Kentucky and Vigo Co., Indiana. The DNA results rule out any relationship between Group 1 and Group 2 in the last 1,000+ years.

Haplogroup R-M269 (formerly R1b) - Western European
No one in Group 2 has had a refined haplogroup test


The participants in Group 3 are believed to be descendants of George Cheek, an early settler in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  George Cheek first appears in the records of Culpeper County, VA, in 1767, and he was one of the founders of the town of Front Royal, originally Frederick (now Warren) County, VA.  George Cheek and some of his children migrated to Dearborn County, Indiana, in the 1790's.  Other members of the Cheek family, believed to be related to George Cheek, remained in Virginia and are found in Frederick, Warren, Culpeper and Rappanhannock Counties during the 19th century.  

Haplogroup E-M35 - this is primarily a southern European/Middle Eastern haplogroup that is found at low frequencies in the British Isles, possibly as a result of immigration during the Roman period.


These participants need a match before we can confirm another family group.

Henderson Cheek (b. abt. 1805) of Wilkes Co., NC: Henderson lived in the Trap Hill area of Wilkes County, NC. Two descendants of Henderson's son Aaron Wesley Cheek have been tested but did not match each other and did not match either Group 1 or Group 2, although there were Cheek families from both groups in neighboring counties (Alleghany, Surry and Yadkin). One participant matched a descendant of Meredith Phillips of Surry County. However, the second participant matched the descendants of George Reeves of Grayson Co., VA. 

William S. Cheek of Lee Co., VA: William S. Cheek arrived in Lee Co., VA, prior to 1840, possibly from Culpepper Co., Virginia. His descendant's DNA did not match any of the family groups we have identified in our study. Descendants believe William's father may have been an immigrant from England, possibly from the Isle of Wight. Haplogroup R-M269 is consistent with a British origin.