Captain James C. Cheney

Captain James C. Cheney was born 2 Oct 1803, in Vermont by the account in the 1850 Census and as stated by his son Eugene in the 1920 census and NY by his son, Eugene’s, death certificate. (On unconfirmed source says Bakersfield, Franklin Co. VT.) He was known to be in MI in 1831 and was employed in farming. Land records from Macomb Co show he purchased land from Clem Cheney (probably his brother) in January of 1832 for $100.

His commission as a Captain in the Michigan Militia is held in the Archives of the State of Michigan. The document is dated the 4th day of April 1834 and is signed by the Governor of the Territory of Michigan, George B. Porter and the Secretary of the Territory Steven J. Mason. It was not until September 5, 1835 that James was sworn in as a Captain by Johnathan T. Allen, Justice of the Peace. No record was found of service by James in any of the conflagrations of the time; the Toledo Wars, the Patriot Wars or the Black Hawk Wars.

James married Margaret Moore ("Margareta" by The Descendants of Thomas Durfee of Portsmouth, R.I., Reed, Washington, D.C., Gibson Bros., 1902) on August 3, 1835 in Macomb Co. The service was performed by John Cannon M.G. Margaret Moore was born 25 Jan 1817 in NJ.

James Served as the Shelby Township Justice of the Peace in 1841.

On November 6, 1848 James filed a Guardianship Bond of $500 with the Probate Judge Porter Kibbee insuring that he would manage the minor, Enoch Cheney’s estate to Enoch’s benefit. Within the document it states that Enoch is the minor heir of Clem Cheney.

In 1850 James' land in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI was valued at $1,800 dollars. The 1850 census spells his name incorrectly, "Cheeney" and lists his occupation as farmer.

James served as Treasurer of Shelby Twp in 1852. James was also a Grand Juror of the County of Macomb at the April term of the of the Circuit Court in the year 1843.

He died 2 Dec 1854 and is buried in Utica Cemetery, Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI. His tombstone is inscribed, "Captain James". A nearby tombstone reads, "Roselia dau. of J.G. and M.J. Cheney, died May 26, 1866". It is possible that this child is a grandchild through his son James C. Cheney and his spouse Mary J. Cowell. (By June of 2003 Rosalis’ tombstone had disappeared)

Margaret married second Emory Jones. Margaret was known to have hosted a family reunion on July 21, 1896 at her daughter Phebe's farm near Owosso, MI. She died 9/19/1910 and is buried in Utica Cemetary.

I. James C. Cheney was born 12 June 1837 in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co., MI. and died 7 Sep 1916 in Williamsville, Ingahm Co., MI. On 2 May 1858 he married Mary J. Cowell at Rochester, Oakland Co. MI. She was born in NJ in June of 1837. She died 18 Oct 1915, also in Williamsville. At the time of the 1860 census his brother Eugene was living with him. James and Mary had seven children, two daughters who died in infancy and five children who survived their father. He removed to Williamsville in the Spring of 1877, living there til his death. Funeral servives where conducted by Rev. S. M. Gilchrist and he was interred in Utica, MI. In 1900 a grandson James G. Cheney who was born in Feb of 1888 was living in the household.

A. James P. Cheney was born abt 1859, married Clara _____. In 1880 they were residing in Williamsville. {See 1880; Vol 9; Ed 143; sh 31 Ln 47}

1. Charles Cheney

B. Howard E. Cheney born Jun 1861 in MI, was in Williamsville Twp, Ingham Co. in 1900 with his wife Anna E. Hall was born Mar 1870 in VT. Her father Robert Hall was born May 1840 in VT also resided there.

1. Howard R. Cheney born Mar 1891 in IL

2. Philip A. Cheney born Nov 1892 in IL

C. Louis "Lew" Cheney born abt 1863

D. Edith V. Cheney born 7 Dec 1867 in Shelby Twp

E. Margret L. Cheney born 5 Aug 1870 in Shelby Twp

F. Lizzie Cheney born abt 1875

G. George C. Cheney born 29 Oct 1874 was in Williamsville Twp, Ingham Co in 1900 with his wife Kate; who was born Jul 1877 in MI.

H. Rosalie Cheney who is buried beside James and Margaret in Utica may well be a granddaughter. She died 25 May 1866.

II. Phebe Cheney born 7 Mar 1839 in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI and died 22 Nov 1924, married on 23 Mar 1860 David B. Swayzee born 12 Jun 1837 in Orion Twp, Oakland Co, MI. He was a farmer, Republican and a Grange member. Both were Methodists and are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Orion, MI.

A. Clara Swayzee born 24 Mar 1861 died 16 Aug 1864.

B. George Swayzee born 24 Aug 1865 died 19 Jun 1948 married 16 Aug 1892 Edith Summers born 2 Dec 1866 in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co.

C. Lucille Swayzee born 4 Dec 1893 married 12 Jun 1917 Albert Conklin

D. Ward Swayzee born 11 Mar 1895 died 1 Sep 1915

E. Floyd Swayzee born 11 Mar 1895 married 16 Jul 1916 Lillian Piel

III. Euphema Cheney born abt 1841 in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI, married a Mr. Schank. In the year 1896 they were residing in Dryden, MI.

A. Arthur Schank married Etta. He is buried in the Whigville Cemetary.

1. Gail Shank married Pearl Snyder.

IV. Louis Cass Cheney born abt 1846 in Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI was in Ovid Twp, Clinton Co at the time of the 1880 Census. His wife, Sarah J., was born abt 1856 in MI. In 1880 they resided with boarders. In 1894 and 1899 he could be found in the Owosso City Directory employed as a carpenter residing at 220 North Cedar Street. In 1905-6 the Directory shows his wife's name to be Gertrude. [see 1880; Vol 5; Ed 54; Sh 24; Ln 2]

A. Elmer J. Cheney was born Dec 1867 in MI. He first appears in 1894 in Owosso Twp, Shiawassee Co. living at 725 River Street and working at D. L. Murphy's where he again appears in the City Directory in 1899 with his wife Cora who is employed as a clerk. In the year 1900 he lived on Water Street. His wife Cora L. was born Oct 1868 in MI. [see Vol 72; Ed 88; Sh 11; Ln 78]

1. Lewis J. Cheney born May 1893 in MI

2. Lucile Cheney born Jun 1894 in MI

3. Dorothy C. Cheney born Sep 1895 in MI

B. Edward Henry Cheney born 5 Mar 1874 in MI was in Owosso Twp, Shiawassee Co and in 1894 was living at 220 N. Cedar employed at the O.C.Factory. By 1900 he lived at 701 Lingle St., employed as a laborer. His wife Ella E. ..i._____:Ella E.;was born in MI on 10 Jul 1874 and died in 1913. They both rest in the Riverside Cemetery on Chipman Road, Henderson, MI.

a) Leston B. Cheney born 7 Apr 1898 in MI, died in Owosso in 1912. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery on Chipman Road, Henderson, MI.

b) Eugenia H. Cheney died 5 July 1913 and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery on Chipman Road, Henderson, MI.

V. Eugene Clement Cheney born 24 Dec 1846,, Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI

VI. Margaret C. Cheney born abt 1850, Shelby Twp, Macomb Co, MI

It is speculated that William Cheney (appears in Oakland at age 60 with wife Susanna age 57 both of NY with children John D. Cheney age 19 and Harriet M. Cheney age 16 in 1860) who was born 1800, John B. Cheney who was born abt 1801 in NY, Clem Cheney who was born in 1805 and died in 1844 and James were all brothers. All were living in Macomb Co in 1840. Clem's wife's maiden name was Euphamey Moore and James named his second daughter Euphama.

The most promising clue to James' origins comes from Early Families of Rutland Vermont, by Marvel G. and Donald P. Swan. There it is reported on pgs 96 and 97 an Enoch Cheney was born 23 Nov 1770. In 1799 while in Western New York, Enoch was being sued by his father Timothy Cheney (Timothy4, John3, Daniel2, John1 ) who was born 18 Oct 1745 in Newton, MA removed to Rutland, VT abt 1789. The cause for the suit was default on a mortgage. The timing and locations could account for the mixed reports of place of birth of New York and Vermont for James C. Cheney.

Clem Cheney, likely Captain James’ brother had at least two children.James. He married Euphamy Moore who was born Dec. 20, 1810 and died Sept 15, 1836. Both are buried in Ewell Cemetery in Shelby.

I. Enoch Cheney was born abt 1836 in Shelby Twp, MaComb Co., MI and married Clara A. _____ who was born abt 1853.

A. Ella Cheney who was born abt 1867

Jessie Cheney who was born abt 1871 in MI.

II. Euphamey Cheney born abt 1827

The 1800 US Census, NY Onieda Co shows an Enoch Cheney with 1 male and 2 females < 10; 1 Male and 1 female bet. 16 and 26 and one male between 26 and 45.

Other bits of information which may lead to the discovery of the origins of Captain James C. Cheney are the following marriages which occurred in Macomb Co; Albert Cheney married Mary Myers 5 May 1836, Alvin Cheney married Julia Ann Wilkok 16 May 1846, Clem Cheney married married Eliza Pitts 22 May 1842. Eliza was born in 1814. Mary Anne Cheney married Walter Carogen 2 May 1844.

(Daughters of the American Revolution, Cemetery Readings, Macomb Co MI, pgs 152 & 168 from the Macomb Co Library with handwritten notes of George Hammel; Deed and Mortgage Records Macomb Co MI, Vol E; Detroit Society for Genealogical Research," Vol. 18, pg 75 "Early Marriage Records of Macomb Co MI, Detroit Society for Genealogical Research," Vol. 19, pg 23; History of Macomb County MA Leeson and Co., 1882, Chicago, pgs. 445, 718; The History of Macomb Co MI, 1902; LDS IGI 1988, MI; Ingham County Pioneer Families, George Hammel, Vol 6, pgs 67, 76 & 77; Owosso City Directories, 1894, 1899 and 1905-06; The Owosso Weekly Press, 21 Jul 1896; Portrait and Biographical Album, Oakland Co. MI., Chapman Bros. 1891; Williamsville Obituaries, pg 40; United States Census, MI, Shelby Twp 1830, 1840, 1850, 1880 and Soundex 1880 and 1900)

The following is a transcribed document which show that Enoch Cheney was the son of Clem Cheney, not Captain James Cheney, as I had assumed based on the 1850 Federal Census.

Note: Many of the early records indicate my family name as Cheeney - which is wrong! I have copies of Capt. James' signature which is clearly written "Cheney"

Transcribed by Duane F. Cheney from a handwritten document held in the archives of the State of Michigan in Lansing

State of Michigan
County of Macomb
To Porter Kibbee Judge
Of the Court of Probate in and for said County

The petition of James Cheeny (Sic) Guardian of ("Euphama" is struck out and inserted is - ) Enoch Cheeny (sic) minor heir of Clem Cheeny late of said said (sic) County deceased. Respectfully respondents that said minor is entitled to a share of all the Real Estate of said deceased situated in the Township of Shelby in said County of Macomb which Real Estate of said deceased consists of the following described land, towit,(sic) viz: (sic) The south part of the N.E. back quarter of Section 19 P (?) 3 R 13 East containing seventy four acres more or less. Also eight acres in the same Town and section it being the ? ???? ???? ???

Off from the Real Estate of Joseph B. Moore , deceased. That the other said heir to said real estate are Euphama Cheeny ( Sic) a minor under the age of fourteen years and the late widow of said deceased Eliza Cheeny (sic), now Eliza Beardsler (sic). Your petition further ("shows" is struck) Represents that he is desirious to have the said share of Enoch Cheeny (sic), left off to him that he may hold the parcel in ????alty

He therefore prays that you would order said Real Estate to be divided among the heirs agreeeable to the laws of Michigan in such case made a provided (?).

James Cheney
Dated February 29 1848

The Cheney information was graciously submitted to us by Duane Cheney - you can contact him for further information or to exchange data with him at his email -

If you have any questions about Macomb Genealogy and would like to post your Macomb family information please contact me, Margaret Fallone

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