Ancestral Family Topic 830

 830   William Cheatham I (c.1695-1752)
Pedigree Chart 06

William Cheatham I, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, William Cheatham I might describe his life as follows.

I learned to read from the books belonging to my father, Thomas Cheatham. My wife was Obedience Branch, a daughter of Christopher Branch, who left her only a cow and 15 shillings for a ring in his 1727 will.
We lived in that part of Henrico County that became Chesterfield County in 1749. At the court of 2 March 1749/50 the justices of the newly-formed county put me in charge of the road from the County Bridge to Proctors Creek. 
Because my nephew Charles Cheatham had no land or slaves to his name when he wooed my daughter Obedience, I made them postpone the wedding until my brother gave him some of both.
I was 56 when I prepared my will 27 April 1751.  I was fine when I served on a grand jury 1 May 1752, but was dead by 6 October 1752 when the court recorded my will. 
Since every minor heir to an estate had to have a guardian, son Thomas, who was more than 14, chose his mother as his guardian, and the court appointed her as Christopher’s.  Obedience paid taxes on 4 slaves: Robin, Betty, Lucy, and Phoebe in 1756. 
My sons and executors, William and Thomas, inventoried my estate December 1758, my children then all being of age.  When by the next year they had not distributed my estate to the heirs, Obedience and Charles sued them. 
Obedience outlived me more than 20 years. Our same sons, William and Thomas, valued her estate, at £109.0.6. 

Jacob Bugg was foreman of the grand jury that also included Olive Branch, Charles Cayce, Benjamin Horner, Ezekiel Sudbury, Joseph Jackson, Matthew Farley, Christopher Bass, Ralph Jackson, John Walthall, Henry Childers, Daniel Ferguson, Benjamin Farmer, and John Hancock.
Charles left Phyllis, one of the slaves Thomas gave his son before his wedding, at his father’s home. Years later after Thomas died, the issue of who owned Phyllis—and her 8 or 10 children—went to court. 

The account book that Sheriff John Nash kept shows William paid tax on 5 levys in 1736. 

Land transactions
During his lifetime William bought and sold several tracts of land in Henrico County. He acquired 150 acres on the south side of Swift Creek in June 1716 that was part of a 3,000-acre grant belonging to Richard Grills He bought 75 acres from Arthur Moseley in Aug. 1727 that he sold to his brother Thomas Cheatham in Dec. 1733,  and he purchased 375 acres from Field Jefferson in Oct. 1729 that he sold to William Pride in July 1733. 
William bought 308 acres from Jeffrey Robertson in July 1733,  154 acres from his brother Marmaduke Cheatham in May 1734,  300 acres from William Williamson in Oct. 1734,  and 500 acres on the south side of Swift Creek for £125 from Field Jefferson in 1746.  By a patent of 1746, he added 191 acres on a branch of Dry Creek.  These transactions netted William 1,603 acres, which we presume he held at his death.

William’s and Obedience’s wills

Will of William Cheatham
27 April 1751
Item: To son William one Negro.
Item: To son Thomas, my plantation at Dry Creek, joining said creek and Spring Run, also a Negro and some livestock.
Item: To son Christopher, my plantation where I now live, a Negro and some livestock, to be in possession at 18. Christopher may not sell any part of the said plantation and livestock until he is 21 without the consent of my executrix.
Item: To daughter Obedience Cheatham, a Negro.
Item: To daughter Ann Hill, a Negro girl.
Item: To daughter Mary Cheatham, 3 Negroes and items.
Item: To wife Obedience, use of labor of 4 Negroes for her widowhood, and then to my three sons, William, Thomas, and Christopher, and use of half of moveables.
Item: Money and rest of Negroes equally to three sons.
William Bass Jr.
Mary Bass
Stephen Beasley Jr.

Here is the will Obedience prepared 12 Feb. 1771.  The court recorded it more than 3 years later, 5 Aug. 1774. 

Will of Obedience Cheatham
12 February 1771
To grandson William Cheatham, orphan of my son Christopher Cheatham, one Negro and 40 shillings.
To other grandchildren, orphans of Christopher Cheatham, i.e., Christopher Cheatham, Thomas Cheatham, Lucy Cheatham, and Polly Cheatham, each, 40 shillings.
All the rest of my estate to be divided into three parts, as follows: one-third to my son William, one-third to son Thomas Cheatham, and one-third among 5 children named above.
Jo. Bass
Samuel Moody
William Beasley

Descendants of William Cheatham I
Information about the children of William Cheatham I, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 William Cheatham II (-1796),  
Tabitha Beasley,   Frances Pryor,  Major Pryor,  Ann —,  Susanna Pryor,  
Major Winfree,   
Sarah Cheatham,  Thomas Burton,  
Ann Cheatham,  
William Cheatham III,  
Rhoda Cheatham,  Thomas Spencer Walthall,   
William Archibald Walthall,  Marley Pleasant Bowman,   
Thomas Spencer Walthall,  
Rebecca Walthall,  
John H. Walthall,  
Susan Walthall,  Majors E. Barbee,  
Elizabeth Walthall,  
Polly Walthall,  
Louisa A. Walthall,  
Pleasant Thornton Walthall,  
Elizabeth Cheatham,  Pleasant Bowman,   
Marley Pleasant Bowman,  William Archibald Walthall,   Thomas Graves,  
Permelia Branch Bowman,  John H. Walthall,  
Frances C. Bowman,  Vincent Taylor,  
Ann P. Bowman,  Martin Newby,  
Granville Bowman,  Mary F. Walthall,  
Wilson Bowman,  
Edmund Cheatham,  Milly Norment,  
Frances Cheatham,  Major Winfree,   William Fendley,  
Rebecca Berry Cheatham,  Rebecca Berry,  
Christopher Cheatham,   
Christopher Cheatham,  
Major Cheatham,  
 Obedience (Cheatham) Cheatham,  
Charles Cheatham,   
Francis Cheatham,   Samuel Goode,   William Westbrook,  Thomas Cheatham Jr.,   Leonard Cheatham,   Thomas Cheatham,   
Francis Cheatham,   
Benjamin Beasley,   
Charles Cheatham,  
William Cheatham,  Nancy Clark Smith,  Sally Smith,  
Bernard Cheatham,  Judith Hampton,  
Bernard Cheatham,  Margaret (Rudd) Cheatham,   Obadiah Cheatham,   John Tankersly,  Hezekiah Turpin,   
Thomas Rudd Cheatham,  Thomas Rudd,  
Charles Cheatham,  
Obedience Cheatham,  
Nancy Cheatham,  
Obedience Cheatham,  Benjamin Beasley,   
Tabitha Cheatham,  Thomas Beasley,   
Phoebe Cheatham,  Henry Cook,  
Sarah Cheatham,  John Stewart,  
Ann Cheatham,  James Rudd,   
Bernard Cheatham,   
Samuel Matthews,  
Thomas Rudd,  Catherine Isham White,   
Obedience Rudd,  James Murrell,  
Margaret Rudd,  William Atkins,  
Nancy Rudd,  George T. Lansdawn,  
 Ann (Cheatham) Hill,  
James Hill,   
 Thomas Cheatham (c.1739-c.1795),  
Francis Cheatham,  Benjamin Farmer,  Charles Cheatham,   
Matthew Hobson,  Prudence (—) Cheatham,  
Matthew Cheatham,  Martha Sherwin,   
Sarah Cheatham,  Graves,  
William Cheatham,  
Thomas Cheatham,  Elizabeth Bruce,   
Elizabeth Cheatham,  Capt. William Ball,  Susan Ball,  John Friend,   Thomas Ball,  
Pauline Cheatham,  Peter Branch,   
Martha Cheatham,  Stephen Beasley,   
Henry Stratton,   
Branch Cheatham,  Mary (—) Cheatham,  Henry Heth,  
Thomas Branch Cheatham,  
Ann Cheatham,  
Susanna Cheatham,  Peterfield Edwards,   
 Mary Cheatham,  
 Christopher Cheatham (c.1740-1770),  
Elizabeth Akin,  
Robert Beasley,  Thomas Cheatham,  
William Cheatham,  Samuel Hatcher,   Tabitha Hatcher,   Sarah (—) Cheatham,  
Richardson Cheatham,  
Owen Cheatham,  
Henry Cheatham,  Martha Branch Walthall,  
Christopher Cheatham,  
Lucy Cheatham,  Valentine Winfree,   
Nelson Winfree,  Frances Willson Vaden,   
Christopher Winfree,  Mary Warwick,  Cornelia Meyer Tilden,  Maj. Christopher Valentine Winfree,  
Valentine Winfree,  Delilah A. Lafon,  
Martha Johnson Winfree,  John Lafon,  
Lucy Hobson Winfree,  William Spencer Dance,   
Mary Cheatham Winfree,  William Winfree,  
Thomas Winfree,  
Margaret Winfree,  
Robert Burton Winfree,  Amanda A. Hatcher,  
Elizabeth Owen Winfree,  John Willis Dance,   
William Washington Winfree,  
Polly Cheatham,  
Christopher Cheatham,  Rebecca Berry Cheatham,   
Thomas Cheatham,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
Bernard Cheatham - Revolutionary War Matthew Cheatham - Revolutionary War
Thomas Cheatham - War of 1812 Branch Cheatham - War of 1812
William Cheatham - Revolutionary War Nelson Winfree - War of 1812
Christopher Valentine Winfree - Civil War Valentine Winfree - War of 1812
John Lafon - War of 1812  

Legislators - colonial and state
Matthew Cheatham - Virginia Branch Cheatham - Virginia

Selected sources
Campbell, Leslie Lyle. The Dance Family in Virginia. Lexington, VA. 1951. • Focus on family of Asenath Hatcher who married Ezekiel Dance, and includes a topic on William Spencer Dance and Lucy Hobson Winfree.
Dennstedt, Alberta Marjorie. “The Cheatham Family of Colonial Family.” The Virginia Genealogist. 27: 163-173, 273-279 (1983); 28: 38-43, 102-112, 209-216, 293-197 (1984); 29: 32-40, 123-127, 179-185, 262-265 (1985); 30: 17-23, 99-104 (1986). • Careful study of the families of Thomas Cheatham and William Cheatham.

This topic, which represents .21% of all the family history material at, includes 174 citations and the names of 187 individuals.
Virginians - The Family History of John W. Pritchett
Copyright © 2001-2006, John W. Pritchett. All rights reserved.
Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia 
  • 1,140 family histories
  • 744 pages
  • 35,000-name index
  • Attractively bound
  • Military histories
  • Index of church cemeteries
  • Confederate veterans photo
  • More...