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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Cheney family come from? What is the Scottish Cheney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cheney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cheney family history?

The family name Cheney is believed to be descended originally from the Norman people. The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin but were, more accurately, of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 AD, under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 911 AD. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Cheyney, Chainey, Chainie, Cheeney, Cheeny, Cheney, Cheyne and many more.

First found in Buckinghamshire, where William de Chesney (died 1161), an Anglo-Norman magnate during the reign of King Stephen of England was one of the first listed. He held Oxford Castle during King Stephen's reign. Robert de Chesney (died 1166), brother of William de Chesney was a medieval English Bishop of Lincoln. He was an early patron of Thomas Becket, and present during the coronation of King Henry II of England in 1154. He also served King Henry as a royal justice. William de Chesney (died 1174), another brother, was a medieval Anglo-Norman nobleman and Sheriff of Norfolk (c. 1146-1153), Suffolk (c. 1146-1153) and (1156-1163). He also founded Sibton Abbey.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cheney research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1320, 1414, 1399, 1372, 1378, 1390, 1393, 1394, 1399, 1407, 1413, 1442, 1499, 1485, 1558, 1536, 1540, 1587, 1625, 1698, 1660, 1657, 1728, 1671 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Cheney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 593 words(42 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cheney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cheney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Cheney, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635
  • John Cheney who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1636
  • John Cheney settled in Watertown in 1636
  • John Cheney, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1637

Cheney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Cheney, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1812

Cheney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Cheney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Cheney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Cheney, who landed in Canada in 1834


  • Benjamin Pierce Cheney (1815-1895), American businessman and a founder of the firm that became American Express
  • Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (b. 1941), American politician and businessman, 46th Vice President of the United States and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Dorothy Cheney (b. 1916), American tennis player
  • Thomas Edgar Cheney (1934-2001), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1957 to 1966
  • Lynne Ann Cheney (b. 1941), American novelist and scholar, wife of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, the Second Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009
  • Dorothy “Dodo” Bundy Cheney (b. 1916), American tennis player, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004
  • Laurance Russell "Larry" Cheney (1886-1969), American Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played from 1911 through 1919
  • Person C Cheney, United States Senator, Governor of New Hampshire
  • Christopher Cheney, Professor of Mediaeval History
  • Christopher John "Chris" Cheney (b. 1975), Australian rock musician, record producer and studio owner


  • The Cheney Genealogy by Charles Henry Pope.
  • George Cheney (1771-1829) of Manchester, Connecticut by Edward H. Little.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fato prudentia major
Motto Translation: Prudence is greater than fate.


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The Cheney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cheney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2014 at 22:39.

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