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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.

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The surname Cheney was 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.

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


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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.

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

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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

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  • Laurance Russell "Larry" Cheney (1886-1969), American Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played from 1911 through 1919
  • Dorothy “Dodo” Bundy Cheney (b. 1916), American tennis player, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004
  • 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
  • Thomas Edgar Cheney (1934-2001), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1957 to 1966
  • Dorothy Cheney (b. 1916), American tennis player
  • 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
  • Benjamin Pierce Cheney (1815-1895), American businessman and a founder of the firm that became American Express
  • Christopher John "Chris" Cheney (b. 1975), Australian rock musician, record producer and studio owner
  • Christopher Cheney, Professor of Mediaeval History
  • Person C Cheney, United States Senator, Governor of New Hampshire


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  • The Cheney Genealogy by Charles Henry Pope.
  • George Cheney (1771-1829) of Manchester, Connecticut by Edward H. Little.
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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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. 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 24 April 2015 at 09:03.

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