Cheryl (Smith) Hess
Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)

Cheryl (Smith) Hess

Honor Code Signatory
Joined 30 May 2018 | 47404 contributions | 6971 thank-yous
Cheryl J. Hess formerly Smith
Born 1950s.
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and [private mother (1930s - unknown)]
Sister of and [private brother (1960s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Mother of and [private daughter (1970s - unknown)]
Profile manager: Cheryl Hess private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 30 May 2018 | Last significant change: 4 Jun 2020
13:13: Rodney Long answered a question about Cheryl (Smith) Hess [Thank Rodney for this]
This page has been accessed 11,921 times.
Cheryl was featured in a Meet Our Members Post on the WikiTree Blog!
Cheryl (Smith) Hess is a member of the Hess Name Study.
Cheryl (Smith) Hess is a member of German Roots Project.
This user can contribute with an advanced level of English.



Cheryl Jean Smith was born 22 May 1951, in Kankakee, Illinois, the eldest child of Harold Smith and Janet Leinen. She married Michael Joseph McGowan, Sr. on 30 Mar 1968 in Momence, Kankakee, Illinois, United States.. They had two children, Michael Joseph McGowan, Jr., who died from a heart attack on May 17, 2015 and Nicole Renee Helsegon They divorced in May, 1971. She married Michael Hess on 22 May 1987, in Kankakee, Illinois, and they renewed their vows at the First Baptist Church of Momence on May 21, 2017. She has one brother Kevin Eugene Smith and one sister Diane Rae Smith who died in a car accident on November 3, 1991. Cheryl is still alive and living in Momence, Kankakee, Illinois, United States.

52 Ancestors - 2018
52 Ancestors - 2019
Cheryl is a participant of the Integrators Challenges


  • College: Fresno State
  • Married a hometown boy
  • Career: Worked as a Compliance Officer, Branch Manager, and Safety Manager at a Bank with five locations
  • Lived in: Hightstown, NJ, Wichita Falls, TX, Tucson, AZ, Fresno, Ca., and Momence, IL.
  • Husband: Worked for the Veterans Center at Manteno, IL. USA
  • Children: Son and Daughter (Son died 17 May 2015)
  • Grandchildren: 5 (2) Granddaughters, (3) Grandsons
  • Great-Grandchildren: 3 G-Granddaughters, Madison, Brooklyn and Gwendolyn.
  • I am married to the love of my life, and I thank God that my mother (87) is still going strong and is healthy.

If you are lucky enough to be a genealogist, you are lucky enough. – Ruth Padilla

My Story

  • When I asked my grandmother, Minnie where our family came from, she replied: Germany - period. I thought that was the end of it, until one Sunday after church. She asked if I wanted to go for a ride with her. She took me out to the cemetery where her family was buried. It was the first time I had ever seen a cemetery on Church property. It was a small little cemetery. The rows were crooked, and I couldn't read the names on the headstones. She showed me her mother's headstone. Everything was written in German. I saw her sister's, a brother's and we kept walking, until we stopped in front of a very old headstone. It was hard to even see the writing. Grandma told me it was her grandma's. I got choked up thinking about it. I thought to myself, here are four generations of women all in the same area, and until today, I didn't even know two of them existed. I began my genealogy journey..
  • In 1987, I married my fabulous husband. His family's history was rich. They were early settlers of Momence, IL. USA, so pictures of them were very easy to find.
  • I started a site on Facebook dedicated to the History of our home town which has 3200 citizens. I soon had over 2000 members. It seemed that everyone was interested in history. As soon as I would post old pictures, the timeline would fill with questions, and the more research I would do.
  • I found some of my husband's relatives on the east and west coast, and some up north. I joined them and began writing a history book on the Hess family. I covered the mid-section of the country. We have traded pictures back and forth as we discover new family portraits. I also have a page on Facebook called Hess Genealogy.
  • I am the historian for our church - The First Baptist Church of Momence. I just finished writing it's history. First Baptist was the first church in this area having been founded in 1852. Most of my time is spent researching either history or genealogy. I love what I do, and wouldn't want to do anything else.
  • It has been quite a journey, these last thirty years. I have discovered that most of the time it is not the Hess family interested in the research, it is the Hess women (those of us who have married into the family).
  • Sorry to say that on Feb. 20, 2020 I found out that I am not related to anyone on the Mayflower. :(

US Presidents

  • President Millard Fillmore and Cheryl are 10th cousins four times removed.
  • President Grover Cleveland and Cheryl are 7th cousins four times removed.
  • President Warren G. Harding and Cheryl are 14th cousins.
  • President Calvin Coolidge and Cheryl are 12th cousins once removed
  • President George Bush and Cheryl are 11th cousins twice removed

British Prime Ministers

  • Winston Churchill and Cheryl are 13th cousins
  • Alec Douglas-Home and Cheryl are 13th cousins once removed

WikiTree Team

  • Eowyn Langhoff and Cheryl are 13th cousins once removed

Magna Carta Sureties

  • William d'Aubigny is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Hugh & Roger le Bigod is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Henry de Bohun is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Gilbert & Richard de Clare is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • John Fitz Robert is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Robert FitzWalter is the 26th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • William de Huntingfield is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • John de Lacy is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • William de Lanvallei is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • William Malet is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • William de Mowbray is the 24th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Saer de Quincy is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Robert de Ros is the 25th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Geoffrey de Say II is the 23th great grandfather of Cheryl
  • Robert de Vere is the 26th great grandfather of Cheryl


  • 1950-1993, Volume 1, U.S. Public Records Index, data base with images, Author/Publication: Operations Inc., Provo, UT, USA. September 9, 2018 Cheryl McGowan; 318 E Illinois St, Momence, 60954-1626, IL.
  • 1950-1993, Volume 1, U.S. Public Records Index, data base with images, Author/Publication: Operations Inc., Provo, UT, USA. September 9, 2018 Cheryl Johnson, Kankakee, Illinois. (have sent them a message stating that my name was never Johnson)
  • My DNA Shows
  • 78% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe
    English flag
    Cheryl (Smith) Hess has English ancestors.
  • 21% Germanic Europe
  • 1% Ireland and Scotland
    Cheryl (Smith) Hess has Irish ancestors.
    Scottish flag
    Cheryl (Smith) Hess has Scottish Ancestors.
  • 3% Norway
    Norwegian Roots
    Cheryl (Smith) Hess has Norwegian ancestors
Cheryl has participated in 17 out of 52 weeks during the 2020 52 Ancestors Challenge.
Cheryl has participated in 52 out of 52 weeks during the 2019 52 Ancestors Challenge.
Cheryl has participated in 52 out of 52 weeks during the 2018 52 Ancestors Challenge.
Cheryl has participated in 17 out of 52 weeks during the 2020 52 Photos Challenge.
Cheryl has participated in 52 out of 52 weeks during the 2019 52 Photos Challenge.
Cheryl has participated in 52 out of 52 weeks during the 2018 52 Photos Challenge.
Cheryl (Smith) Hess participated with Team Virginia during the 2019 Source-a-Thon, adding some sources to profiles.
Cheryl (Smith) Hess participated with The Great Lakes Region team during the 2018 Source-a-Thon, adding 365 sources to profiles.
Cheryl (Smith) Hess participated with The Great Lakes Region team during the 2019 Source-a-Thon, adding 391 sources to profiles.
Cheryl (Smith) Hess is participating with Team Tennessee Volunteers during the 2019 Connect-a-Thon, and has added 216 profiles.

The time will inevitably come for my rest and relief from life's hectic cycle. It may be, though I do hope not, that I will one day merely be unable through physical or mental illness to continue my research and recording into my family and other profiles of interest.

At that time, I place the profiles that I manage into the caring hands of the Wikitree Admin. If any member/s of my family have the desire to continue what has been started, I ask that they be allowed to manage those profiles whether or not they are currently on the Trusted Lists for those profiles and be shown the guidance to continue in the proper manner.

I also manage many profiles of people unrelated to me. Those profiles that are locked for privacy reasons I would desire to see transferred to someone with an interest in those projects or sub-projects.

Cheryl J Smith Hess 2 Aug 2019.

More Genealogy Tools

Only the Trusted List can access the following:
  • Cheryl's formal name
  • full middle name (J.)
  • e-mail address
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • personal memories about Cheryl (2)
  • images (11)
  • private siblings' names
  • private children's names (2)
  • spouse's name and marriage information
For access to Cheryl Hess's full information you must be on Cheryl's Trusted List. Please login. See the Contact section of the Tree & Tools page.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Cheryl or other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Cheryl:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 122

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I have a match that has not been accessed since 2015. Does that mean there is no activity by owner?

Does it prevent me from going forward or around it with my research?

posted by Thom Fisher
Once again good advice. I think I have found a few good sources from england which I will endeavour to get on sourced info. The William candler manuscript is very good and a few others which are in the British museum archives.

Let me see how that goes.

posted by Thom Fisher
Thanks so much for the welcome!
posted by Mickey (Brinson) Hooks
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for your welcome. I am going to remain as a Guest Member for now. I will look at what to do to put my tree onto the site. I have been researching for about 20 years. I am a member of the NZ Society of Genealogists and Treasurer of a sub group, NZ Genealogical Computing group ( I volunteer at NZSG main branch helping others with research and also run a small U3A Genealogy group.

My Ancestors came to NZ in the 1860'sand 70's from Cornwall, Scotland and England and from Wales in the 1940's.

Currently extending my earlier research into my St Just, Cornwall tribe. Kind regards Bryn Smith

posted by Bryn Smith
Hello Cheryl

Your England Leaders are completing the six monthly check in with all team members. Thank you for your work on English Profiles and participating in the Orphan Trail.

These are unprecedented and difficult times, and we understand as Project Leaders that your situation may have changed somewhat in the last few months. What we are all able to/ wish to contribute on Wikitree has changed. Please let me know if you are happy with your current role and team choice, or if you wish to do something additional or different. Thank you again on behalf of all the Project Leaders for everything you do.


posted by Jo Fitz-Henry
Hi Jo!

I am still working on English Profiles and participating in the Orphan Trail. Yes, these are strange times we are living in. I have a wonderful guide, Ian - and he is very helpful.

I plan to continue the Orphan Trail through to completion.

Thank you for checking in with me.


posted by Cheryl (Smith) Hess
Dobrý den,milá Cheryl.

Zatím se tu pouze rozkoukávám a zaučuji.Vaše stránky i komunita se mi velmi líbí.Omlouvám se,že neumím Váš jazyk,takže naše komunikace bude trochu ztížená. Narazila jsem tu na menší problém,kdosi tu už přede mnou zpracovával rodokmen mé rodiny,většinu údajů si zkopíroval ode mě z mého rodokmenu na Geni.To by mi nijak nevadilo, ten dotyčný tu ale svůj projekt opustil,většinu mých předků jsem si již "adoptovala"....Ale profil-stránka mé babičky - Blažena (Koudelková) Pacáková ( a mého dědečka - Josef Pacák ( jsou UZAMČENÉ a NEMAJÍ ŽÁDNÉHO správce. Chtěla bych je také adoptovat a hlavně upravit CHYBNÉ údaje. Mohla byste mi, velmi Vás prosím,poradit,jak mám postupovat? Mockrát děkuji za odpověď. Mirka Vodáková

As a "Tree Hugger", I want to congratulate you on your Super Star Badge awarded on 20 Mar 2020.

John Williams


Wikitree Appreciation Team

posted by John Williams
edited by John Williams

The Global Cemeteries Project is currently undergoing our member check-in and wanted to verify that you are still active and interested in being a member of the project. Are you currently assigned to or working with one of our Cemetery Teams? If not, is there a particular Team or area you are interested in participating with? I would be delighted to help you get setup in one or more of our collaborative teams!

We use Google Groups for internal project collaboration, so if you are not yet setup for access feel free to submit a join request and we will get that approved as quick as possible. We also ask that members check their follwed tags to make sure you are following the correct project tag (CEMETERIES) so you don't miss any disucssions in G2G.

Last, but not least, we would like to thank you for all of your contributions to WikiTree and let you konw that any ideas or suggestions for improvement you may have for the Global Cemeteries Project would greatly appreciated!

I look forward to hearing form you soon!

Steve ~Global Cemeteries Project Leader

posted by Steve Harris
From your friends at the Appreciation Team:

Congrats on the Super Star Badge!

posted by SJ Baty
Cheryl, thank you for checking in on me, just taking time to get my bearings, there is SO much, thanks to everyone's efforts. Cathy
posted by CG Egan
Thank you for your advice and will follow up and use the suggested links for future searches :)
posted by Allan Harrison

I truly appreciate your welcoming words and advice. You must have guessed that I am having problems with entering sources. I shall take your suggestion to heart. and take advantage of the tips you have given me!


posted by Gregory Harris
Hi, and thank you for your welcome.

I have checked out the pages for new members, and found them helpful. However, I have a question that they didn't cover.

Maybe it's a New England thing, but I fairly often find marriage records for the same couple that disagree. For example, it appears as if they got married in each of their home towns but on slightly different dates. I have official records, complete with scans of the relevant pages, and am prepared to post both to the wiki, but don't know how to post competing information--doesn't look possible. Can you advise?

Thank you, both again and in anticipation.


posted by Norman Wendth
Cheryl: I wish to make a correction! My name is not Barbara Earnhardt; it is my maiden name. I married my husband in 1962 and took on his name: Sinclair. He passed away last month and I still retain his name. I am proud of it and we were married 58 years at his death.

Thank you. Barbara Earnhardt Sinclair.

posted by [deleted]
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for your visit and greeting. Your profile here is inspirational! (So much to do...)

I have a question that I'm hoping you (or someone) can answer. How do I delete an image?

I uploaded a death certificate without whiting-out the SSN. I then corrected this but the first image is still up and I'd like it gone.


posted by Theresa White
Cheryl, Thank you.

I have read and, reread the many different Wiki help guides. I have already pre-1700 certified and, am working on the England Project. I continue to refer to the help guides for both Wiki and, the projects help guides. Inevitably there will always be questions. I am enjoying Wiki and, the wonderful people like you who help make Wiki a better source and, friendly and helpful place to work in.

posted by Laura DeSpain
Thank you, Cheryl -

I am a rank amateur and very new, late night geneology searcher who stumbled on this new source. I look forward to find my way around ! Gretchen

posted by Gretchen Greenwood
Dear Cheryl,

Thank you for your greeting and for the helpful tips! I am learning the site and how to navigate. I found a cousin on here! I also found several "older" generations. That was quite exciting.

posted by Bonnie Cowden
Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for your greeting and the lovely welcome to WikiTree.

posted by [Living Friday]

Thank you for the warm and friendly "Hello"! Also for the instructions on how to navigate some of the research tools. Kind Regards Joey Tickle

posted by Joey Tickle
Hi - thanks for the warm message.
posted by Robert Troshynski
Cheryl, thank you for welcoming me to WikiTree!

I appreciated receiving your kind message.

posted by C. LaRoche
Thank you for your your delightful welcome regards Diane.
posted by Diane Wan Heddon
Thank You Cheryl, I appreciate the warm welcome
Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for your step-by-step assistance in leading me through the process of adding sources to my tree! I studied those you added for one of my ancestors, then followed the directions you gave and tried adding similar citations from Family Search for a different person and it worked perfectly!!! Really appreciate your reaching out and assisting. I'm finally on my way! Karen
Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for adding the catergory for the country South Africa under the Hess name study. With the help of relatives I am researching the Hess families that were concentrated in the towns of Elim and Genadendal in the beautiful Overberg region of South Africa. These two towns happen to have been the centre of Moravian missionary outposts in South African which initally took to baptising the local indigenous as well as people descended from mixed ethnic backgrounds who had been previously excluded from the traditional Dutch Reformed Church. My own link is to a town called Bot River in that region as well. I have had a quick look into the list of missionaries that were sent out to South Africa during that period, but none bore the name Hess or Hesse. I have found a transactional list of about 10 slaves that were freed documented by a Dutch Reformed minister, a Rev Hesse, not sure how that fits in. Amongst the very earliest settlers to the Cape under the Dutch East India Company, I have found 1 Hess individual and 2 Hesse individuals. To complicate matters further, like any other part of the world that was being colonised, there were undocumented travellers and shipwreck survivors. Its a mess, but I love it.
posted by Louise (Hess) Haggis
edited by Louise (Hess) Haggis
I just started with WikiTree. I confirmed my email and entered my information. I thought I was now a member, but I am receiving the following message on the Search page:

"Birth dates after 1940 can only be searched within the Watchlists of logged-in members."

Can you help me with this?

posted by Mark Freeman
Hi Cheryl. I'm still learning on Wiki Tree. Thanks for adjusting the death info for my great Grandmother Ellen (Bridgman) Dawe. May I ask your interest in my family or did you come across her by accident? I have several thousand additions I could make but the process is so tedious I fear I'll never complete it.

David Dawe

posted by David Dawe
Hi Cheryl - Thanks for the helpful note. I just finished going through the "How to Start..." tutorial pages. Lots of helpful information but right now my head is swimming with information overload. :) I'll get back to adding some more profiles of relatives now. Kind regards, Tom
posted by Tom Tydings
Hi Cheryl, thank you for your advice on using the wikitree system - much appreciated! Ross
posted by R Lovell
edited by R Lovell
Hi  Cheryl ,  Happy New Year!

I noticed you chose our Integrators Challenge this month (January 2020), thank you!  *Could you do us a favor though, and go here to sign up officially at  

And if you can please add your question that you will be working on or the profile marked "needs profiles created" for the challenge. Thanks. 

Got a question, see this page as well:  

Also, you can put a sticker on your profile You can do so by adding the words Integrators Challenge with the {{ }} in front and back, in your biography.

Thank you and Good Luck!! Dorothy,  Integrators Project Coordinator

posted by Dorothy Barry

Quick note to thank you for your warm welcome. Interestingly enough, my first cousin’s name is Cheryl Smith. My mother’s maiden name was Smith. I’ve researched my paternal line a bit more in depth . As you know, the Smith name can be a bit daunting. The Wirick name seems to have a long rich history in North America from before the revolutionary war. To be completely honest, I will probably turn much of the research on this site over to my beautiful bride. Carla and I were married in 1985 in Las Vegas. She is much better than I am when delving into history. She discovered a mistake that our niece made on Ancestry , she had copied someone’s tree without doing the work herself. Carla found a divergence in that tree that caused a cascading of misleading information. I look forward to adding valuable information to the site. Thanks again! Happy and healthy New Year to you!! Regards, Don

posted by Donald Wirick

Thank for asking how I am coming along. I am in the middle of a big move (lot's of work) and have not had my normally available time to research. my wife has a parathyroid issue and we are currently dealing with that. Things are improving though (just a bump in the road). I have spent some time photographing graves and we have 5 large cemeteries withing a few miles. Hope to help some people that way. Wikitree is much more rewarding than the "pay sites" (I won't be renewing my current one). Wiki has a "real feel" to it and it is a genuine team effort. It is said that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. i hope your holiday is special. Be safe. best regards


posted by Mark Hough
I am a retired Chemical Engineer, educated at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. All of my professional work was with natural rubber latex and for 36 years in the manufacture of latex medical devices. My father spent over 25 years assembling genealogical data on the VanAmburgh family and disseminating it to a vast number of correspondents. This, of course, was ALL done manually, taking notes in pencil and transcribing them on a typewriter, using carbon copies. He created 4 file drawers full of folders, all of which would be shared with anyone interested.

I started using TMG as my software and now I am evaluating replacements which will run on a Mac if possible. Especially I need software that will import TMG files. I am 93 years old and use both a Windows set up and an IMac. I also have an IPad but that's not for serious work.

posted by Robert VanAmburgh
Thank you for awarding me with the Community Star Badge! I'm trying to register as many information about my family as I can. I already have a lot of information registered in the Family Search site. John Ditty introduced me to the Wikitree site and now I'm trying my best to take all the information I have at Family Search and register them here.


Alex Maciel

posted by Alex Maciel
Bonjour Cheryl, merci pour votre message, je m'interesse à la géanologie, (entre autres choses), depuis peu et se qui me motive le plus ce sont la recherche de documents, les actes et les récits des ancêtres de notre famille direct.

C'est un passe temps qui demande beaucoup de patience et de temps. Je travail, pour l'instant, avec le logiciel d'Apple MacFamilyTree 8. J'ai commencé avec le site My Hyritage mais je ne veux pas payer pour trouver des documents de recherches et avoir tout plein d'ascendents non direct avec ma famille.

Bravo à wikiTree et je vous souhaite à tous votre équipe un très joyeux temps des fêtes.


posted by Gilbert Ethier
I was sent the proposed merge for your Della Houston Pullins and mine. They are the same person. In talking with my 87 year old mother, she gave me some sad but interesting information about her & her family. I’ll try to update the profile soon. - Karyn
posted by Karyn (Weltzin) Taylor
Thanks for the message, Cheryl. Just getting up to speed with this site — need to find some time to upload my tree!
posted by Michael Browning
Thank you Cheryl for the warm welcome! I am still working my way through the new member pages.
posted by Joe Baggett
Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for checking in. The new member how to and has been moderately helpful. It's a lot to digest and the format of it is one that throws my learning style for a loop.
Hey there Cheryl. Thank you for welcoming me. 8-) I haven't really used the "New Members" tutorials yet. I just kind of jumped in and started getting some gaps in my McDonald ancestry filled in. I have connected with a cousin who is very active and has a ton of information about our family. I have also been able to share some information (history, stories, etc.) with her. It has been wonderful so far and I'm sure that will continue. I look forward to my sister getting involved here with me and the other wonderful folks researching our heritages. Thanks again for being supportive and welcoming. - Nolan McDonald
posted by Nolan McDonald
Hello, Cheryl. Thank you for the warm welcome. I found Wikitree in the course of researching Charles Elbert Scoggins for an author bio, at the request of my publisher. However, I will be entering some of my own family information, too. -- Will
posted by William Leaver
Thank you for greeting and welcoming meet to the world of wikitree!
posted by Larry Starkes
Thank you for greeting and welcoming meet to the world of wikitree!
posted by Jerry Gross

Cheryl is 17 degrees from Jaki Erdoes, 18 degrees from Wallis Windsor and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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