Cheryl (Smith) Hess

Cheryl (Smith) Hess

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
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]
Account confirmed 30 May 2018 | Cheryl's 9289 contributions | 367 thank-yous received
Profile last modified | Created 30 May 2018 | Last significant change: 11 Dec 2018
04:36: Cheryl (Smith) Hess edited the Background Image for Cheryl (Smith) Hess. [Thank Cheryl for this]
This page has been accessed 1,563 times.
Wiki Genealogist Sourcerer November 2018 Club 1,000 October 2018 Club 1,000 Connector Data Doctors Challenge Winner Big Heart September 2018 Club 1,000 Generous Genealogist -  Green Star Source-a-Thon 2018 Participant August 2018 Club 1,000 Generous Genealogist - Blue Star July 2018 Club 1,000 Generous Genealogist - Red Star Family Star June 2018 Club 1,000 Data Doctor Community Star G2G6 German Roots Project Member
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Cheryl Jean Smith was born on May 22, 1951, in Kankakee, Illinois, the eldest child of Harold Smith and Janet Leinen. She married Michael Joseph McGowan, Sr. on March 30, 1968 in Momence, IL. They had two children, Michael Joseph McGowan, Jr., who died from a heart attack on May 17, 2015 and Nikki McGowan They divorced in May, 1971. She married Michael Richard Hess on May 22, 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.

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 three years ago) Grandchildren: 5 (2) Granddaughters, (3) Grandsons Great-Grandchildren: 2 G-Granddaughters I am married to the love of my life, and I thank God that my mother (85) is still going strong and is healthy.

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..

Thirty-one years ago, 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 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).


  • 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)
  • First-hand information. Entered by Cheryl Hess at registration.
  • My DNA Shows
  • 84% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe
    English flag
    Cheryl (Smith) Hess has English ancestors.
  • 9% Germanic Europe
  • 4% Ireland and Scotland
  • 3% Norway
52 Ancestors - 2018
Cheryl (Smith) Hess participated with The Great Lakes Region team during the 2018 Source-a-Thon, adding 365 sources to profiles.

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 (1)
  • images (7)
  • 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.

Sponsored Search

Followed Tags
Cheryl is a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer following these tags:
I am in all of the way . . . so much fun! Have to catch up.
Leavings no profile unconnected
Clean up WikiTree
Germans on maternal side of my family and my husband is a direct descendant of Hess-250.
paternal grandmother's surname - Amanda Lee Hays (1900-1970) John Henry Hays (1864-1939) James Hays
Married Name - Walter Blakely Hess (1819-1904) Jacob Hess (1787-1867) Frederick Hess (1751-1806)
maternal grandmother - Minnie Junker (1911-2009) (William Junker (1870-1936) Herman Junker (1840-1926)
mother's surname - Joseph Francis Leinen (1881-1932) Jacob A Leinen (1828-1905) Peter Leinen (1794-1851)
Searching my Hess descendants
father's surname James M Smith (1822-1900) Brick Wall
I love sourcing profiles - This will be fun!

DNA Tested
Cheryl Hess's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. 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:
  • Cheryl (Smith) Hess: AncestryDNA, Ancestry member oldsoul1968

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


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On 27 Nov 2018 at 17:44 GMT Debi (McGee) Hoag wrote:

Hi Cheryl,

I noticed that you used the Challenge Tracker to track a change during a Saturday Sourcing Sprint. Please consider officially joining us for the Saturday Sourcing Sprints. You can find information, including how to join, on the Sprints Help page.

No pressure, every profile with a source makes our WikiTree better. Your work will continue to be included in Tracking Sheet's Unregistered total at the bottom of the help page if you do not register.

Your work is appreciated. Thanks for sourcing!

Debi - Sprint Coordinator

PS If the link does not work, you can find a working one in the public comment I left on your profile

On 24 Nov 2018 at 07:08 GMT Jessica Key wrote:

Cheryl, what is the source for William K. Smith's parentage? I've searched for years for his ancestry with no results. He is Smith-137946 and you added a biography for him identifying his parents as Howard and Mary Snellgrove Smith.

On 30 Oct 2018 at 13:51 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:

Welcome to the Connectors Project! Be sure to check out the Connectors project page to see some of what we do, our To-Do lists which have folks who need connected to our Global Tree, and please add the connectors tag to your G2G feed. We've also got a great sub-project, Connectors Chat, where we talk about what we're working on and where we'd like to help out. If you're new to making connections and want some simplified connections to work on, look at our Connecting Buddies page. Thanks for joining us!

On 30 Oct 2018 at 13:46 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:

Hi Cheryl,

It looks like you already have the German Roots badge so you're set there. Otherwise, there isn't much we ask right now but to use reliable sources when improving or adding profiles. Thanks for joining us!

On 23 Oct 2018 at 20:48 GMT SJ Baty wrote:

Great profile - love the bit about 2,000 members in a town of 3,200!

On 17 Oct 2018 at 22:23 GMT J. A. Gentile wrote:

Hi Cheryl! Can you tell me your connection to the Ringk family?

On 1 Oct 2018 at 15:47 GMT Erin (English) English Bailey wrote:

You were a sourcing rock star for the Great Lakes team! Thanks so much!

On 12 Sep 2018 at 01:29 GMT Dorothy Barry wrote:

Congratulations Cheryl, you now have all three of the Generous Genealogist badges!! Way to go and in such a short time too!! We appreciate all you do in your research and in contributing to WikiTree.

On 1 Sep 2018 at 20:59 GMT Teresa Fortenberry wrote:

Thanks for the lovely comment on my parents photo! Looks like you have a very big heart to take care of your hometown history and it's ancestors. That's a very powerful thing to do..... especially if you are like me... I get really emotionally involved!

Welcome to WikiTree... it's a GREAT place to be! Teresa

On 18 Aug 2018 at 03:39 GMT Debby (Barton) Black wrote:

Hi, Cheryl. I'm glad you like several of the backgrounds. You are welcome to use as many as you like. All you need to do is copy the WikiTree name for the background (i.e. Simple_Backgrounds-338.jpg) then place it in the space provided on the edit page of the profile. It's on the far right and says: Background Image. Save it and the background will be on your page. Hope this helps. :)

more comments

Queen Victoria Cheryl is 28 degrees from Rosa Parks, 25 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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