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Charity (UNKNOWN) Cheney (abt. 1632 - abt. 1668)

Charity Cheney formerly [surname unknown] aka Cheyney
Born about in England or Virginiamap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married about 1650 in Anne Arundel County, Province of Marylandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in South River, Anne Arundel, Marylandmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Jul 2009
This page has been accessed 1,872 times.



Disputed Origin: What her date or place of birth was, her family name at birth, or who her parents were is not supported by any solid sources. More research is needed.


There are no credible primary records showing Charity's birth or family name. She was probably born in England; unsourced secondary material shows her variously from Middlesex, Exeter, or Devonshire, England, born from 1625 to 1634. This must be taken as clues only for additional research.

All sources agree her name was Charity. Some unsourced material shows her given name as Mary Charity. In different accounts, her maiden name is variously given as Wood, Woodward, Woodwards, Woodman, Ryan or Unknown.. None of these should be considered reliable!


The South River area of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, was settled starting in 1649 by Puritans who had been expelled from Virginia. Since this is the area Richard Cheney and his wife Charity settled, it may be assumed that they too migrated from Virginia, but there is no proof of this.

Skordas [1] shows Richard receiving property in 1658 as an immigrant, and Charity receiving the same property in 1650 as an immigrant. The 1650 date was probably also intended to be 1658. This is not necessarily their date of immigration. Maryland had a civil war between Puritans and Catholics in the early 1650's, and no records were kept or land patents issued during that period. It is probable that Richard and Charity were already settled in Anne Arundel County, and then, when the civil war was over, received an official patent in 1658 for their land from Lord Baltimore.


Many writers give the birthdate of their oldest daughter Elizabeth as 30 October 1652. While no documentation for this has been found, it is a likely date given Elizabeth's later testimony about her age. Sharon Doliante [2] observes that If she had been born before her parents immigrated, she also would have been named for a headright (additional land) in the patent, but this did not happen, so Elizabeth was born after her parents arrived. If the October, 1652 birthdate for the eldest child is correct, the marriage would likely have taken place in late 1651.

Death of Charity

In 1667, Richard demanded one hundred acres in behalf of himself and wife Charity (Maryland State Archives.) Within a year and a half, he was married to Ellinor Pindall. Therefore we can assume Charity died in late 1667. [3]


Wells [4] indicates she is buried in the cemetery of All Hallows Church in Anne Arundel County. If so, she would be one of the earliest, since Parish records for All Hallows began to be kept on March 1, 1669. [5] Its current address is 3600 Solomon's Island Road, Edgewater, Maryland 21037


Sharon Doliante [6] shows Richard and Charity as the parents of the following children. Richard had other children by his second wife Ellinor.

  1. Elizabeth, b. 1652, married William Ijams
  2. Richard, b. abt 1654, "the elder", married Mary
  3. Mary, b. abt 1656. Mentioned in father's will.
  4. Anne, b. abt 1661, married John Jacob.

Research Notes

Richard Cheney's wife Charity is frequently but without documentation given a full name and parents in popular genealogies.

Find a Grave

There is a memorial page for her on Find A Grave: Memorial #104496647. Note: The memorial page here gives her name as "Mary Charity (Wood) Cheney", also indicating her burial at this cemetery. There is, however, a great deal of dubious information on that page which is unsupported by any credible source.

Find a Grave states she was born in 1625 in St. Petroch, Exeter, Devon, England. Mary was the daughter of Ezekiel Humphrey Wood (1607-1628).

Find a Grave also has a site for her father Ezekiel Humphrey Wood: Find A Grave: Memorial #131209386 which shows "Mary Charity Wood" as a daughter. No source is provided for this information.


  1. Skordas
  2. Sharon Doliante
  3. Wells (website)
  4. Wells (website)
  5. All Hallows Church,
  6. Sharon Doliante
  • Source: S1766 Maryland and Virginia Colonials : Genealogies of Some Colonial Families. Sharon J. Doliante. Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Co., ©1991. [Clearfield Publishing, 1998, 2000. Reprinted in 2 vols. (orig. 1 v.)] Volume 1, p. 105.
  • Source: S30 The Early Settlers of Maryland. Gust Skordas. Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1968 . Book cited on
  • Source: S33 Early Families of Southern Maryland. Elise Greenup Jourdan. Westminster, Maryland : Family Line Publications, [Willow Bend Books, Heritage Books], 1993-<2001 >. v. <1-10 >. v. 4, p. 240. Book cited on
  • Source: S34 Anne Arundel Gentry: A Genealogical History of Some Early Families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Harry Wright Newman. Delaware: Colonial Roots, 2003 [Rpt.], v. 1, p. 291. Book cited on This site shows no maiden name/parents, dates. Publication notes: The first, single volume "Anne Arundel Gentry" was published 1933 by Lord Baltimore Press, Baltimore, Maryland. A revised and expanded 3 volume edition was published by the author, 1970-1979. The Colonial Roots edition is a reprint of that 3 volume set.
  • Source: S1761 Personal individual genealogy. Chaney Lineage. Gary Ramsey Wells. Note: I found the lineage on this site very hard to follow and quite a few errors in dates. - TF. Note 2: Geocities is a defunct website. However, this page is archived on the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine."
  • Source: S7 Find A Grave: Memorial #104496647 Mary Charity Cheney . Note: The memorial page here gives her name as "Mary Charity (Wood) Cheney," along with other "facts" unsupported by credible evidence. No photo.
  • Source: S1774 Personal Individual Genealogy. Ulrich Family Tree Links. Ron Ulrich. Note: This is a very extensive genealogy which, unfortunately, does not cite its sources. IMPORTANT NOTE: This source was cited on one of the profiles merged into this one, which gave, Mary Charity Wood, b. abt 1625 in England, m. 1647 in South River Hundred, Anne Arundel, MD, d. bef 1669, Anne Arundel, father Ezekiel Woodward. This website gives Charity Wood, b. abt 1630, England, m. bef 1649, South River Hundred, Anne Arundel, d. bef 1668, Anne Arundel, no parents given.
  • Source: S-277766635 Ancestry Family Trees: Tree #1, Tree #2. User submitted. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network.


  • WikiTree profile UNKNOWN-301 created through the import of mcdougle 2010-06-30.ged on 01 July 2010 by David McDougle. See the Changes page for the details of edits by David and others.
  • WikiTree profile Wood-3122 created through the import of Foster-Volkenant.ged on May 31, 2011 by Terry Foster. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Terry and others.
  • WikiTree profile Cheney-404 created through the import of Hummel_Goerl_Cecil_Miller Fami(3).ged on Jun 12, 2011 by Angela Hummel. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Angela and others.
  • WikiTree profile Woodward-711 created through the import of My Family File.ged on Aug 31, 2011 by Jane Entwisle. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Jane and others.
  • WikiTree profile Woodward-1049 created through the import of Remus Wikitree.ged on Feb 12, 2012 by Fred Remus. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Fred and others.
  • WikiTree profile Wood-6120 created through the import of Erin Dunshee_s Family Tree.ged on Sep 23, 2012 by Erin Stover. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Erin and others.
  • WikiTree profile Wood-7523 created through the import of Duckett Family.ged on Apr 4, 2013 by Catherine Rivera. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Catherine and others.
  • WikiTree profile Surname unknown-5 was created through the import of DanStoneGEDCOM.ged on Jul 1, 2014 by Dan Stone. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Dan and others.
  • WikiTree profile Cheney-1453 was created through the import of Peisen Family Tree_9.26.14.ged on Sep 26, 2014 by Conan Peisen. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Conan and others.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Charity by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Charity:

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Comments: 5

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Wood-12740 and UNKNOWN-301 appear to represent the same person because: Same given name, husband, son. To my knowledge, no documented proof of her maiden name, birth place, exact birth date, or parents has ever been produced. Until such time as it is, her birth name and birthplace must remain unknown.
posted by Fred Remus III
Wood-12740 and Wood-15308 appear to represent the same person because: They have the same birthdate and similar birth and death places as well as death dates.
Wood-10475 and UNKNOWN-301 appear to represent the same person because: While there are many myths concerning the name of Richard Cheney's first wife Charity, the fact is that we do not know her birth name or where she was born. We can account for the various speculations in the narrative biography, but she should not be listed with a last name -- Wood -- which is speculative. "UNKNOWN-301" should be the profile remaining after the merge! Thanks.
posted by Jack Day

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Categories: Richard Cheney Legend