George Cheney was born 1785 in Hartford County, Connecticut to George Cheney (1771-1829) and Electa Woodbridge (1760-1853) and died 12 January 1870 Connecticut of unspecified causes. He married Waitstill Shaw (1780-1841) 21 October 1829 in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island.


Charles Cheney (26 December 1803 - 20 June 1874) went to Tolland, Connecticut as a clerk when he was about fourteen years old, and before he was of age engaged in mercantile business on his own account in Providence. In 1834, he moved to Ohio and established himself as a farmer at Mount Healthy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained eleven years, during which period he became interested in the anti-slavery movement. In 1847 he joined his brothers at Cheney Brothers in South Manchester. He spent a considerable portion of his time in Hartford, where they had also extensive manufactories. He served in the legislature for one or two terms, and was distinguished for his public spirit and generous charities.

Charles first engaged in the dry-goods business in Providence, Rhode Island, with his brother Ward. When Charles moved to Ohio, Ward returned to South Manchester and found several brothers raising a Chinese mulberry, Morus multicaulis. The success of the experiments led he and brothers Frank and Rush to start a silk culturing operation in Burlington, New Jersey. In 1838 he and his brothers Ralph, Rush and Frank established the manufacturing firm of Cheney Brothers in South Manchester.

Family of Charles and Waitstill Cheney

Note: The 1850 US Census shows Charles and family living two doors down from his brother Ward Cheney.

  1. Frank Woodbridge Cheney (1832-1909) - (born 5 June 1832) was a son of Charles. After graduation at Brown University in 1854, he joined the Cheney Brothers operations at Hartford. He volunteered for the Civil War in 1862, and became lieutenant colonel of the 16th Connecticut Volunteers. The regiment went to the front on 29 August, 1,010 strong but undisciplined and almost wholly ignorant of drill. The Confederates were beginning the invasion of Maryland that ended in repulse at Antietam, and all available troops were hurried forward to meet them irrespective of experience as soldiers. On 12 September, Frank Cheney led his regiment of recruits in a skirmish that proved preliminary to the battle of Antietam, in which engagement he was severely wounded, late in the afternoon, while endeavoring to rally his men, who, never having had a battalion drill, had been thrown into disorder by the enemy's fire. Cheney's wound proved so serious that he was obliged to retire from the service on 24 December 1862. He travelled in Europe, China, and Japan, studying the silk industries of those countries, and joined Cheney Brothers as its treasurer.


Offspring of George Cheney and Waitstill Shaw (1780-1841)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Frank D Cheney (1830-1831)
Frank Woodbridge Cheney (1832-1909) 5 June 1832 Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States 26 May 1909 Mary Bushnell (1840-1917)
Mary Howell Cheney (1834-1836)
Knight Cheney (1834-1907) 9 October 1834 Mt Pleasant, Jefferson County, Ohio 13 August 1907 Edna Dow Smith (1841-)
Sarah Shaw Cheney (1835-1836)
Anna Wells Cheney (


Offspring of George Cheney (1771-1829) and Electa Woodbridge (1760-1853)
Name Birth Death Joined with
George Wells Cheney (1799-1841)
John Cheney (1801-1885) 1801 South Manchester, Connecticut
Charles Cheney (1803-1871) 1785 Hartford County, Connecticut 12 January 1870 Connecticut Waitstill Shaw (1780-1841)
Ralph Cheney (1806-1869)
Seth Wells Cheney (1810-1856) 16 November 1810 Manchester, Connecticut 10 September 1856 Emily Woodbridge Pitkin (1825-1850)
Ednah Dow Littlehale
Ward Cheney (1813-1876) 23 February 1813 Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut 22 March 1876 South Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut Caroline Jackson (1813-1865)
Rush Cheney (1815-1882)
Frank Cheney (1817-1904)
Electa Woodbridge Cheney (1821-)



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