Category Archives: genealogy

A Rare Beauty: CoG 74

A Rare BeautyCog74 05-10-22 (36)

As soon as I saw the subject for this carnival I knew there was only one picture I needed.  To the best of my recollection I never saw my mother, Lois Orand Cheek, in a swimsuit.   The only evidence to the contrary is this photo.  As you can see she was not even Dad’s major interest in this shot and could easily have been cropped out.  She did not particularly like the water and  was never again photographed in a swimsuit.

I am the younger boy in the picture, two-three years old, and do not remember this day at the beach.   I don’t know if my big brother James remembers anything about that day or not.  I’ll give him a chance to comment on this after it is posted.

The beach is in the Philippines and was taken around 1947.  Dad, an Army major,  was transferred to the Philippines shortly after WW2 and we joined him there in 1946.  I do have a few other shots taken that day, but none that actually show the swimsuit.  The jeep in the background was our regular transportation.

Unfortunately, I have very few memories of our time in the Philippines, most of my Army brat memories came after this.  But I do have most of the slides and pictures that Dad took to help me connect to that time in our life.  And fortunately, Dad was a prolific photographer.

cog 74 sm


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Wordless Wednesday: That still, small voice

Still small voice

“Still small voice, an unintentional double exposure” Scanned Image. Photographed , ca1945,  Farmville, VA. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by on 25 February 2009 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy, wordless Wednesday


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Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #5

Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #5-Another generation of Cheeks comes to Mangum

Prompt: Talk about your genealogy adventures while on vacation. Doesn’t everyone plan a little genealogy visit during vacation? Take your readers along for the ride.

I haven’t gotten to do as many of these as I intended. In fact this is the first one of the weekly prompts that I’ve had time to post.  So much for good intentions.  A couple of years ago, my older brother who lives in SC came back to Oklahoma for Christmas along with his wife and two grandchildren. He doesn’t get back this way very often so we tried to do as much as possible in the few days he was here.  One of the thing he really wanted to do was visit our father’s hometown, Mangum (Capitol of Greer County), OK.  The “Capitol” thing is something I will have to explain later.  So two days after Christmas in 2007, we set out. Our party consisted of my brother, my two sisters, myself, our four spouses, a daughter of one sister, and the two grandchildren.A significant portion of our family

Mangum is filled with memories for my brother and I. We lived there several times when we were growing up, spent entire summers there several times. It was where we went “over the river and through the woods” to grandmothers’ houses. It was home to some of our favorite relatives.  It was where we went each time our soldier father went off to war. It was these memories that my brother wanted to share with his grandchildren.
One of the first things we did was go to Grandma Cheek’s old house.  It was quite a shock and certainly not what it looked like when she lived there.  She was always an immaculate housekeeper and a wonderful cook.  Her neat, little, white frame house looked like a shack. We were glad she is not around to see what has become of it.

Grandma Cheek's house

Grandma Cheek's house

Just north of town is the farm where our great grandfather Cheek homesteaded before 1903.  We have never been able to do more than see it from the road.  One of these days I will find out who owns it and get permission to go out to the farm house.

Cheek family farm

Cheek family farm

If you are in Mangum at lunch time there is only one option-the Hamburger Inn- right on the Square.

Hamburger Inn

Hamburger Inn

We were a little late for lunch and they were going to close soon so we had to chose from a limited menu.   But we had a great time and enjoyed examining the antiques? collectables? memorabilia? junk? on the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the tables, etc.

Lunch at the Hamburge Inn

Lunch at the Hamburge Inn

One of the group went exploring and came back saying, “You all have got to see this.”  Most of the tables had old copies of the Mangum Star covered with plastic along with other items from the past.  And one of the papers from World War 2 had a front page story about officers from Mangum in the 45th Infantry   Division.  Among the officers was our father, Captain James Edmon Cheek.

Mangum Star photos

Mangum Star photos

Dad is the second from the left. That find was certainly worth the price of gas for the trip.

Our next stop was the Old Greer County Museum.

Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame

Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame

This is one of the truly unique, local museums in the country.  It is housed in the old hospital building, staffed totally by volunteers, and filled with the treasured artifacts of hundreds of families and communities.  Each of the old patient rooms is sponsored by a different family, community, or organization.  For more information about the museum go to their website at

The picture at the top of the article was taken on the stairs at the museum by one of the friendly staff.  The real find at the museum was in a back room where they had hundreds of old photographs and negatives from the Fike Studio, an regular part of Mangum life for many years.  During one of our stays we lived next door to the Fikes and my brother and I spent many hours playing with their daughter, Susan.  To tell the whole story of the museum is way outside the scope of this article, but I promise a follow-up not too far in the future.

Of course no visit to Mangum is complete without going to the cemetery.  We no longer have any relatives living in Mangum but we do have a lot of them in Riverside Cemetery.

Our great grandparents, Robert Bruce and Carrie Savannah Cheek who are in the blog’s header picture.

Three Cheek gravestone

Three Cheek gravestone

Notice that the stone includes not only Robert and Carrie, but also Robert’s sister, Columbia Cheek.

Our grandparents, Marion and Anna Cheek.

Grandma and Grandpa Cheek

Grandma and Grandpa Cheek

There are many more Cheeks in the cemetery but I don’t want to neglect our  mother’s family, some of whom also lived in Mangum.  But only her mother and one of our uncles is buried there.

Grandma Orand-Bex-Smith

Grandma Orand-Bex-Smith

Her name was originally Paralee Tennessee Lancaster. She married an Orand, then a Bex, and then a Smith and decided she liked Pauline better than Paralee.

If you are ever in Mangum when the lake is down it is obligatory on your way out of town to stop and see the remains of the town of Lugert which was covered when they built the lake.  But this being Southwestern Oklahoma, the town reappears from time to time like Brigadoon.

Lugert revealed.

Lugert revealed.

Look carefully and you can see the foundation and floor of one of the houses.  When we got down to it we discovered it had a cellar but after a little digging, we decided we were just not equipped to do a “dig.”

It was a great trip which give my brother and I the chance to relive a lot of old memories.  Our sisters are both much younger and never lived in Mangum or knew very many of our relatives who lived there.  But it is a very important part of our family history and I was glad to be able to share it with another generation of Cheeks and with you.


Posted by on 11 February 2009 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy


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Getting To Know Me, Getting To Know The Cheek That Doth Not Fade

Getting To Know Me-1
I am a librarian, a grandfather, an Army brat, a fairly good photographer, and a rather undisciplined genealogist. I have very eclectic taste in music, but 60s style folk is my favorite.  I read adventure novels for relaxation. I collect old camera. I married my high school sweetheart 41 years ago and she is still my best friend and the love of my life. I have 6 children, 1 girl and 5 boys (aged 19 to 38) and 3 granddaughters (ages 14, 11, 9). I am a Vietnam veteran who is radical about peace. I was in the chorus at Lyric Theater in OKC in its very first year. Basketball was always my favorite game to play and football (both kinds) my favorite game to watch. We served as missionaries for the Southern Baptist Covention in Indonesia and Malaysia. I have been a seminary teacher and a college teacher. I have made five significant career changes. I guess it took me that long to find the right one because I absolutely love working in libraries. I was formerly director of the Guthrie Public Library in Guthrie, Oklahoma and am currently the Dean of Library Services at Oklahoma Baptist University. 

Getting To Know Me-2
My father was always interested in his family history but never had the opportunity to study it very much. So when I had to learn something about doing genealogy to help some of the patrons of my library, I immediately discovered a new avocation.  My greatest regret is that my father is no longer around to appreciate the fruits of my labor.  He would be pleased to know that we can trace the Cheek family back to the 1600s in Maryland and Virginia. He would be intrigued to discover that he had cousins living just a few miles away that he never knew anything about.  He would be sorry that the family story he always told turned out to be a myth.  After 15 years of working very hard on the all of our family lines, I had gotten a little burned out.  Especially, since the most common response I got from most of my family was, “Oh, that’s nice.”  Sharing with the rest of you genea-bloggers has rekindled my interest and I thank you for that.  Now I’m waiting for it to cool off a little so I can get back out into the cemeteries.

Getting To Know The Cheek That Doth Not Fade
Cheek is one of those unique names that has multiple meanings and shows up in some of the most interesting places.  The title of the blog actually comes from the Keat’s poem, Fancy. The full poem can be found at

O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where ‘s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at?

I actually began to blog in order to publish family information, comment on contemporary issues, and respond to the culture around us.  So the content will always cover a wide variety of subjects.

The Bright, Breezy, and Beautiful
 I have never been a very good rule follower so I will not go with the superlatives, but with three articles that at least fit the categories.

The Bright
A Frightening Observation 23 February 2008
A comparison of two books about two remarkable women which warns about the dangers of absolutism and represents my interest in literature, religion, and popular culture.

The Breezy
My Favorite Photograph 10 August 2008
After doing three weddings in two years humor is definitely where you find it and this is the best of the memories.

The Beautiful
Leavin’ On A Jet Plane. . .3 August 2007
With apologies to Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times and needs no other comment.

My only advice would be to write what you care about, write what means something to you.  That way the task is its own reward and if someone else appreciates what you have done, it’s a bonus.

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Posted by on 27 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy, John Keats


Show and Tell – What Crack?

55th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

The postings for this carnival can be found on the Creative Gene blog at  The subject for the 55th Carnival is “Show and Tell.”  I was one of those kids who really didn’t like Show and Tell.  I always had some great stuff and some great ideas but always stressed out that the other kids wouldn’t see how cool my stuff was.  I needed a lot of affirmation in those days.  Who am I kidding I still need a lot of affirmation (hint, hint).  So at first I really didn’t intend to take advantage of this opportunity to show some of my cool stuff.  I finally convinced myself, that I was a big boy now and I could handle it.  So with that not too subtle disclaimer, here is my offering.

Item #1

We have a lot of old pictures from my dad’s family because one of his aunts owned a photo studio in Mangum, Oklahoma.  Because my father was the oldest son of the oldest son of the family, he got a lot of attention. The picture I am sharing is a baby picture of Dad when he was less than four months old. We know that because he was born in August, 1911 and the picture is dated ’11.  We know that it was taken at the Yoder Studio in Mangum, because his aunt, Minnie Yoder Cheek was the photographer.  But to our sorrow at some point in it’s 80 year journey from the studio to us, the picture was bent leaving a large crack all the way across the front.  You can tell from the header picture on the page, someone along the way did not take very good care of the family pictures.  I have done a lot of photography, both behind the lens and in the dark room and I did not know of anyway to repair the damage that would not do more damage in the process.  So the picture stay safely put away in order to preserve it from further damage.  That was until I discovered Adobe Photoshop.   I have worked with a number of graphic programs in the past 15 years but none that really let you do much with photographs. But now here was a sophisticated tool that approached giving you the same kind of control over image quality that you have in a good dark room as well as a number of very useful digital tools.

After discovering some of the features I decided to jump right in and see how it would do with a really difficult project. Just how well would I be able repair the damage to Dad’s picture digitally. After carefully scanning the picture in to several high resolution tiff files, I started to work. My first few attempts were not too successful, but I was gaining confidence and hopefully some skill with each new attempt. I was excited to see the old picture finally begin to look like new again. While it is not yet perfect, notice the irregularities around the frame, Item #2 is of sufficient quality that I was willing to share and made copies for most of the family.

Item #2

I’m not sure how Dad would feel about all of the world seeing him wearing a dress, but I know Aunt Minnie would be proud.


Posted by on 1 September 2008 in Cheek, Genea-bloggers, genealogy


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Academic Globalization of “Genealogy Method”

It looks like genealogists are having a significant impact in the hallowed halls of academia.  This is a message I received on a library listserv:


Academic Globalization of “Genealogy Method”


DEFINITION of “genealogy”:


CURRENT USE DEFINITION of “genealogy method”: Method of investigative scholarship to establish valid generational relationships connecting any specialty, within or between all fields of knowledge.


JUSTIFICATION: Genealogy Method procedures that discover and record connections of kinship, descent and marriage, can also be used to establish accurate understanding of any knowledge system properties, using diagrams, symbols and scholarly analysis.


The “genealogy method” is now being used in real time, within fields of research, to vindicate the truthfulness of conclusions as shown by historical comparison. The “genealogy method”, or “genealogical perspective”, is a looking to the past “reverse” process of economic

methodology, as it relates to the scientific method.



Tel-Aviv University: Genealogy As Evolutionary Dynamics

Understand the evolutionary processes of industrials sectors using a genealogical perspective.



Genealogical Resources & History Links


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Posted by on 18 August 2008 in genealogy