JOHN HOARE'S FAMILY HISTORY
The Cheesman Family in America
revised 20/12/2004 minor update plus reformat 2011
Vicki Cheesman, who is descended from Edmund George Cheesman, has helped me enormously in researching the family. She has written her own family history, and I am delighted to have a copy of it on my website -
Until the autumn of 2003, I knew of no family connection with America. I was astonished to be contacted by Vicki Cheesman, who we have established is distantly related. Not only could she extend my family to the present day in the United states, but she was able to send me copies of early photographs.
Vicki has access to a large number of family reports, whereas I have almost none and depend on official records. However, Vicki has also put me in touch with another descendant, Kathleen Anderson, who has researched the family in depth from all sorts of sources, and we can be pretty certain about the information on this page.
In general I do not make specific references to any event within one hundred years, but the story is so interesting that I have pushed my rule to the limits by allowing references to material which is non-specific or in the Public domain. If anyone is offended they should contact me and I will remove the offending information.
George CHEESMAN the younger had retired to Tunbridge Wells by1866. His American descendants have suggested that he later moved to Cheltenham, where he took to breeding Arab horses. I cannot confirm this, although his daughter Jessie Amelia was to marry there. I DO know that George moved to St. Florence, in Tenby, where he had stables.
George died in St. Florence in 1882 leaving £28,000, a very substantial amount in those days. His will with three codicils is still in the archives. To the modern eye it is almost impenetrable in its complexity, although its general aim was relatively simple. George made provision for his daughters by both marriages as well as his wife in the form of annuities, but he left his stables horses and cows and associated fixtures to his wife Amelia Caroline, and land he had bought in Leavenworth county, Kansas, to his oldest son Edmund George. The younger son, Alfred Addison, received a comparable cash inheritance, and the will went to great lengths to treat the family fairly. The original will made 'his friend' Frederick John GILBURD an executor with a small inheritance. However, the second codicil replaced him with Isabella Maria, George's daughter by his first marriage, who never married. The American family maintain that George was cheated out of a substantial amount of money by a close friend.
Edmund George CHEESMAN apparently set up a farm in Tonganoxie, south of Kansas City (in Leavenworth County), and later a large greenhouse business. He married and had nine children. Two died young, but the other seven went on to marry.
Edmund George's eighth child of nine, Edmund Harrison CHEESMAN, sometimes known as Eddy, became a silent film actor as Edd CHEESMAN. He appeared in the silent 'Mountie' adventure series directed by Irving Cummings, and is credited in three two-reel short films - "The Valley of the Missing," "Patsy's Jim," and "Corporal Jim's Ward.". These have been issued as a set on VHS in the states, but don't seem to be available at present. If anyone out there knows of a source, or has tapes available, I would be happy to tell the world!.
Edmund had three children and his line is flourishing.
Theodore Joseph CHEESMAN, the youngest of nine, became a film editor in the Golden age of Hollywood, under the name of Ted CHEESMAN, although some references call him Ted CHEESEMAN, Tod CHEESMAN, or even Tod CHESSMAN! He already had a hobby interest in amateur radio, with the callsign W6KVY. Ted's first films were silent, but he moved over to sound with the comedy 'Scratch as Catch Can' issued in 1931, only two years after sound first came on the scene with 'The Jazz singer'. Ted's understanding of electronics must have been an important advantage in the transition to sound. He was to be credited as editor in many films, some of them major, from 1928 to 1938.
During the later part of World War 2 Ted came to London, where he joined the Royal Air Force and was employed repairing aircraft radio equipment. He returned to America after VE Day (Victory over Europe - May 8th, 1945). He went back to Hollywood where he worked as a film editor for the United States Air Force.
Ted's most prestigious films were probably the 1933 production of 'King Kong' starring Fay Wray, and the 1935 production of 'She'. Merian C. Cooper produced both these films as well as Cheesman's only important postwar film, 'Mighty Joe Young', released in 1949. These films and others, including 'Son of Kong' have several Production credits in common.
Ted married late in life, but had no children. there is a large amount of information about Ted's work in the international Movie Database which also carries a large amount of information about his films.
Alfred Addison, meanwhile, is reported to have been involved in exporting Arab horses from the United Kingdom to the united States, allegedly crossing the Atlantic thirty one times. He eventually married at the age of 50, and seems to have settled back in Cheltenham, in England. His story continues back on The Cheesman family of Brighton page.