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Surname Cheatwood - Meaning and Origin

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Cheatwood: What does the surname Cheatwood mean?

The last name Cheatwood (or Cheatwoode) is an English surname, found mainly in southern US states, though the name has also spread worldwide in the diaspora. The origin of the name is disputed, with some sources claiming it is derived from Old English 'ceat' meaning 'branch or twig,' and 'wudu' meaning 'wood,' and thus meaning 'a wood with many branches.' Other sources suggest the name's origin is French, deriving from a word or phrase containing 'chez,' meaning 'at' or 'near', and 'wood' or 'wode', meaning 'forest.' It is often theorized that the name could have been given to someone who lived near a wooded area.

The Cheatwood surname is usually taken to signify a lively and artistic spirit, probably due to its literary references. It is mentioned, for example, in the well-known William Wordsworth poem, 'Lucy.' While this may not be the most appropriate definition of the name, it highlights its importance in literature and the fact that many famous people have borne the Cheatwood name.

Overall, the last name Cheatwood has a rich and varied origin story, and this is reflected in its meaning and history. While it has been suggested that the name was derived from a local topographical feature, rather than a more concrete origin story, it is clear that the Cheatwood surname nevertheless has a significant place in literary and cultural history.

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Cheatwood: Where does the name Cheatwood come from?

The last name Cheatwood is most commonly found in the United States. Specifically, it can be seen across many states including Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

According to the US census, the last name Cheatwood is significantly more common in the south-east of the country compared to other areas. Indeed, it is one of the more uncommon surnames in other regions including the Midwest, West, and Northeastern United States.

The earliest historical record of the Cheatwood surname dates back to the mid-1700s in colonial Virginia and North Carolina, when individuals with the last name Cheatwood arrived in the region as settlers from England and Scotland. In the decades that followed, some removed to Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. This is likely the cause of the large number of Cheatwood's now found in the South.

By the twentieth century, the Cheatwood family had dispersed even further, and could be found in sightly more distant locales, though still predominantly in the Southern United States.

Today, the last name Cheatwood remains mostly concentrated in the American South, with significant populations in each of the ten states. This makes it a truly symbolic Soutern family name.

Variations of the surname Cheatwood

The surname Cheatwood is derived from the Old English name Chaddewud, which was believed to have originated from pre-7th-century Anglo-Saxon roots. Variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin include Cheatarwood, Cheatawood, Cheetwood, Chiddwood, Chidwood, Chitwood, Chewetwood, Chetwoode, Cheodwood, Chidderwood, Chitwoode, Chewedwood, Chewadwood, Chetwawood and Chetwode.

The surname Cheatwood is very rare and mainly found in the United States, though some other variants I've listed above can also be found throughout Europe. With its Anglo-Saxon roots, it is believed that this surname originated in England. As the name spread to other parts of the world, the spelling varied from place to place, hence the variations of the surname in existence today.

The Cheatwood family is believed to have arrived in America in the 1640s, and the name can be found in most U.S. states, but is most predominantly found in Virginia, Arkansas, California and Oklahoma.

The genealogy of Cheatwood records many distinguished members and events, and their presence in American can be traced to the earliest generations of its settlers.

Famous people with the name Cheatwood

  • Will Cheatwood: former lead guitar player of the rock band Third Day
  • Barry Cheatwood: winner of several Emmy Awards for his work on the television series Designing Women
  • David Cheatwood: nationally recognized glass artist
  • Chad Cheatwood: award-winning photographer
  • Vivian Cheatwood: former president of the Theta Gamma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Farrah Cheatwood: former member of the U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team
  • Glenn Cheatwood: award-winning jazz flutist
  • Jay Cheatwood: former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Thomas Cheatwood: former college basketball player for the Auburn University Tigers
  • Heather Cheatwood: professional figure skater

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