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The Veitch (Veatch) Family
The Masters Family Link to English & European Nobility


by Ray Isbell

The immigrant from Scotland, Sheriff James Veitch of Veitch's Cove, Maryland, was our early Masters most celebrated American ancestor known.  Veitch's descendants have preserved his memory and deeds through The Veitch Historical Society, one of the country's foremost family history/genealogical organizations. 1

The wife of Sheriff Veitch was Mary Gakerlin, a Welsh girl said to have come to this county as an indentured servant along with one Anne Kidde. In 1657, Sheriff Veitch married Mary Gakerlin and bought the indentures of both his wife and Anne Kidde from Richard Keen of Calvert County. 2   It was not uncommon for a relative or prospective groom to pay the passage for a relative or future bride, though there is no indication that James Veitch ever knew of her prior to her arrival in America. The romantic family legend handed down in the Veitch family is that he freed an unwilling indentured servant, married her and allowed her to become one of Calvert County society's leading ladies.

Sheriff James Veitch and Mary Gakerlin were the parents of Nathan Veitch (Veatch) who named his daughter "Mary Masters" in his will. She was the wife of William W. Masters (circa 1691 - after 1771), grandparents of brothers Hillery and Notley Masters, the primary descendants traced in this book.

Burke's Peerage, Ltd. lists Sheriff James Veitch, the immigrant, as a son of Malcolm Veitch, son of John "Vaitche," Laird (Lord) of Dawyck, Peebleshire, by his wife Janet Stewart, "an aunt of the first Earl of Traquair." 3

The name of James Veitch appears also on a short list of American colonists of proven royal descent appearing in an article by Walter Lee Shepard, "Descendants of the illegitimate Sons & Daughters of the Kings of Britain," in The National Genealogical Society Quarterly (vol. 62, pp. 182-91), and his royal lineage also was confirmed in 1981 by the President of the Society of Descendants from the Illegitimate Sons & Daughters of the Kings of Britain. 4

The Lord Lyon of Scotland has authorized a special coat-of-arms for the Veitch Historical Society of America that is an adaptation of the arms of the Lairds of Dawyck which Sheriff James Veitch of Maryland would have been entitled to bear under Scots heraldic law. This proves that Sheriff James Veitch of Maryland is recognized as an heir of the Lairds of Dawyck. 5

The linages of Sheriff James Veitch's grandmother Janet (Stewart) Veitch and great-grandmother Marriot (Fleming) Veitch trace back to most of the early royal houses of Europe and Great Britain and would fill a thick book alone. A few representative lines showing more of Marriot Fleming Veitch's ancestry than Janet Stewart Veitch's lines, which usually are the lines followed in charts published on Veitch ancestry. For although Janet Stewart Veitch's ancestors connect James Veitch to the more recent kings of Scotland and to other interesting relations which no doubt helped forge his political views and Allegiances toward the monarchy, Cromwell, and the Colony of Maryland 6, Janet Stewart's lines are more often than not illegitimate in descent whereas her mother-in-law's ancestry is traced as far into antiquity but contains fewer instances of illegitimacy.

Marriot Fleming Veitch is traced from the Emperor Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Hugh Capet, and Alfred the Great, to name a few, while her daughter-in-law Janet Stewart Veitch descended from all these in addition to the royal house of Stewart.

Some of the other interesting ancestors include Eleanor of Acquitaine, Sir James Stewart (the "Black Knight") of Lorn, Lady Godiva of Coventry and Mercia, William Longespee, and Willkiam Marshall, as well as most of the recorded kings of England, Scotland, France, Hungary, etc.



End Notes


1.   Charles Burgess, "The Ancestry of Edgar Lee Masters," The Great Lakes Review (vol. 8, #2), p. 60; Lou Rose, The life & Times of Sheriffe James Veitch of Calvert County (Maryland) (Prince Frederick, Md.; (Porpoise Press for the Calvert Co., Hist'l Soc., 1982) pp. 6, 7, 9-10, 20-30., Laurence Guthrie (Wanda V. Clark, ed.) We Veitches, Veatches, Veaches, Veeches; An Historical Treasury of Descendants of James Veitch, The Sheriff (Redmond, Or.; Midstate Printing, Inc., 1974), pp. 11-17

The following list is a partial bibliography of books containing information on or references to James Veitch:

       Tercentary Hist. of Maryland by Mathew Page Andrews, vol. 1, pp. 238-242.
       The Maryland Calendar of Wills by Jane Baldwin (Kohn & Pollock, 1906), vol. 2, 
       pp. 31-32
       History of Maryland From its First Settlement to the Restoration in 1660 by 
       John L. Bozman (Lucas & Deaver, 1837), vol. 2, p. 547
       Maryland, a History, 1632-1974 ed. by Richard Walsh & Wm. L. Fox 
       (Maryland Historical Soc., 1974)
       Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-84 ed. by Colman C. Hall (New York: Barnes 
       & Noble, reprint 1967).       

2.   Burgess, op. cit., p. 60; Rose, op. cit., pp. 26-30; Guthrie, pp. 14

3.   Burke's American Families with British Ancestry (1939), p. 2951

4.   Lou Rose, op. cit., pp. 13, 40. Letter from Herman Nickerson, President of the Society, to Lou Rose dated 1 Oct 1981. For lineages, see also Lou Rose, pp. 41-49. "Line of James Veitch Traced to Harold II, King of England," by Charles M. Lord, American Genealogy vol. 53, #3 (July 1977).

5.   See illustrations of arms, granted 11 May 1983 by Malcolm R. Innes, Baron of Yeochrie, Commander of the Royal Victoria Order, Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, Lord Lyon King of Arms.

6.   Lou Rose, op. cit., pp. 13-15, 19, 37













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