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The Descendants of John Veazey

An article from the Durham Herald-Sun on June 19, 1995, stated:

Reunions nourish family trees,
Veazey/Veasey family traces Piedmont roots more than 200 years.

Durham Herald-Sun Pic
Wayne Davis, Ann Veazey Davis, Grady Veasey

"Family Reunions. The gathering of the clan. It's a ritual in the South. A time of venerating our ancestors, getting acquainted with our contemporaries, balancing paper plates on our knees, cutting watermelons and swatting gnats.

"For the Veazey family, whose ancestors have populated these parts since before the American Revolution, the family get-together is set for Friday and Saturday at the Sheraton University Center.

"Although meeting in an upscale hotel may take away some of the down-home aspects of this gathering, it won't dampen the enthusiasm of Veazey cousins who are expected to arrive from across the country (including Alaska) and from London, England.

"As in most families, the Veazeys have a self-appointed genealogist. She has spent the better part of 20 years gathering bits and pieces of family history to weave together into a book that rolled off the press just last week. Her 508 page book, The Descendants of John Veazey, was published by a firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. It chronicles the story of five Veazey sons, and three grandsons who moved from Maryland to North Carolina in the 1700's and settled on 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land on Veazey Ridge in Granville County.

"Veazey Ridge was a long, fertile hill that extended about two miles between Knap of Reeds Creek and Picture Creek in Granville County. But don't go looking for it today, because in 1942, the U. S. Government took over Veazey land to build Camp Butner. This forced about 200 families to leave the land that they and their ancestors had farmed for 200 years.

"A headline in The Durham Sun on April 10, 1942, read: 'For the first time in 200 years there are no Veazeys on Veazey Ridge.' In fact, not much of the ridge is left now. Thus came the great dispersion of the Veazeys. Some of them settled in Durham. The current city phone book lists 43 members of the family. Others moved to far away places.

"Among family notables are two Veazeys from Georgia, an uncle and nephew, both named Pryor Gardner Veazey, who served in the Georgia State Legislature. Also, the family is related to William B. Umstead, a governor of North Carolina. Margaret Umstead Veazey, the wife of Squire Alfred Moore Veazey, was a first cousin once removed to Umstead.

"Just recently, she has established that the cousins in her generation are seventh cousins of former President George Bush. In the appendix to her book, she has used the memoirs of Dorothy Wilkins Curl, whose mother was a Veazey. It lends color to the family. She talks about how her great-grandfather, Squire Alfred M. Veazey, looked after his grandchildren.

"The author will be packing her books when she arrives at the reunion and will offer them at a special price. 'I have a pick-up truck involved in those boxes of books,' her husband said."

Ann Davis

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