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Our Fifth Veazey-Veasey Reunion

Veazey, Kentucky

1997

Cousin Leroy and Eleanor Cousin Leroy recruited a committee of "Kentucky Kusins" to assist him in hosting the Fifth Annual Veazey Reunion in Madisonville, Kentucky, June 20-22. With the possible exception of Cherry Grove in Maryland, we probably walked more nearly where the Veazey family had walked in years past here in Hopkins County, Kentucky, than anywhere else that we have held a Veazey Reunion. Leroy is the Mayor of Shakerag, a place name that was transported from the North Carolina area where the early immigrants were born. The Days Inn in Madisonville became the reunion headquarters.

A new feature added this year was a genealogy workshop on Friday morning for those of us who are "hard-core" genealogists. We reserved a room at the Madisonville Library (where a copying machine was available for sharing records) and Myra Bourland and Eleanor Mayfarth led this most informative workshop on our genealogy. I had my trusty laptop and database standing by for specific questions.

We were welcomed to Madisonville at our introductory banquet on Friday evening, at the Madisonville Baptist Church, by the Mayor of Madisonville, Phillip H. Terry, who issued a Proclamation that June 20-21 were "Veazey Family Days" in this corner of Kentucky. Scott and Bobbi's son, Lee Veazey, opened our festivities on Friday by ringing the school bell that was used by his great-great-grandfather, Lee Veazey (Leroy's father). We learned a lot about the three Veazey brothers who migrated into Hopkins County about 1850 from Leroy and his sons, Carl and David. Some of our talented cousins shared their talent with us before the evening was over.

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3 generations at our Old KY Home This year our bus tour included a family cabin on Leroy's farm, that is decorated with all of his Veazey memorabilia, hosted by Cousin Bob and his wife, Joan. The Hopkins County Historical Society Museum where many artifacts were donated by Leroy and other members of the Veazey family was on the tour. Gov. Ruby Laffoon's birthplace is located next to the museum and could well have been like the abode of the early Veazey family members. We stopped at Olive Branch Baptist Church, another name that was transplanted from North Carolina to Kentucky. Many members of the Veazey family are buried in this cemetery, and several of those are inscribed, "born in North Carolina." The buses made brief stops at the Jackson Stage Coach Stop, ca. 1830, and Browning Springs, where the Union invaders were routed by CSA Gen. Adam Johnson and his Army of Six.

Click for the Reinactors The highlight of our tour was a memorial service held at the Veazey Cemetery, at Veazey, Kentucky, resting place of the three immigrant brothers, patriarchs of the Kentucky Veazey family. A group of Civil War Reenactors provided a color guard for the ceremony. Carl told the story of Cousin Noah Veazey, who has a marker in this Veazey cemetery, and how Carl discovered that Noah had really died and was buried at Johnson's Island, Ohio. The marker in the Veazey cemetery is a cenotaph, probably erected by his mother for her eldest son, so that his family in Kentucky would not forget him.

Our youth participants enjoyed a one room school experience at the Munn School in Madisonville. A local teacher, dressed in period costume, interpreted a student's experience in these surroundings for our youth. The young people met the adults at the Madisonville City Park Clubhouse for a delicious lunch. The olympic-size pool at Day's Inn provided ample exercise for the youth in the afternoon.

The younger crowd taking a dip in the pool
Veazey Cousins enjoying a swim!

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the cousins, except MaryAnn, who was experiencing a very bad hair day!The evening meal was served by members of the Lighthouse Mission Church in their lovely fellowship hall. Our first professional group picture was taken on Saturday evening in front of this church. After dinner we journeyed to the Fine Arts Center of the Madisonville Community College, which was designed by our own Scott Veazey. He was kind enough to share some of his insights and experiences in the design process. Our cousins have never had such an accoustically perfect setting in which to perform for their family.

I'm a Kentucky Colonel! Bob and Leroy surprised Wayne and me by inducting us into the Order of Kentucky Colonels. We are humble and proud to be associated with such an auspicious group. Wayne and I were also proud that our son and two granchildren from Wisconsin could join us for the first time at one of these events. This gave them a brief visit with their North Carolina cousins.

Carl made a very meaninful presentation to me on Saturday night. But that is a whole story within itself. Click here to read about that one.

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Ann Davis

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