James 'The Sheriff' Veitch

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James Veitch

Birthplace: Traditionally of, Roxburghshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: May 30, 1685 (56-57)
Calvert County , Province of Maryland, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Calvert, MD, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Mary Veitch
Father of John Veitch; Thomas Veitch; James Veitch, II; Margaret Veitch; Nathan Veatch and 7 others

Occupation: The Sheriffe, Sheriff, Planter, Sheriff of Putuxant, St. Marie's and Potomac, Sherriff
Immigration: 1651 to Maryland
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About James 'The Sheriff' Veitch


James Veitch was born in 1628 and died May 30, 1685 (56-57) at Calvert County , Province of Maryland.

His wife was Mary Gakerlin, an indentured servant brought to MD by Richard Keene. The normal period of servitude was about 4 years. James bought Mary from Richard: James Veitch conveyes one cow calf now in Ishmael Wright's plantation to Richard Keene, of Putuxent, planter; this document is dated 9/30/1657.

The marriage must have occured before this date because in a document dated 8/7/1658: Augt 7, 1658: James Veitch demands lands for the Transportation of Ann Kidde this year, and Mary Gakerlin, now his wife, bought from Richard Keene, MD Land Office, Annapolis, liber Q, folio 107

The arrangement at this time was that anyone paying for the passage of an indentured servant was given 50 acres of land. At the end of the|servitude, the indentured party was also given 50 acres of land. This is the land that James was asking for. James may have paid the passage of others: Warrant to James Veitch for 250 acres of land, liber 6, folio 33

First MD land record, Aug 11 1651. Received Certificate of Survey for his land in MD, 1658. Mary GAKERLIN(202) (402)(374) died about 1690 in Calvert Co, MD. She was born bet 1633 and 1636 in Wales.

Children were:[5]

  1. Thomas VEATCH was born about 1658. He died about 1693.
  2. James VEATCH Jr. was born about 1660. He died about 1693.
  3. Margaret VEATCH was born about 1662.
  4. John VEATCH was born about 1664. He died about 1693.
  5. Nathan VEATCH.
  6. William VEATCH(405) was born about 1670. He died about 1711


James immigrated to the colony of Maryland where he was granted 70 acres of land on the north side of the Patexent River, in Patuxent (now Calvert) County. He became Deputy Sheriffe in 1653 and Sheriffe in 1655. In 1657 James paid one cow for the passage of his fiancee, Mary Gakerlin, a Welch lass to the New World. Six children are known.

The American descendents of this family runs into the thousands.

High Sheriff of the entire Province of Maryland at 29 years of age.

The Order of the First Families of Maryland:

  • Qualifying ancestor: James Veitch of Maryland.
  • Eligible for membership: Lineal descendants of James Veitch (Veatch).

Colonial Dames of the XVII Century:

  • Qualifying ancestor: James Veitch of Maryland.
  • Eligible for membership: Lineal female descendants of James Veitch (Veatch).
  • Seventeenth Century Colonial Ancestors by the Colonial Dames, vol. 1 p. 266.

Historic Marker erected by the Maryland Historical Society:

  • 1653-1657. DIED 1685./

Disputed Origins

James Veatch Hapogroup seems to be I-M223 places his ancestors in Northern France before the conquest. Information came from Veitch family Facebook group.

Seen as James, son of Malcolm Veitch of Muirdeen.


“James Veitch was born in 1628 amidst the turbulence of Scottish politics at the time of the Protestant Revolution. During Veitch's youth, his family - the house of Dawyck - fought on the side of King Charles as he battled Oliver Cromwell, a decision that placed them on the losing side.[3]. Seeing little future for himself in England, he received a modest land grant in Lord Baltimore's plantation while in London, and therefore had holdings when he sailed across in 1651[4]. James occupied his small parcel of patented land on the north bank of the Patuxent River's Saint Leonard Creek. ...”


Disputed Parents

There is no documentary evidence to support the claim that James Veatch was the son of Malcom Veitch and his wife Katerina. This claim has been made in several published locations, including the 1974 book "We Veatches". This lineage is not recognized in Douglas Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry. To quote from a recent genforum post:

"Thirteen years ago, I posted a query to this board asking anyone (especially the Veitch Historical Society) for proof of the claimed Scottish ancestry of Sheriff James Veitch of 17th century Maryland. And none has been forthcoming.

From http://veitchhistoricalsociety.org/history.html

” His grandfather, Laird John Vaiche of Dawick (1579 – 1606) married Janet Stewart of the Royal House of Stewart, therefore many of us are descended from European Royalty. ”

“ Veitch Family Lineages” Veitch of Muirdean, Makerstoun Parish, Roxburghshire

6(iii). James Veitch, Likely of Lowre who was granted 5 merklands of Foulage in 1653, sister Katherine held half of 5 merklands in Fouledge. This James has been presumed to have been Sheriff of Calvert Co Maryland, but it's doubtful (no specific evidence)



Is it more probable that James Veitch, son of Malcolm Veitch (and a first cousin once removed from John Stewart, Lord Traquair; a first cousin of sir John Veitch, the most powerful Freemason in Scotland; a first cousin of Alexander Veitch of Lyne, the grandfather of Lord Eliock; and also a first cousin of the father of the governor of Nova Scotia), died obscurely in Scotland, leaving no record of marriage or death? Or is it more probable that he was the same James Veitch who served in the Scots army under his cousin Lord Traquair, later became the High Sheriff of the entire Province of Maryland at age 29, and whose descendants' DNA matches that of Malcolm Veitch's brother's descendants?

Fact is a theory for which there is overwhelming evidence. The overwhelming evidence in the question of what happened to Malcolm's son James would indicate to the rational mind, as the principle of occam's razor would dictate, that Sheriff James Veitch could be none other but the son of Malcolm Veitch.


Prerogative Court Record 1686

  • JAMES VEITCH - Calvert County
  • payments to: Mrs. Alice Botelor, John Turner, Michael Tawney, John Broome, Mr. Anthony Underwood, Robert Ardis, John Bigger on account of Edward Watkins, John Veitch paid to Joseph Edloe, William Taylard, Kenelme, Chesyldyn
  • Administratrix: Mary Veitch. Then came John Veitch

aternate birth place

Roxburgshire, Scotland









Likely involved in The Battle of Severn. See attached source.

  • Following records provided by George Arthur Trail IV..............

Charles County Court Record, Liber A, p. 13...1658..JAMES VEICH vs. GEORGE GOODRICK....* The first person to ever leave money to David Trail Sr. at P.G. County was Henry Goodrick in 1711.

Delaware Papers : English p. 267......Witneseth..That...Johne Stevens doe allenat Lett and make over to Thomas Crumptone one parcel of land laying on the west side of Delaware Bay naer Duck Creek for the term of 7 years.....Feb. 1676/7...signed and sealed in the presant of...James Veitch and Christopher Ellet....Entrant in records July 29, Anno 1679...test: Cornelius Verhoofe clerk....Whorekill.." * James Veitch of Calvert County was exploring opportunity in Delaware Bay while Robert Trail of Delaware had just settled at Whorekill in 1676. They both knew John Stevens and so likely knew each other as well.

Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1658, Vol. 41, p. 84. Archives Online.....James Veitch aged thirty or thereabouts...say that about end of Feb. last.....by chance did meet one Randall Revell of Accomack...that would...procure (Francis Dougherty) him a benefice in Patuxent River if he should come thence...and Randall replied that he knew said Dowty...to be a man given to many vices and especially to drinking.."....

Maryland Prerogative Court 1686...James Veitch (Calvert)...Payments to: Mrs. Alice Botelor, John Turnor, Michael Tawney, John Broome, Mr. Anthony Underwood, Robert Ardis, John Bigger,on account of Edward Watkins, John Veitch paid to Joseph Edloe, William Taylard, Kenelme Cheseldyn...Administratrix: Mary Veitch. Then came John Veitch..'

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James 'The Sheriff' Veitch's Timeline

Roxburghshire, Scotland
Age 23
Age 23
Sheriffe of Maryland
Veitch's Cove, Calvert, MD
Veitchs Cove, Calvert, Maryland, USA
Calvert, , Maryland
Calvert, Maryland, USA