Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oh No They Di'int: The Hatfield's and McCoy's Ready to Feud Again

Today is time again for another, Oh No They Di'int and once again a story from right here in West Virginia. I'm not sure how much media attention has been given to this story outside of West Virginia. The Hatfield's and McCoy's started a Facebook page about it to hopefully get more media coverage.

Where I am from in WV is many miles away from the town where the Hatfield and McCoy feud went on but growing up in West Virginia one tale always told to us kids was about the fuss'in and feud'in between the Hatfield's of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. It was part of WV history.

The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1863–1891) involved two families of the West VirginiaKentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River in Southern West Virginia on the Kentucky border. The
Hatfields of West Virginia were led by William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield while the McCoys of Kentucky were under the leadership of Randolph "Ole Ran'l" McCoy. Those involved in the feud were descended from Ephraim Hatfield (born c. 1765) and William McCoy (born c. 1750). The feud has entered the American folklore for it's bitterly feuding rival parties. More than a century later, the feud has become synonymous with the perils of family honorjustice, and revenge.

The feud between the two families ended many, many years ago and on June 14, 2003 in Pikeville, Kentucky, the McCoy cousins partnered with Reo Hatfield of WaynesboroVirginia, to declare an official truce between the families. Governor Paul E. Patton of Kentucky and Governor Bob Wise of West Virginia signed proclamations declaring June 14 Hatfield and McCoy Reconciliation DayThe Hatfield's and McCoys symbolize violence and feuding and fighting, but by signing this, hopefully people will realize that's not the final chapter. 

The Hatfield's and McCoy's are about ready to enter yet another fight. Not between each other but with a St Louis, Missouri based company who is suing them for their name. You read that right. The Missouri company already uses the name Hatfield's and McCoy's and then trademarked their name. The Hatfield's and McCoy's are suing to get the rights to their name back.

The way I understand it is, that the families of the Hatfield's and McCoy's signed to do what they thought was a reality TV show with A and E Television, Hatfield and McCoy: White Lightning but come to find they wasn't out for that. It was filmed as a commercial for the legendary Hatfield and McCoy family brand for the Missouri based company. 

Nancy Walker, WOWK News reports:
GILBERT, WV -The Hatfield and McCoy Feud is an infamous part of Appalachian history. A modern day family feud is brewing in Gilbert, WV over moonshine and the family name.It started after some members of the family got involved in a reality show on the History Channel called Hatfield and McCoys: White LightningReality television star Mark Hatfield took to social media to tell fans about a dispute over rights to the family name."Right at the moment I am furious over this," Mark Hatfield said. "All I've got left in the world is the name Mark Hatfield and I am going to use it."Trouble started after five members of the Hatfield family and five members of the McCoy family joined to form the Hatfield & McCoy Alliance. The Alliance partnered with outside investors to form a company called the Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand LLC, a Missouri based limited liability company. That company applied for 42 patents claiming rights to the phrase Hatfield McCoy in relationship to several products including food, shirts, liquor and key chains.Nancy Justus is afraid the dispute will hurt the existing moonshine business owned by her son-in-law. Nancy is also a Hatfield. Her family operates a distillery in Gilbert, WV where they make a product called "Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine: The Drink of the Devil."The family says they aren't planning to give up this name without a fight."It is absolutely crazy that my wife and her family are having to fight for something they were born with," said Chad Bishop, Justus' son in law.Mark Hatfield said he is ok with other family members using the name. "If you want to use it. I have no problem with that but we are all going to use it," he said. He was once a member of the alliance but has since walked away.Courtney Quick says she is from the McCoy family and a member of the Hatfield & McCoy Alliance. In a written statement she said, in part, "The cooperative effort is borne out of a collaboration between the Hatfield and McCoy families of West Virginia in an effort to better their lives and their children's lives for generations to come." She said that the Alliance is not trying to steal the family name. She emphasized that the Alliance is made up of people from West Virginia and said the Alliance and Legendary do not intend to harm anyone's business. But Mark Hatfield, Nancy Justus and others, remain skeptical."I know what they are going to do they are going to sell it to a conglomerate and you'll never be able to sell another thing in West Virginia without paying them to do that. I am not going to do that," Mark Hatfield said.Both sides have attorneys. It could take years to sort out this legal feud.

Mark Hatfield says both sides of the family are ready for a fight and this time not between each other. This time it's with bureaucracy! Attorneys for both families says this feud to take back their God Given names is one that could continue for years to come! Both families are in it for the long haul! 

Just so you know... True Hatfield and McCoy Moonshine isn't the real deal unless it came from the real centuries old stills owned by the real Hatfield's and the McCoy's. 

Resources for this post:
The Story WOWK TV
pic credit: Facebook Page for The Petition For the Hatfield's and McCoy's to keep their family name


  1. A company owns their names? That's not right.

  2. Alex Yeah! Something huh? The Missouri based company trademarked the names of the Hatfield's and McCoy's to sell their products. Now they are going to have to go to court to take back their God given names. Pretty crazy that you have to pay for your name, but to pay to take back your name?

  3. This is one of the craziest things I've ever read.

    I guess this goes to show you should NEVER SIGN A LEGAL DOCUMENT without an attorney there to read all of the fine print.

  4. I just bought the name Gossip_Grl.

    You'll be hearing from my lawyer soon.

  5. JoeH Hilarious! Can't wait to tell mama that her nickname for me is going to cost some bucks! :) I preferred this nickname better than her other one she called me- Ezmerelda! :)

  6. Just another example of, "What God has joined together, may lawyers pull apart."

  7. Uhhh. Erm. My family descended from Ephriam Hatfield, on my mother's side. That was my nana's family. I had heard that peace was made, but I didn't hear about this trademark name. Really stupid, I would be terribly upset if someone tried to copyright my name! BUT, could I also take claim to royalities paid out by the products that company is trying to use their names on?


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