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Hatfields & McCoys: In Their Own Words

Kevin Costner in Hatfields & McCoys
Kevin Costner plays Devil Anse Hatfield in the Hatfields & McCoys.

The Hatfields & McCoys family feud spanned decades causing death and destruction in its path, but how did it start? Here their ancestors try to explain it.  

Jim McCoy: "The Hatfields and McCoys feud started with Rosanne McCoy and Johnse Hatfield and it blew from there."

Mark Hatfield: "The story I think would be the most true would be the one my dad always told me. After the Civil War Devil Anse Hatfield and Randoph McCoy had a bit of bad feeling between the both of them. They were confederates."

Mamaw Irene McCoy: "Devil Anse Hatfield gathered up all the guns and run off leaving Randolph. Randolph ended up in prison for three years and that’s when it started."

Mark Hatfield: "When Randolph came out of prison he brother got killed. The McCoys always knew that Devil Anse killed him but they never could prove it."

John T Hatfield: "Well, you know, some say it was over a hog, but I was always told it was over a woman. Jim McCoy: Well the true part of it was that Rosanne got pregnant out of wedlock to Johnse Hatfield. Back then it was a Cardinal sin."

Scotty May Hatfield: "A lot of people say it goes back timber rights and property rights. Nobody really knows how it started, it was just two stubborn men  that had a disagreement and dragged their own family with them."

Words are taken from HISTORY's Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning, the series that follows these two famous families as they try to put aside their hateful history and come together to build a new business.