Family Stories

Learn About the Kentucky Feuds at the Kentucky History Center

A week and a half ago Ritchey and I attended the second Saturday workshop at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort.  The blogging workshop was presented by the Kentucky Genealogical Society.  Linda McCauley and Cheri Daniels gave great pointers to new and experienced bloggers alike.  I’ve already incorporated several of their ideas!

While we were at the history center we visited the exhibit, “A Kentucky Journey”.  This wasn’t my first time – have been there many times, and usually always notice something new.  My purpose this time was to photograph the exhibit on Kentucky Feuds.

It was quite a shock when, through my genealogy research, I found out I was descended from a feuding family!  A feud – any feud – was never mentioned by my grandfather Hill – or any of my aunts or uncles.  When I started asking questions about the feud they were just as surprised as I was.  Evidently the feud was not talked about in the family – perhaps it was something everyone wanted to forget.

As this map shows, most of the Kentucky feuds took place in eastern Kentucky – the Hatfield and McCoy feud was fought on the border of Kentucky and Virginia.  The Hill-Evans feud was located in central Kentucky – adjacent to my home county of Mercer.  This feud also began much earlier than the other feuds – 1820 – with the most of the fighting (and killing) occurring in the early 1850’s.

I have read many books, stories and articles on the feud.  Many are quite sensationalized – wanting to shock and thrill the reader.  Most give little thought to what actually occurred – what is in the court records.  But, then again, that’s just one man’s – or one woman’s – opinion!  Visit the Kentucky History Center and spend a little while in the exhibit hall.  You will learn a lot about Kentucky history, and perhaps a little about yourself!

15 replies »

  1. My two boys love to read about real ‘feuds’. They think it is funny that families can get soo worked up. I just laugh because the 2 of them are Always arguing! I point out – ‘that’s how feuds start’. 🙂
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. I have a little knowledge of a feud in my family history. It was Helton and Barnett feud. Vaughn Helton was my great grandfather was married to Susie Barnett( I believe her name was Susie). Occurred in Manifee Co. Ky I believe my great grand father was 30 and the quarrel was over a parcel of land. Would love to know if you could find any info concerning this

  3. Anyone have any information about the feud/feuds between Francis/France family in Lee county, Ky. Supposedly France family had to leave – they moved to Kansas. This was probably 1800’s.

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s