Hatfields & McCoys

Bud McCoy visits Grover Hatfield and his children, Cannonsburg, Kentucky, 1942. Image Number ULPA 1979.33.0035 in the Jean Thomas, The Traipsin’ Woman, Collection, Special Collections, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

A History Channel miniseries on the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud is drawing renewed attention to that chapter in Appalachian history. Many local news outlets have seized this opportunity to promote tourism to the region.

Eastern Kentucky native Jean Thomas (1881-1982) celebrated the musical traditions, dialect, folkways, costumes, legends, and lore of the mountain people through an annual American Folk Song Festival as well as writings and photographs.

Her photo collection, donated to the University of Louisville’s Photographic Archives in 1968, is available online on our Digital Collections website. It includes photos of Hatfield and McCoy descendents as well as kin of the lesser-known Tolliver-Martin Feud of Rowan County, Kentucky. She seemed to enjoy reuniting the formerly feuding families for photo opportunities.

The online finding aid for Jean Thomas’ papers, housed in the University of Louisville’s Dwight Anderson Music Library, reveals that she wrote several pieces about the feuding families, and collected lyrics to songs documenting their stories.


One Comment on “Hatfields & McCoys”

  1. Susan Knoer says:

    I suspect those would be descendnets of Devil Anse and Rand’l. Photos of their ancestors would have been rare indeed!


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