Monday, May 14, 2018


In one of my previous posts, I promised to tell you why Mary Elizabeth Trollinger was the person mentioned in the article. The answer is: she connects us to the McCoy family branch.

No, do not get me wrong. I do not claim McCoys are our direct relatives. They are only a sideline in our family tree but, still, I find that connection quite interesting.

I learned the story about McCoys and Hatfields when I came to Texas and watched the mini-series about them. At that time, nothing did we know regarding any family relations, though.

The McCoy family lived in Pike County, Kentucky. Tons have been written about that family feud so I will make it all short, just in case if you have never heard about it.

Breaks Interstate Park situated on the Kentucky and Virginia border.

The conflict between the two families - McCoys and Hatfields  - lasted for a few decades. It got worse and more intense after the Civil War when Asa Harmon McCoy was shot. Asa was coming back home from the war, he was killed not far from his house on 7 January 1865. The alleged killer was Jim Vance, a relative of the Hatfields.

Then, there was a land dispute between Devil Anse Hatfield and Perry Cline. The latter one was related to McCoys. Hatfield took P. Cline to court with a lawsuit against him and won the case and the land both of them claimed. McCoys found the court judgment unfair.

1878 - a hog was stolen from McCoys. The family members saw the animal among the ones which belonged to William Anderson Hatfield (Devil Anse). Randall McCoy - the head of the McCoy family - sued Devil Anse, accusing him of stealing the hog.

William Anderson Hatfield was favored by the court after the testimony of Bill Staton (related to McCoys and Hatfields as well). Devil Anse - the accused - was found innocent. The McCoy family found it as severe injustice.

What was more, Roseanna McCoy (daughter of Randall and Sarah McCoy) charmed by Devil Anse's son Johnse Hatfield, fell in love with him. Johnse was a ladies' man but Roseanna believed he would marry her. Johnse impregnated the girl, and she (being still single) lived with the Hatfield family for some time. However, both Randall and Devil Anse were against the marriage of the two young ones.

All in all, Roseanna had to leave the house of the Hatfields' and stayed at her aunt's. Johnse married Roseanna's cousin. At the final period of her pregnancy, Roseanna got measles. The girl whom she bore was sick as well. The baby girl, Sarah Elizabeth, died in 1881, not long after she was born.

On 7 August 1882, three of Randall McCoy's sons - Randall "Bud" (15 years old), Pharmer (19) and Tolbert (21)  - got drunk and had a fight with Ellison Hatfield, Devil Anse's brother. Ellison was stabbed and shot by the McCoy brothers. The boys were to be arrested but before it happened, they were caught by Devil Anse Hatfield and imprisoned by him at an old school house in Logan County, Virginia. Ellison died two days after the fight. Subsequently, the Hatfields took the three ones to Kentucky, across the River Tug. They strung the brothers to the bushes and shot them multiple times.

 The feud site along The Tug River

1 January 1888 - the Hatfields assaulted the McCoys' farm in the night. They burned the house of McCoys when the family were asleep. Calvin McCoy, Randall's son, was shot at once when he ran out of the burning house. Alifair McCoy, Randall's daughter, was shot when she attempted to get the water to extinguish the fire. Sarah, Randall's wife, was attacked as well. Her skull was crashed and ribs broken. Randall McCoy and his other kids managed to get out of the house and hide in the woods. The children got frostbites as they all left their home in a hurry and had no time to get dressed. Sarah McCoy never recovered and passed not long after the assault.

How does Mary Elizabeth Trollinger connect us to the McCoy family?

Mary Elizabeth was our great-great-great-grandmother.

Her father (our g-g-g-g-grandfather) Jacob Henry Trollinger (b. Mar 10 1762, Haw River, NC/d. Feb 29 1844, Haw River, NC)
his sister Barbara Trollinger (b. ≈ 1768, Dublan, Frederick County, Province of Maryland/d. ≈ 1825, Gallatin County, Illinois)
her husband William McCoy (b. ≈ 1773, Frederick County, Province of Maryland/ d. ≈ 1839, Gallatin County, Illinois)
his brother Daniel McCoy (b. Apr 24 1788, Montgomery, Virginia/d. Jul 10 1885, Logan, Logan County, West Virginia)
his son Randolph "Randall" McCoy (b. Oct 30 1825, Pike Co., Kentucky/d. Mar 28 1914, Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky).

Some time after we learned about that relation, we re-watched the mini-series about the two families. You look at things differently when you know they happened to a relative, even if a distant one.

  • Breaks Interstate Park - By Dan Grogan - Flickr, CC BY 2.0,
  • The map - By Kmusser - Own work. City and county data source: National Atlas [1]. Hydrology data source: National Hydrography Dataset [2]., CC BY-SA 3.0,

No comments :

Post a Comment