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 Lightning
Reality 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.?