Question of the Week: Any feuds in your family tree?

+7 votes

Have you found any feuds in your family tree?

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
My gg grandfather Martin Fallon of Roscommon, Ireland and his sons Michael, Stephen, John, Martin, Joseph and Richard had a running feud for years with the McCormack, Harlow and Shaughnessy families for years. They were never out of the local Petty Sessions Courts because of constant arguments about land, animals and assault charges. Even the women of the family fought with each other, which was unusual for then. My g grandfather's stables were burnt down mysteriously in the middle of the night and in a newspaper report he stated he believed the fire was started maliciously. The court records about them stopped after this incident so perhaps they finally sorted it out.
i just discovered about it this very week! an ancestor of mine, his mother and his brothers and sisters were sued by one of the brothers and his wife, about the execution of their father´s will. There are records of court proceedings and appeals during a 6 year period or so, then the family lost the appeal and then cut ties with the estranged son and wife. This happened in Spain in the 1860s.

9 Answers

+7 votes
Are you talking about feuds as in Hatfield-McCoy with murders or just the kind where two or more refuse to talk to each other for 50, 60, 70 years?
by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (270k points)
+10 votes
Yes, I heard about it all the time I was a child. My great grandparents acquired land in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893. They had 12 children—6 boys and 6 girls. In my grandfather’s will, the land was divided only between the 6 boys. The girls received nothing. Five of the girls were mad, and eventually were paired with a brother to split the money from selling the land. My grandmother, Nellie, was the only one that was not mad, but she decided to become mad because they were changing their father’s wishes. This feud went on for years. All the land was sold, and the brother paired with Nellie kept his full share. His children loved Nellie and often came to see her in later years.
by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (211k points)
+4 votes

The closest thing to that would be reading a book called "The Steel Bonnets", by George Macdonald Fraser (author of the Flashman novels), about Anglo-Scots "border reivers" in the 14th-17th century in the "Debatable Lands" of the Scottish border and coming across one of my ancestral surnames (Dodds, from Northumberland) listed as among the notable reiving families. So it's pretty certain that at least some of my ancestors had feuds, and were part of the culture that gave rise to the same behaviours when transplanted across the Atlantic (cf. Hatfields & McCoys). The Anglo-Scots border reivers also inspired a significant body of song and poetry ("border ballads" being among the inspirations, a few hundred years later, for American "country music"); one of my favourites that's a fair representative of the genre is "Hugh the Graeme" or "Hughie Graeme", performed here by June Tabor:

by C Handy G2G6 Mach 8 (84k points)
edited by C Handy
+3 votes
Yes,in Kentucky, Dr. Braxton Cox was assassinated as he left his medical office because of a family feud.  I don't remember the other family's name, but they hired a man to do the job. He was later caught by the police, but I doubt that stopped the feuding.
by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (942k points)
+2 votes
You bet!!  I am related to the infamous Frankie & Charlie of of Appalachian Mountain folklore.  Many folks these days believe it to be just an 'old folks tale'.  But, not anyone from my family or 'from the hills'.

Similar to the Frankie and Johnnie tale, as the song goes, "Frankie and Johnie were lovers".  In my family they were actually married and had a small child.  And in my family it was Frankie and Charlie, the one that just couldn't stop carousing.  Frankie grew tired of it and disposed of Charlie.

Frankie was the only woman ever hanged in Burke County, North Carolina.
by Tammie Cochran G2G6 (8k points)
+3 votes
Definately there was a feud in my mother and fathers family which was resolved by myself For years I grew up without my father being told by my mother that he took advantage of her and this is how I was conceived This caused a feud between my dads father and my mothers grandfather as they were good friends before I was conceived The feud then started where my grandfather accused my father of taking advantage of my mum to conceive a child but my dads father saying my father wasn’t that kind of person This caused a major fall out between 2 best friends (my mums grandfather and my dads father) So because of this I grew up without a father until 41 years later I found my dads father on Facebook and then found my father Eventualy I told my father the story I had been told by my mother he had took advantage of her and this is how I was conceived My father then told me my mother had said this story as she didn’t want people to know her and my father had an intimate relationship for a few years as an unmarried couple She was scared of society’s views on this As a result my mothers family would not allow my father to be around me growing up So at first I was upset but then I encouraged my mother to apologise to my father which she did and she also apologised to me My father and me both forgave her so we could move past any bad feelings so I could finally have a relationship with both parents which I should have had growing up This took 41 years of searching for my father to happen A couple of years later my mother passed away with peace in her heart we forgave her and she was happy I had my father back in my life I finally now know my full identity This is the reason I joined wikitree so that I can make sure all my future descendants know their full identity of where they come from
by Frances Sumner G2G Crew (930 points)
Thanks for this wonderful story. For me it's a story, but you made peace in three hearts.
Thankyou I hope my story encourages people to never be scared to search for the truth of where they come from I’m sure every family has skeletons in their closets but we can learn a lot from the past to do things a different way for ourselves and future generations Only the truth can set us free
Frances, thank you for sharing your and your parents story. Sad that you did not have your farther in your life for 41 years. You obviously are a very kind person, so glad you were able to make peace in your family.
Thankyou I’ve always had a strong faith in God and I trully believe the only way to defeat hate is with love So if I was to never forgive my mum the feud would continue on with me with hate in my heart The only way to love foward was to forgive my mum for her but also for myself as well Forgiveness sets us free as well as truth The truth is we all make mistakes but we all deserve forgiveness and love too
+2 votes
On my father's side, Blankenships, in Kentucky and West Virginia, are known to have married both Hatfields and McCoys.

On my mother's side, there was, prior to the Civil War, the Virginia incident whence a number of Witcher brothers killed 3 Clement brothers over the treatment by James Reid Clement of his wife, Victoria Smith Clement Berger, grandchild of Vincent Oliver Witcher.

Elizabeth H. (Pigg) Gregory, my mother's maternal great grandmother, was the great granddaughter of John Ghent Pigg and Ann Clement, of the same Clement family that eventually becomes central to the above tragedy.
by Frank Blankenship G2G6 (8.4k points)
edited by Frank Blankenship
+1 vote
The Tweedy-Veitch Murder of Scotland. Someone in the Veitch family got killed and clan Tweedy was suspected.

The feud lasted about 100 years. parents would tell their children, who would tell their children. It took a while for that to not have an effect.

Note: this is circa 1550
by Adrien Hart G2G5 (5.6k points)
+1 vote

The Hill-Evans Feud of Garrard, Kentucky. My ancestors were the Evans.

by Mark Burch G2G6 Mach 8 (82.6k points)

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