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Descendants assist archaeologists

Randolph and Sally McCoy House

Site ID: 15Pi228

Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Unless specified, we cannot provide site location information.


​​​​​In 2012 and 2014, archaeological investigations were conducted at the Randall and Sally McCoy House in northeastern Pike County. These investigations were undertaken in partnership with “Diggers,” a National Geographic Television show about two metal detector specialists who investigate historic sites. 

Today, this site is one of many that attract visitors interested in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. This feud took place along the Kentucky (mostly Pike County) and West Virginia (mostly Logan County) border in the middle to late nineteenth century.  

At this site, on January 1, 1888, members of the Hatfield Clan attacked the McCoy's home. They beat mother Sally McCoy; two children - Alafair and Calvin McCoy - died; and the McCoy House and outbuildings were completely burned. The McCoy Family moved to Pikeville and Devil Anse Hatfield moved further to the east in Logan County, West Virginia. This helped end the famous feud. ​

Burned sandstone from one of the McCoy House chimneys.


​The archaeological investigations recovered artifacts from the middle to late nineteenth century and confirmed the location as that of the McCoy House. Especially important was the recovery of many pieces of burned wood and the discovery of an area with burned s​​andstone that had been the base of one to two chimneys. 

The house was situated on a narrow terrace facing Blackberry Fork of Pond Creek, surrounded on both sides by steep slopes. The Diggers Team found bullets on both of these slopes. The bullets were likely from the Hatfields' attack and the McCoys' return fire from inside their house before it was burned. 

Many layers of fill covered a lower dark soil layer, which contained the remains of charred logs from the McCoy House.

What's Cool?

Hatfields and McCoys Join In​

​​Today, many Hatfield and McCoy descendants are involved in efforts to reconcile the feud and join together to promote heritage tourism events in southeastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia. 

Over twenty descendants of Randolph and Sally McCoy, and Devil Anse and Levisa Hatfield came to participate in the project from several states: Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, and of course, from Kentucky and West Virginia, They did so despite unseasonably cold November temperatures. About thirty other people came to watch and support the families' community spirit.

Hatfield and McCoy descendants help excavate the McCoy House. Diggers TV show celebrities KG and Ringy are in the center.

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