PDT Staff Writer
McDERMOTT — The History Channel is airing a series of shows on the Hatfields and McCoys feud. Paul Phillips of McDermott has ties to both families, and he is disappointed with the way the story was told.
History.com describes the show as “the true American story of a legendary family feud — one that spanned decades and nearly launched a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ a three-part miniseries, showcases an all-star cast led by Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. It chronicles a clash of clans that inspired passion, vengeance, courage, sacrifice, crimes and accusations, while forever transforming the two families and the region they lived in.”
Phillips’ great-grandfather, “Bad” Frank Phillips, was the sheriff in the Hatfield-McCoy fight. In the series, he is played by actor Andrew Howard.
“Nancy McCoy (Paul Phillips’ great-grandmother) originally married Johnse Hatfield. She was the first one to intermix the McCoys and the Hatfields. They had two kids. She got divorced and married my great-grandfather, Frank Phillips, and he adopted the two Hatfield kids. That’s how I got both sides in me,” Phillips said.
Phillips said he heard stories growing up about the feud from his grandfather, Jesse J. Phillips. Those stories differ from what the History Channel portrayed.
“They had my great-grandmother as being a prostitute, and she was no prostitute. On the show Frank Phillips was shot dead on his wedding day,” Phillips said. “Her (Nancy McCoy) wedding dress is on display at the 1810 House from their church wedding. If they did not have any kids how am I here?”
Phillips said his initial excitement about the show diminished after watching it.
“I do not think the show stayed true to the family story or anything close. I DVR’d (digitally video recorded) the show and have already recorded over it. To me it was a joke, I was very disappointed with what was shown.”
Phillips said parts of the show were accurate, however.
“There were bits and pieces of the show that was accurate, but not much.”
He said there are four other direct descendants of the family living in Scioto County: Florida Cade, Frank J. Phillips, Susie Sines, and Timmy Lee Phillips.
The Associated Press reports that the three nights of “Hatfields & McCoys” were the top-rated entertainment telecasts ever for ad-supported basic cable, according to ratings released by the History Channel. Wednesday’s finale of “Hatfields & McCoys” was the most-watched of the three nights, with 14.3 million viewers. According to the History Channel, that makes it the No. 1 non-sports and non-news program ever on ad-supported cable.
Parts one and two of the star-filled drama were right behind with 13.9 million and 13.1 million viewers, respectively.
The six-hour series debut ran May 28 through 30. According to History.com, The series will air again on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.