|Birth: ||Jun. 10, 1858|
|Death: ||Jan. 1, 1888|
The daughter of Randolph "Ranel" McCoy, Sr. and his wife, Sarah McCoy. Some sources spelled the name Allifair; the majority of them have it spelled with one l. There is no doubt that despite being crippled from polio as a child, Alifair was a contributing and beloved member of the McCoy family.
Alifair was shot and killed in the legendary Hatfield/McCoy "New Years Day Massacre" when the Hatfield clan retaliated against the McCoys. The McCoy clan was headed by Alifair's father, Ranel (aka Randall or Ole/Old Randel) and the Hatfield side was ruled by William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield. The two families had an ongoing feud for a quarter of a century over petty issues that erupted into murderous rage several times. Not to mention the divided allegiances of Union vs. Confederacy and the lingering ramifications of a region split in two. The New Years Day Massacre was the climax to the violence by the Hatfields towards the McCoys.
On the first day of the new year, the Hatfields and their accomplices set out to finish off the McCoys, specifically Ranel McCoy, Sr. in their home. This was a Hatfield move to end a bounty placed on the Hatfield's heads over the revenge killings of three of Randolph's sons. Tolbert, Pharmer and Bud were shot to death after being strung to paw paw bushes by the Hatfields. On election day, August 7, 1882 in Pike County, Kentucky, Tolbert McCoy got into a heated argument with a Hatfield cousin, Elias. The patriarch of the Hatfield Clan,"Devil Anse" Hatfield's younger brother Ellison wound up mortally stabbed and shot by the McCoy boys. Devil Anse and his sons, brothers and other family members intercepted the transport of the arrested McCoy boys and executed them on August 9th, the day Ellison died of his injuries.
The Hatfield group that included the leader of the New Year's Massacre, Valentine "Wall" Hatfield, Devil Anse's oldest brother, Cotton Top Mounts (the son of murdered Hatfield, Ellison), Jonse Hatfield* (Devil Anse's lothario son), Doc D. Mahon and Pilant Mahon (brother-in-laws of Wall Hatfield). They set fire to the house to flush out the sleeping McCoys. Ranel escaped with his toddler grandson (murdered son, Tolbert's child) into the woods and away from the scene. Calvin "Cal" McCoy was shot as he ran out to defend the family home and was killed immediately. Alifair and her siblings had tried to extinquish the fire with what water and liquids were inside, even buttermilk, in a desperate attempt to save the home. She had rushed to the water pump to retrieve more water and was shot dead. Their mother, Sarah, had gone to Alifar's side and was left barely alive with a crushed skull, some sources claiming Bad Jim Vance, Devil Anse's uncle with this horrific deed. All of Ranel McCoy's buildings: his home, outhouses, barn, storage sheds, were burned to the ground.
Posse leader Frank Phillips rounded up nine of the participants, including the ones listed above and brought them to Kentucky for trial for the murder of Alifair McCoy. Years of legal wrangling over extradition issues tied up the trial. In the end, seven of the participants were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The eighth, and the only one executed, was the mentally disabled son of Ellison Hatfield, Cotton Top. Eyewitness said it was Cap Hatfield and not Cotton Top Mount who had struck down Alifair. As was par for his manner, Devil Anse was not present at the murder he demanded his feudists carry out.
Alifair, her brother Calvin, and other brothers, Randolph "Bud" McCoy, Jr., Pharmer, and Tolbert McCoy are all buried at the McCoy Family Cemetery located on a wooded hillside east of highway 319, 300 yards from the old McCoy home in Blackberry Fork of Pond Creek in Pike County, Kentucky. Ranel and Sarah are interred at Dils Family Cemetery in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The source for the cemetery and the burials there is the application of the site for the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery and other key locations of the feud are documented as the Hatfield and McCoy Historic District. The application also notes that at the time of application (1976), three graves were marked with fieldstones, one with the name "Cal McCoy" crudely incised into it. Tolbert, Pharmer and Bud were buried in a single grave in one large coffin according to the testimony of Sarah McCoy at the trial of her daughter's murderers.
Site location: begin at a point approximately 1000 yards east of the intersection of Mudlick Branch and Hwy. 319, continue northwest 70 yards along access road, then south along ravine 20 yards to Hwy. 319, and west 70 yards along highway to starting point.
*Johnson "Jonse" Hatfield also played a main role in the animosity between the two families when he seduced, impregnated then abandoned Roseanna McCoy, Ranel and Sarah's daughter. Ranel could not bear the shame Roseana had brought to the McCoys and sent her to live with her Aunt Bettie in Stringtown. Roseanna contracted measles during the end of her pregnancy as did the baby girl, Sarah Elizabeth. The baby died in 1881 shortly after birth and is buried beside Roseanna's Aunt Bettie in a small Stringtown cemetery on private property, not far from the McCoy homestead. This site, too, is included in the historic district.
Randolph McCoy (1825 - 1914)
Sarah McCoy McCoy (1829 - 1890)
James H. McCoy (1849 - 1929)*
Tolbert McCoy (1854 - 1882)*
Samuel McCoy (1857 - 1921)*
Infant Girl McCoy (1857 - 1857)*
Floyd McCoy (1858 - 1928)*
Alifair McCoy (1858 - 1888)
Roseanna McCoy (1859 - 1889)*
Calvin McCoy (1862 - 1888)*
Pharmer McCoy (1863 - 1882)*
Randolph McCoy (1864 - 1882)*
Fannie McCoy Charles (1873 - 1943)*
Created by: Scout Finch
Record added: May 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90986683