Bastardy Bonds

posted in: Family History, Genealogy | 0

I have several ancestors who were born out of wedlock in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

When I began research, one area I was pointed to search was the bastardy bonds.

So, what are bastardy bonds?

These bonds were used in the original colonies in America.  {I’ve specifically dealt with the ones in North Carolina and cannot vouch for the other colonies.}

When an unmarried woman was found to be with child, she was examined and required to provide the name of the father of the child.  The father than had to sign an agreement to support the child if the mother was ever unable.

Surprising, usually the father came to court and admitted the charge and few cases rarely went to trial.

The reasoning behind them was to ensure that the illegitimate child did not become a burden on the county or government.

These records can be found in the court records and are much more common than we may think.

The North Carolina bonds were kept by county and today can be found at the State Archives.

Have you worked with bastardy bonds?