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Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 26 May 2010 3:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm hoping someone can tell me if bastardy bonds were issued at the time a child was born or is it possible it could have been issued years later?

I've come across a record of someone with the same name as my ancestor having a bastardy bond issued in 1834 for a child of hers. None of her children were born that year, but she did have a child born 2 years prior. Is it possible that this bond relates to her/her child or is this likely not the same person?

thanks for any help!

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 12:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am really sure about when the bonds are recorded. If I am not mistaken,a court hearing was held. I will mark your post as I hope to be going to Burke County in June and I need to check into a bastardy bond for my great grandmother. Hopefully, the information will help both of us.

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 1:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
"I'm hoping someone can tell me if bastardy bonds were issued at the time a child was born or is it possible it could have been issued years later?

"I've come across a record of someone with the same name as my ancestor having a bastardy bond issued in 1834 for a child of hers. None of her children were born that year, but she did have a child born 2 years prior. Is it possible that this bond relates to her/her child or is this likely not the same person?"

The worst thing about genealogical research is that the answer almost always is, "it depends." Everything depends on the individual situation and the law in effect. That makes it difficult to offer a hard and fast rule about bastardy situations or any other event.

Depending upon the bastardy law in effect at the time, a pregnant unwed woman had about two years to petition for child support. Some bastardy bonds include the phrase "born within the past [xyz] years."

So, yes, it is possible for a woman to petition for child support after the birth of her child.

If you can, read the Burke County court minutes for the time period in an effort to pick up information about the bastardy suit or about the child being bound/apprenticed to learn a trade. Again, this is a generalization, but children of unwed parents typically remained in the care of their mothers until about age three. At age three, if the mother could not provide evidence of ability to support her child (and, therefore, the child was likely to become a dependent of the county taxpayers), then the child was subject to be apprenticed.

Sorry this is not as specific an answer as you would prefer, but every situation is somewhat different. So, that takes us back to "it depends" on the individual situation and facts.

Kathy


Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 1:34AM GMT
Classification: Query
Almost all of the bastardy bonds for all the counties in NC are in the state archives in Raleigh, not in the county itself. When a woman became pregnant out of wedlock, the county could order her brought into court, where she was asked to name the father, or face going to jail or paying the bond herself. The purpose of the bonds was to assure that the child did not become the responsibility of the county for support. I have seen bonds for unborn children and newborn babies all the way up to children almost three years old. After the age of three, the child could be "bound out" to someone who was to take care of the child, see that he/she learned a trade, etc. If the woman's/child'sfamily was able to take care of the child themselves, there may have never been a bastardy bond. When the woman was brought into court and gave the father's name, a warrant was then issued for the purported father, and he was brought into court. A hearing was held and he could deny or admit paternity. If he pled not guilty, the court would decide his innocence or guilt. (I have seen one case where the court record read "death of defendant suggested." I'd say the woman's family was just a wee bit upset with him!!) Sometimes the mother and father of the child posted bond together. Usually all of these documents are part of the record, which might be one page or several pages. Sometimes the warrant and other paper work is included.

If you are in NC, you can e-mail the archives and ask them if they have a bastardy bond for that particular woman. You will need to give the county, the name of the mother and the time period in which the bond would have been made. If you are not a resident of NC, you must make the request in writing and include a $20 nonrefundable search fee. They will check and send you a reply with the cost of the copy of the bond. (Minimum charge is $2 per document. That $2 covers postage also.) The charge for the document applies to everyone - both residents and nonresidents.

I hope this helps a little and I wish you lots of luck on finding the bonds! They sure are interesting to read!
Dee

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 1:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
PS - The archives has 3 fibredex boxes and one volume of bastardy bonds for Burke County. The dates are 1777 - 1899.
Dee

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 5:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
thanks so much! I'm way out in CA, so I can't just pop over there. haha

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 29 May 2010 6:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brittain
thanks everyone, for the info. that is so interesting... I actually had never even heard of a bastardy bond until researching this line of my family tree.

so it's my 3rd great grandmother who's in question. she raised 6 children and we've been unable to determine who the father was. they all had the same last name, Brittain, which was the same as hers. I know there were several Gemima Brittains in Burke Cty in her time, but I've been unable to determine who her parents were as well.

i came across her name on a bastardy bond in between her 1st 2 children and thought since it was 2 years after her 1st child and 2 years before the 2nd, that it wasn't her, but with this new info, it appears it likely could be her. At this point I only saw that someone with her name got a bond for a child born to her and a man named Ephram Deal (or something like that).

i do know that my gg grandfather had a mans name listed as father on his death cert.. which is the only instance of seeing his name. and I do know that he and his brothers were said to have joined the army during the civil war because 'they were so poor they didn't know where their next meal was coming from'.. all those things do make me lean towards thinking she must have been, well I don't know, I guess either a prostitute or just someone a bit 'free' with herself? neither is glamorous but I'm looking for the truth, even if it's not all roses.

what is a big puzzle for us though, is that my gg grandfather and his brothers, were apparently extremely Native American in appearance. I've even been told the photographs that some family members have are said to not even really look like white men. That, along with wondering whose daughter she was, has been a big mystery for us. Seeing as how my maiden name is Brittain, it's really my family line I want the answers of more than any other.

sorry for such a long post... and again, thanks for all the tips on researching for the bond. I hope I can find it and get more information.

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 21 Jun 2010 2:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
For anyone researching Bastardy Bonds. I just spoke to the NC Archives recently. I was told bastardy bonds can be found in some couties all the way up into the 1930's. If you find birth certificates 1913 on with no father's listed it's still possible you could still find a bastardy bond naming father if you get lucky

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 21 Jun 2010 10:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
i found a listing but it only lists the mother and father. and there are several women with that same name, at the same time, living in the same county.. since the bastardy bond (at least what I found) doesn't list the childs name, I can't determine if this is for my 3rdGG grandma or not.

didn't they know we'd be trying to figure all this out 200 years later? haha

Re: Bastardy bonds in Burke County

Posted: 21 Jun 2010 11:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
yes they usually dont list child's name or sex which makes it harder in figuring out. Worse in your situation with having several women with the same name. I have a few who's male DNA has revealed they were born out of wedlock but I cant locate a bastardy bond record and have no proof of parents or siblings

Was your 3rd great grandmother bound out to another family or did her mother raise her ?

I doubt they would have thought we would be trying to figure this out all these years later and if there is an afterlife, they are probably laughing at us!
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