CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2006-11 > 1164387660
From: "Anne Cole" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] Bastardy Rolls
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 17:01:10 -0000
Depends on when the bastardy case occurred, Bob. A quick run through the
>From the 16th century to 1839 there will be cases in the Quarter Sessions,
in English from about 1730.
Bastardy Recognizances (like bail bonds, for the putative father to appear
in court, usually mentions mother and p father plus his bondsman and or
Bastardy Certificates (sent in by the overseers of the parish to which the
child is chargeable, saying that the father has given security etc. usually
mentions the mother, p father and often the sex of the child, even the name
Bastardy Examinations (mother taken to a magistrate to state who is the
father of her child - many before 1730 were taken whilst the mother was in
the last stages of labour or "during her extremity"!)
In the parish or township records (to 1834):
Bastardy Examinations (see above)
Bastardy warrant (ordering the constable to apprehend the father - also used
if the father is dilatory about his payments after an order is made)
Bastardy Orders or Filiation Orders - These usually give the sex, place and
date of birth of the child, name of mother, p father (also sometimes found
in the Quarter Sessions if the p father appeals against the order) Gives
details of payments to be made to mother, usually 1s 6d per child.
Bastardy Bond - bondsman often the p father, gives the name of the mother
and states that the p father or his bondsman and sureties are bound in so
much to indemnify the parish to which the child is chargeable from all costs
& charges etc.
Overseers accounts - these give clues such as "took Eleanor Duncalf to
Tarvin to father her child" (from the Little Budworth township overseers
accounts) - she was being taken before a magistrate to be examined.
Overseers accounts will also include payments made to mothers and by p
Responsibility for bastardy cases transferred to the Board of Guardians of
the Unions. Possible mention in Union Workhouse Minutes (there are plenty in
the Lincolnshire minutes).
Quarter Sessions records continue with notices sent to p fathers telling
them that they are to be summoned.
All bastardy cases now heard at Petty Sessions, still at the instigation of
the Boards of Guardians. Some cases may have been held at Petty Sessions
instead of Quarter Sessions earlier than this.
>From 1844 all cases held at Petty Sessions, but instigated by the mother.
The Boards of Guardians now have no role to play except taking to court p
fathers who do not pay. Corroborative evidence necessary for the mother to
prove paternity! If there are no petty sessions records available, try the
local newspapers for the Petty Sessions reports - I have found loads of
bastardy cases in these in Lincolnshire. One Lincolnshire Workhouse is still
recording bastardy cases in the minutes at this time too.
If you want more information, see the Lincolnshire Genuki Site where I have
given lots more detail about all aspects of Poor Law.
The Cheshire Quarter Sessions Poor Law Material from 1700-1730 has been
published on microfiche by the FHS of Cheshire. I am now working forwards
and have reached 1744.
Duncalf(e)/Duncuff/Duncuft One-name Study GOONS member 513
On Behalf Of
Sent: 24 November 2006 13:08
Subject: [CHS] Bastardy Rolls
Could SKS help with the location and searchability of Bastardy Rolls?
I have seen them mentioned a number of times but have no clue as to how one
might find and then search them for "missing" fathers.
Any help would be appreciated,
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