I have the complete set of Craven County Court Minutes books by the late Weynette Parks Haun, and while I LOVE them— and I recognize them as an amazing resource — there are some index items that I wish she would have included, for instance, Craven County Bastardy Bonds. There are plenty of them in the court minutes, but unfortunately, you won’t find anything of the kind in the index, but you will find index items for names, places, and occasionally subjects like “insolvents.”

Below, I’ll post as many bastardy items as I’m able as I come across them, and I’ll be I’ll be adding to these as I’m able to catalog them, but for now, this list includes 1764-1791. I may miss some, so if I do, please let me know in the comments below so I can update the page.

Also, please keep in mind that just because a Bastardy Bond doesn’t exist for your ancestor doesn’t mean that there never was an incident. In fact, according to Victor. T. Jones of the Kellenberger Room at New Bern Library, in the 1700s, bastardy cases may have been heard by the local Justice of the Peace and many of those records are lost.

And from my perspective, I would think that if a wealthy family was involved in the bastardy situation, there might never have been a bond if the child was able to be quietly passed off without anyone knowing (to avoid embarassment)…. but that’s just a guess on my part. 😉

Oh, and one last thing, in case you didn’t know, Betty Camin’s book of North Carolina Bastardy Bonds is available for download from North Carolina Archives in its entirety. The items on this page are not in the included list for Craven County, however, because it starts later.


From 1712-1715

[Note: The entries from this book don’t have specific months listed for them because there are sometimes several pages between where the court date is given and the actual entry. If any of these items are of interest to you, though, I encourage you to check the Weynette Parks Haun books for more precise information.]

    • Then Robt . COLMAN petitioned ye . Court to have ___ he sustained by ye . report of A negro woman belonging to Jno . SLOCOM Esqr . In Saying that he the sd . COLMAN was father to A mulatto Childe the ye. sd. negro woman Lately had It is ordered that Jno . SLOCOM Esqr. bring ye. sd. negro woman to the next Ensueing Court .
      The deposition of Elizth . COLMAN Is ordered to be Recorded
      The Deposition of Elizth. COLMAN being Sworne on ye . holy Evanglist saith That Whereas a negro woman belonging to John SLOCOM Esqr . declared that Robt . COLMAN was father to her last Childe and this deponent saith that on that night as yesd . negro woman said ye. sd .Childe was gott by ye. sd . COLMAN that she was in Company of ye. sd. Robt. COLMAN In all places till he went to bed to his wife and afterwards to the best of her knowledge never left the house all ye. remaining part of ye. night and further saith not.

  • Then Danll. MCFFARLAN bro. Into Court apr.sentment agst. Hanah COLE? (CALE?) Servt. to Richd. ROACH for having a bastard Child and Shee then being brought ye. Mall.? being Examined P. ye. Court took oath on ye. holy _ yt. Richd . ROACH her Mastr. was ye. father of ye. Basta_ Child ye. sd. Hana COLE being ye. sd. Richd. ROACHS bounded Servant as Did apear P. an Indenture Delivered to ye. Court Dated in 1710 & bound for 5 years yr. Worships ordd. yt. Robt. TURNER Should pay out of ye. sd. Richd. ROACHES Estate 3 pounds for 3 months Meintainance for her & ye Child.

From 1730-1741

Whereas Sarah SUTTON hath brought forth a Bastard Child, Mr. Nashby MILLS & Henry JACOB being before William DUPEE Esqr became Securtty to keep sd Child from being Chargeable to the Parish.

…[more to come]

From 1764-1771

July 1764

On Motion of Mr. DAVIS? in Behalf of Peter RHEM Ordered that Patt a Base Born daughter of Violet a Servant Woman of Peter RHEM aforesd. aged three years and ten months and Hanah also a Base Born Daugher of the sd. Violet aged one year and four months Be Bound to? the sd Peter. RHEM Until they attain to age agreeable to Law. And Ordered also that the. said Violett serve the sd. Peter RHEM — two years over and above. the Term she is to serve him by Indt. for having One two Base born Children in his Service.

Apr 1765

Ordered that Jenny a Servant Wench? belonging to Mr. FENNER Serve the said FENNER one year and two Months over and above the Time she was to Serve him by Indentures on Acct. of having a Base Born Child in his Service and absenting herself one month from his Service.

14 Jun 1770

On Motion of Mr. CASWELL Ordered that John HEYLYN Aged Nine Years and Mary HEYLYN aged Seven Years (being Base Born Molatto Children) be Bound to Samuel SMITH untill they arrive to the Age of Twenty One Years, the Boy to be learned the calling of a Cooper and the Girl House Work and Seemstress.

12 Dec 1770

David DUNN appeared before this Court being Bound by Recognizance to give Surety for begetting a Bastard Child by Mary Searles, And Entered into Bond as the Law Directs. Edward GATLIN& John BRYAN Securitys.

Mar 1771

Ordered that Sussan DOVE a Free Base Born Negroe Girl aged Two Years the 25th. December last be Bound to Bartholomew HOWARD& Ruth his Wife until She arrives at the age of Twenty One Years.

From 1767-1778

Sep 1777

Edward Boucher HODGES having been Bound over to appear before this Court for Begetting a Bastard Child on the Body of Ann PITTMAN. and the said HODGES having appeared was fined Twenty five Shillings for said offence, At the same time he Entered into Bond with Robert TURNER and Bryan CALLAHAN in the sum of On Hundred Pounds to the Justices of Craven County to Indemnify and save Harmless the Parish of Christs Church in the County aforesaid from any Costs and Charges that may happen on Acct. of the said Male Childs Maintenance.

Jun 1778

Ordered that Thomas GASKINS junr. who was Bound over to appear at this Court for begatting a Bastard Child by Sarah SQUIRES Enter into Bond with Thomas GASKINS senr. and William GASKINS his securities to Indemnify the Wardens and overseers of the Parish of Christs Church from all costs Damages and Charges by reasons of the Birth and maintainance of the said Child which Bond was Executed accordingly.

From 1779-1786

Dec 1779

Joseph HALL junr . appeared under Recognizance and Entered into Bond to Indemnify the Parish for Begetting a Bastard Child on Betsey WILLIAMS, and paid his Fine to John FONVIELLE Esqr. one of the Wardens.

Dec 1779

Joseph KING appeared under Recognizance and Entered into Bond to Indemnify the Parish for Begetting a Bastard Child on Mary KING, and paid his Fine to John FONVIELLE Esqr. one of the Wardens.

Mar 1780

William SHIVER appeared under Recognizance for Begetting a Bastard Child on the Body of Rebekkah LAMB, and Entered into Recognizance for his appearance at the next Court to Answer &c. himself in the Sum of £300. and Francis FONVIELLE in Security in £150.

Sep 1780

On Motion of Mr. A VERY on behalf of a certain Base Born Molatto Boy called Stephen LEWIS Alledging that under colour of an Indenture made and Executed by Jane LEWIS Mother of the said Stephen bearing Date the 2d . Day of May 1777 by which he was Bound to Alexander GRAY, and further that the said GRAY had Abused the said Stephen, and praying relief. The Court therefore on Consideration are of Opinion that the binding by the Mother was Illegal, And that he be discharged from such Indenture. Ordered that the said Stephen LEWIS be Bound Apprentice unto William TISDALE Esquire untill he Arrives at the Age of Twenty One Years to learn the Trade of a Shoemaker, and that the Clerk prepare Indentures accordingly.

Mar 1783

Lewis CANNON having been brought before the Court on a Charge for Begetting a Bastard Child on the Body of Rebekkah GARDNER and the said Lewis CANNON behaving in a very Insolant and daring manner in Contempt of the Court, Ordered that the said CANNON be Committed to the Goal of Craven County for Twenty four Hours for such his Contempt.

Ordered that Lewis CANNON Enter into Bond in the Sum of £200 to Indemnify the Parish of Christs Church for the Birth and Maintenance of a Bastard Child Born of Rebekkah GARDNER of which he is the father on the Oath of said Rebekkah, At the Same time he paid into Court Twenty five Shillings as the fine, which was Ordered to be lodged in the hands of the Chairman.

Dec 1785

George WHITEHEAD Recognised himself in the Sum of £100 & John WHITEHEAD & Stephen KINSEY his Securitys bound Severaly in the Sum of £50 for the further appearance of sd. WHITEHEAD to answer for having begotten a Bastard Child upon the body of Mary TOLSON.

Dec 1786

Joseph BROTHERS appeared in Court upon his Recognizance for begetting a Bastard Child on the body of Elizabeth CUTREL Ordered

Dec 1786

Simon BEX?LEY? [BEG?LEY] [BEZLEY?] Came into Court and ackd. him Self indebted to the State in £100 & James GATLIN Esqr. his Security in £100 to appear at next Court and answer for begetting a bastard Child upon the body of [blank]

From 1787-1791

Mar 1789

Recd. of Roger KIRK Twenty five shillings for Bastard Fine who entered into security with John PAUL in the Sum of Fifty Pounds for the Maintenance of a Child begotten on Patsey EDWARD_. Fine entered.

Mar 1789

Received of Solomon COLLINS twenty five Shillings for Begetting a Bastard Child on the Body of Elize. HOOVER single woman. Ordered that the said Solomon COLLINS enter into Bond with Chas. MCLIN, John CARNEY esqr _ his securities in the sum of fifty pounds for the Maintenance of said Child. Entd,

Jun 1789

Ordered that Lawrena Lewis that Abraham A Base Born Son of Lurana LEWIS aged Six years the 25th January last. be Bound apprentice to Sarah BOND to learn the art & Mistery of a Shoe maker. And that Mary Daughter of the said Lurana LEWIS be bound to the said Sarah BOND for the Term of — Eleven years from 20th day of Septem. July Next at which time she will be 21 years Old to learn the Art of a Spinster. Indentures made out & Signed

Sep 1789

Roger KIRK who was bowid in Recognizance to appear at March Court there to enter into Bond of £50. for the maintainence of a Bastard Child begot on the body of Patsy EDWARDS, and did not appear at that time, hath appeard. before this Court.

Dec 1789

State vs. John WHITFORD: Bound in Recognizance for his appearance to this Term in the Sum of Fifty Pounds with Thos. WHITFORD and David WHITFORD his Securities in for his appearance to answer the Wardens of the Poor for begetting a Bastard Child on the Body of Agness GIDDINS and having appeared the Court fined him twenty five Shillings which he paid down, and Ordered that he enter into Bond in the Sum of Fifty pounds with Thos. WHITFORD & David WHITFORD his Securities for the Maintenance of said Child.

Mar 1790

Ordered that Ned LEWIS a Base Born Mulatto Boy aged five years in January last be Bound apprentice to John CUYLER to learn to be a Physician.

Dec 1790

Neal WATSON who was bound in Recognizance to appear at this Court and enter into Bond with Security for the Maintenance of a Bastard Child begot upon the body of Elizabeth DAUGHETY appeared and entered into Bond of £50 with David OBRYAN & Richard WATSON his Securities. Bond filed & fees paid also the fine of 25/ paid by Isc. BRYAN Esqr.

(Probably Sep) 1791

Upon the Motion of Mr. HALL, Ordered that John KENNEDY shew Cause upon monday the first day of next tenn, why the Court upon Application to be made to them by Rhoda MUCKLE should not proceed to assess against the said John, a Sum or Sums sufficient for the purpose of Maintaining two base begotten Children which he stands charged with having begotten on her body. 1793-1791=2