~ Bastardy Bonds ~


This is a new project that is just getting off the ground, so it will be incomplete for a while.  The objective will be to post as many images of bastardy bonds as we can collect for this purpose.  Some names may not have images yet.

While no one prefers to have a bastard ancestor, we should remember that making mistakes is part of the human condition.

The Guilford County Genealogical Society journal has published lists of bastardy bonds in past years.  Searching the website's journal contents page will yield a list of the issues which contain those lists. The goal here is to make available images of the bonds themselves.

As far as I know, only one Guilford County bastardy bond survives from the 1700's. That is the 1779 bastardy bond shown below for James Lett, Jr., and Elizabth. Donel (Donnell). The rest of the surviving bonds for Guilford are from 1816-1874, 1877, and 1923.

Bastardy bonds were a means of holding the father of the child responsible for the child's support, preventing the county from becoming responsible for the cost of supporting the child and its mother.  Sometimes court records will reflect the existence at one time of a bastardy bond, when the bond itself does not survive, since the mother and father were brought to court as part of the process.

The bastardy bonds were microfilmed by LDS in 1995 and 1996 and are available on microfilm through the Family History Centers.   The North Carolina Archives does not have microfilm of them the last time I checked.  The original bonds for Guilford County are kept in the Search Room at the North Carolina State Archives, under catalog numbers C.R.046.102.1 to C.R.046.102.3.

If you wish to submit information or an image file for this page, please contact:

County Coordinator
Guilford County North Carolina USGenWeb

Guilford County NCGenWeb page on Vital Records

Bond Date
James Lett, Jr.
Elizbth. Vowel
previously interpreted as surname Donel/Donnell
7 Feb 1779
Isham Lett, Samuel McDonald/McDaniel
Benjamin Nutt Catherine May 19 Nov 1816 Benj. Nutt,
Richard Crabtree
(of Orange Co.)
Ellis Hoskins
Sally Benbow
21 May 1818
William Dennis, James McNairy
Ellis Hoskins
Rhoda Covey
19 May 1820
John Hoskins, James McNairy


this page is part of:

Guilford County North Carolina USGenWeb

1996-present, NCGenWeb Project