Record Group: COUN8500
Subgroup: County Clerks Office
Series: Illegitimate Children (Bastardy)
Dates: 1734 – 1897
Volume: .5 cubic feet
The Illegitimate (Bastardy) record group was compiled from 3 sources, cases heard in the Quarter Sessions Court, Common Pleas Court; and cases heard by the local Justice of the Peace.
The procedure for filing the claim in the Quarter Sessions and Justice of the Peace courts consisted of the woman filing a suit against the supposed father that she was with child or that the child had been delivered. At that point, the Court would issue a warrant for the arrest of the individual named as the father.
In some cases, but not all, the case does include the supposed father’s appearance in court and the verdict reached by the court. The document may include how much the accused father was to pay for the maintenance of the bastard child.
The child’s name is NEVER given but the date of birth is noted, in most cases.
Cases heard in the Common Pleas Court were usually filed by the father of the unwed mother for damages and loss of his daughter’s service in the household during her pregnancy.
The Illegitimate (Bastardy) record group is available on microfilm and is arranged by year and then alphabetically by mother’s name.
Two indexes, the first sorted by mother’s name and the other by father’s name, are available in the Research Room. Researchers can now search the index through the MonmouthCounty Archives webpage by clicking on “Searchable Databases” and “Illegitimate Children.”
The indexes contain the following information:
Name of Mother
Residence of Mother
Name of Father
Date of Complaint
Child (name never given, sometimes refers to male or female)
Location of Document
Page Last Updated: 2/26/2008 3:44:00 PM