Bastardy cases in Accomack co. VA, 1770-1780

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I found these cases in Accomack County, Virginia Court Order Abstracts Vol. 28, abstracted by JoAnn Riley McKey. Interestingly, as explained by the intro to this volume, the bastardy rate surged in this Virginia county during the time of the Revolutionary War. The time period between 1773-1777 showed only 26 illegitimate children mentioned in court orders, while between 1777-1780, more than 70 illegitimate children are mentioned in court orders.

1777

Zerubbabel Watson was charged with fathering Mary Martin's bastard child and did not deny the charge. He was ordered to pay the mother £4 per year for 5 years.

1778

Nicholas Potter was charged with fathering Peggy Reed Rodgers' bastard child. His security was Levi Nock. He was to pay the mother £4 per year.

James Thornton, supposed father of Mary Cary's bastard child. His security was Ephraim Mathews. He was ordered to pay the mother £5 per year.

Thomas Guy, supposed father of Sarah Watson's bastard child. His security was John Smith. He was to pay the mother £5 per year.

Leaven Melson, supposed father of Nany Mellener's bastard child. His security was Thomas Bayley, Jr. He was to pay the mother £5 per year.

John Gootee, supposed father of Susanna Walker's bastard child. His security was James Henry.

John Powell, supposed father of Rebecca Scott's bastard child.

Henry Fitzgerald, supposed father of Thamar Beachum's bastard child. He had two securities, Jacob Sharwood and William Snead. He was to pay the mother £12 per year.

John Topping, father of Rebeccah Scott's bastard child (is this the same Rebecca who also had a child by John Powell?). He was ordered to pay her £10 per year.

Major Budd, accused of fathering Ann Simpson's bastard child. He was ordered to pay £10 per year for the child.

Mary Rodgers had action brought against her for bastardy. John Finny, Jonathan Mears, and Michael Budd had to pay her £12 per year to support the child (was one the father and the others his securities? Were they ALL suspected of being the father? No one is specifically named as father and securities!).

William Lewis accused of fathering Mary Willis' male bastard child. His security was Thomas James. He was ordered to pay £12 per year.

Woodman Bloxom was to pay Jemimah Sterling £12 per year for her bastard child.

Joseph Staton was to pay Scarbrough Hutson £12 per year for her bastard child.

Robert Robertson, supposed father of Comfort Taylor's bastard child. His security was Southy Mears. He was ordered to pay £12 per year.

Southy Mears, supposed father of Ansley Taylor's bastard child. His security was James Robertson. He was ordered to pay £12 per year.

Thomas Ironmonger and Daniel Bull posted bonds for Ann Bull's bastard child.

More later if anyone wants!

in The Tree House by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (199k points)
Thank you -- this is very helpful

2 Answers

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Best answer
I wonder why the difference in payouts to the mother? £4 to £12. Fascinating find, Jessica!
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
selected by Susan Laursen

Hi Pip, according to the aforementioned document, Virginia was suffering inflation during this time period, so the payments went up accordingly, and men who had been paying £4-5 were having their payments readjusted to £12.

+5 votes
I'd like to see more.
by

A few more for you.

1778

Jacob Bird, supposed father of Aner Bell's bastard child. His security was Clement Parker. He is to pay Aner £8 per year.

Charles Leatherbury, supposed father of Sarah Beloat's bastard child. His security was Robert Coleburn. He is to pay Sarah £12 per year.

Levin Wilkerson, supposed father of Hannah Merrill's bastard child. His security is Jesse Taylor. Ordered to pay £12 per year.

Major Chambers, supposed father of Mary Powell's bastard child. He has four securities: John Riley, Elijah Grinalds, Thomas Lilleston, and John Custis) and is ordered to pay £12 per year.

John Smaw, supposed father of Esther Satchel's bastard child. Two securities: Thomas Riley and Drake Drummond. Ordered to pay £12 per year.

Action was brought against Mary Booth for bastardy. Thomas Bayley, Jr. posted bond for her. (No indication that Thomas was the father... perhaps she refused to name a father?)

John Barnes ordered to pay Jemimah Russell £10 per year for "a bastard child, of which he is the supposed father".

George Oldham, supposed father of Nany Milby's bastard child. His security is Abraham Outen. Ordered to pay £12 per year.

Action was brought against Salone Benston for bastardy. Benjamin Thomas Watson and Major Davis posted bond for her. (Again, neither is described as the father, she may have refused to name him).

Action was brought against Raymond Riley and Abigail Rew for bastardy. John Custis ordered to pay £12 per year for "a bastard child begotten on the body of the said Abigail". (Why was Raymond brought up on charges then? What is going on? Was he suspected of being the father but John Custis took responsibility?)

John Sherlock and Fanny Carmine charged with bastardy. John Sherlock appealed the judgment.

John McMeth, supposed father of Eliza Melson's female bastard. His security was Willet Lilleston. McMeth ordered to pay £12 per year.

Action was brought against Abigail Beloate for bastardy. Nathaniel Badger and Henry Heath were her securities.

Action was brought against Bridget Giddens for bastardy. Major Chambers and Walter Scott were her securities.

Action was brought against Ann Satchell for three bastard children. Jacob Sherwood, Smith Millener, and Thomas Copes were her securities.

James Lewis ordered to pay Comfort Rew £10 per year for a bastard child "of which he is the presumptive father".

Levin Core ordered to pay Rachel Fisher £15 per year to support a bastard child.

Any records for 1807-1811

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