Monday, October 15, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Dunston - Arendell Bastardy Bond

Hi Folks,
I know I have posted in a long time, but LIFE has taken me in other directions, so I haven't been very focused on the family history or the blog.  Hopefully, I'll get back to posting more regularly at some point, but for now, I've decided to at least try to pop in and do some of the memes, using content that I have readily available, or (perhaps) reposting some of my earleir messages.

Today, for Amanuensis Monday, I'm sharing a document that I took a picture of a few years ago during one of my trips to the North Carolina State Library and Archives.  This document is a bastardy bond, taken out for Hillory Dunston, who is the purported father of a "bastard" child born to Florence Arendell.  My interest in this was because I do have Dunston ancestors rom Franklin County, and I'm sure Hllory must've been related to them, but I have not yet established the connection.

Dunston-Arendell Bastardy Bond
(Click to enlarge)

Transcription:
State of North Carolina

Franklin County

To any lawful officer
Whereas upon the examination of Florence Arendell this day taken on oath before me, it appears that she has been delivered of a child which child is a bastard and may become chargeable to the said county and the said Florence Arendell has confessed that Hillory Dunston of the county aforesaid did beget the said child and has charged him with the same. These are therefore to command you to apprehend the said Hillory Dunston and bring him before me or some Justice of the Peace for the said county to answer the said charge.
Given under my hand and seal this 13th day of 1870.

H B Well JP (seal)

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I was unable to locate Florence Arendell in either the 1870 or 1880 Census, so unfortunately, I couldn't ascertain the name or gender of the child who is the subject of this document.  I always wonder though, if the descendents of the children for whom these bonds exist, have ever seen them, or if they know their ancestry.  Certainly, having a copy of one of these "bastardy bonds" could help to confirm family lore, in many cases, although, in some situations (such as my own, but more on that in a future post), it may actually end up causing more confusion!

Happy reading, all.

Renate

PS... One other thing:  I don't know if this Florence Arendell was Black or White.  The Dunstans had been Free Blacks prior to 1870, and, although most of them partnered with other people of color, many of them could pass for white, and could have easily chosen to cross racial lines.  Hillory Dunston was a well-known character in Franklin County, for many reasons.  He was active on both sides of the proverbial "tracks", judging from the number of times and instances that I've run across him in my research, but still, my sense is that this Florence Arendell was most likely not White.

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