07 October 2017

Findmypast adds Warwickshire bastardy indexes 1844 - 1914

Although the child's name is not recorded, nor is there online access to the original documentation, with the information provided in many if not most cases the child in these bastardy records can be identified from other records.

Findmypast writes about this transcript collection:

Containing over 5,000 records (5,454) , the Warwickshire bastardy indexes consists of an assortment of bastardy applications, registers, returns and appeals spanning the years 1844 to 1914. Bastardy records were created to establish who is responsible for the financial maintenance of illegitimate children. At the time of these records, bastardy cases were held in the petty session. Mothers could ask the court for an order against the child's father to provide child maintenance. It was the mother's responsibility to provide evidence of the paternity. This could be in the form of witness statements about the individuals' relationship. Fathers were to pay the maintenance under threat of imprisonment.

Every record will give you a transcript created from the information found in the original records held at the Warwickshire County Record Office. The details in each record can vary, but most will including the following:

Mother’s name
Event year
Date – date of application or petty session
Putative father’s name
Child’s sex
Child’s birth year – in some cases this field is blank. This implies that the child had not be born at the time the record was created.
Petty session
Document type –bastardy return, bastardy register, bastardy applications, or appeal
Archive and reference.

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