World Archives Project: Dorset, England, Bastardy Records, 1821-1853

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Bastardy records from the Dorset Poor Law and Parish Records.

Project Overview

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Project Instructions At the time these records were created, children that were born out of wedlock became chargeable to the Parish in which they were born. The records in this project contain oaths stating who the father of the child was, summons requesting these fathers appear before the Justices of the Peace, Examinations of these fathers and orders that said fathers pay a set amount in support of the child.

What Names Should I Key? The purpose of this project is to key the mothers and fathers of the children born out of wedlock. Previously, the children contained in this project were keyed, which is why we are NOT currently keying the names of the children. Only the mother and father names should be keyed. These names may be identified by key words and phrases such as "of the body of," "The voluntary examination of," "hath lately been delivered of," "did beget, and is the Father of," "is charged to be the reputed father of" or something similar. Relatives, children and legal representatives should not be keyed. In addition to the mother and father names being captured, we are also keying the residence place of the mother and father, as well as the court date.

Project Form Types and Field Helps
Cover page, Section header, etc.
Image with no data


USChicagoNWRail Card.JPG

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Card Keying Instructions





Card Image Samples

Cover page, Section header, etc.

USChicagoNWRail Capture 1.JPG

Use the “Cover page, Section header, etc” type for images that don’t contain any data, but might be interesting to look at because they provide some type of context for the image set. For instance, historical notes, affidavits, and so forth.

Image Samples

Image with no data

USChicagoNWRail Blank.JPG

Use the “Image with no data” type for images that don’t contain any data or any useful context that might be interesting for someone to look at. For instance, an image containing only the blank background or an image with a microfilm target on it.