Fornication Cases in NH Province
the 17th and 18th century when an unmarried woman conceived a child,
or when a married couple had a child prior to six months after
marriage, the courts called them to answer. The unmarried woman was
required to name the father of her child, who was then required to
pay maintenance until the child reached the age of six years.
A typical guilty
verdict would bring a fine or whipping by the civil authorities.
These punishments were different from what the church levied. Which
usually required repentance by both parties and baptism of the
|24 April 1693
claimed that his wife in England was dead and that he had a letter
to that effect, and that Ruth Welcom was his wife now. No
identification of the child.
|6 Dec 1692
|This couple married
20 Oct 1692, called to court, but did not appear. No identification
of this child.
|7 Dec 1692
Elizabeth Chase chooses the wife of James Chase,
Elizabeth Green, married in Hampton, 2 Nov 1675, to be this
woman. However the record reads that she had no husband in 1692, yet
James' estate was not administered until 1703/4. Joseph
Cass married after the 3 July 1692 death of his first wife, to
widow Elizabeth (Green) Chase, and had at least four children
with her.Perhaps some of the Cass children were the two children
referred to in court in 1692.
|8 Mar 1692
Johanna was the daughter of Richard and Tamsen
(Jackson) Dore, and David her first husband, of three.
|8 Mar 1692
probably dau. of Thomas & Dorothy Jerman, and m. as
his first wife, as this record would indicate to John Bly, a
butcher. No identification of the child.
|8 Mar 1692
||This may be dau. of
Geo Dam and she could be the woman who married in Newbury 30
Nov. 1693 Thomas Titcomb. No indentification of the child.
says Daniel & Hannah married in 1699. No mention of the
child. Daniel is the son of Charles & Susannah (Huggins) Allen
and was about 30 years old at marriage in 1699 and Hannah may well
have been older.
|5 Dec 1693
Mary his wife
Nicholas led a rather raucous life before settling down. Was in
court earlier in 1693 for keeping "a wench in his house not proper
to be entertained." Mary's maiden name is not found in any records.
Their son Thomas is called under age in 1714, which probably
means he was not the child born in 1693. Their 3 dau. had no
assigned ages and only one was baptized, but not until 1714.
|5 June 1694
Richard denied he was the child's father but the court, as
always in cases of consistent accusation, ordered that he support
the baby. He married someone else about 5 yrs later, just about the
time the support order ran out. Elizabeth, dau. of Ralph
& Elizabeth ( ) Twombley had another child in 1703, but
|6 Mar 1693/4
John Clifford of Hampton
Deborah was dau. of John & Sarah (Godfrey) Clifford
and had yet another child in 1697/8 before marrying in her 50's
to Joseph Welch. Some say this child was with Caleb Shaw,
but no identification in either Clifford or Shaw
|4 June 1696
Jonathan Prescott, son of James & Mary (Boulter)
Prescott had just married Elizabeth (Pulsifer)
Clifford, when Mary Cram, likely dau. of Benjamin &
Argentine (Cromwell) Cram, accused Jonathan of fathering
their child. No record of Mary's marriage, if any. No record of this
To be continued...........