On 24 Nov 1806, my 4th great grandfather Joseph Billin was listed amongst the "Additional Individuals Bounded" in the Helston Bastardy Papers 1729-1823.

At the time "JENKIN Elizabeth, Helston, Singlewoman" was "pregnant with child" and the father was not identified. There were three "Additional Individuals Bounded" and they were "HOCKIN William, Helston, Labourer; HOCKIN, Helston, Cordwainer; BILLIN Joseph, Helston, Talyor [sic]".

Would being listed amongst the "Additional Individuals Bounded" suggest that Joseph may have been considered as a candidate for the father of Elizabeth's child?

2 Answers 2


No, it is dangerous to speculate that Joseph may have been the father. Although it is not stated what these "papers" are, I suspect these records are bastardy bonds. Joseph was simply a bondsman.

Bastardy bonds existed to prevent the parish from having to pay for the upkeep of an illegitimate child. Typically the bastardy bond would bind the reputed father (as well as additional bondsmen as surety) to pay for the upkeep of the child. In the event that the mother did not know or state the father of the child (as seems to be in this case), the mother herself, a relative, employer, or friend might provide surety. Joseph may have been any of these.

To provide a proper interpretation of this record you really need to see the original document.

  • 1
    Given that those additionally "bounded" included people with first names such as Amy and Jane, it's evident that "bounded" did not equate to potential fathers. This suggestion that "bounded" = "bonded" seems sensible - quite what they are being asked to provide surety for, is another matter that can only be answered by seeing the original. Those few bastardy proceedings that I've seen haven't involved bonds so far as I remember.
    – AdrianB38
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 16:27
  • @AdrianB38 and HarryVervet - it sounds like I should look harder for the original document.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 11:10

I have not yet sighted the original document but I now know where it is located and that the bond value was £100.

Reference: RO/4218  
Description:  Eliz. Jenkin, single, now with child.
Bond: Wm. Hockin, lab., Rich. Hockin, cordwainer, Jos. Billin, taylor. 
Date: 24 Nov. 1806  
Held by: Cornwall Record Office, not available at The National Archives

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