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Jackson Township, Pike Co., Ohio Before Face Book

Early US State law typically took the matter of children born out of wedlock very seriously. In general, the biological parents were seen as having no right or responsibility for an illegitimate child, and the child had no claim for inheritance etc. on the biological parents. Such a child was branded as a "bastard". Further, such children were typically indentured out until they were well into adulthood. And the Overseers of the Poor of the various counties in most States were charged with dealing with them. In practice, these children were often absorbed into families, but there were gross disparities along class lines regarding what happened. Also, there were special rules for bi-racial children for a number of reasons.