To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances.
On 18 December 1866, Aby Anderson admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace John Nichols that she was unmarried and had given birth to a child whose father was Johnathan P. Locus. Nichols ordered that Locus be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Anderson’s charge.
I have not been able to identify Locus with certainty. Aby Anderson may have been Tabitha “Abi” Anderson, born about 1848, who married Gray Ruffin in Wilson County on 18 October 1893.
Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.