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Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, “Better to Marry Than to Burn”

March 27, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators will be voting on their “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoy this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it, too! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Traci Thompson, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 6, Better to Marry Than to Burn are…

Dawn: The end of the bedroom scene between Jocasta and Murtaugh where he says: “I love you Jocasta Makenzie. The world may change but that will never change. I only wish I’d been brave enough to say it sooner.”

Traci: Tie between Wylie as the over-the-top foppish dandy & Jamie’s expressions while looking at Claire in the stable. 

Susan:  Roger finally doing something well, even if it was smoking out some bugs (and I like to think he learned about that from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On the Banks of Plum Creek!).

Dawn: Roger to Brianna in the field smoking out the grasshoppers: “When your father left me in charge I thought I might have to mend a fence; wrangle the odd runaway cow. But no! I get a biblical plague!

Traci: Aside from Roger’s Biblical plague line, Jocasta: “Her bones may be there still, on the road, gone to dust, while I’ve sat here for thirty years, growing old in a palace made from the gold that took her from me…My blindness is punishment for leaving her, for not looking back.”

Susan:  I guess we all liked Roger’s biblical plague line!

Dawn: Chris Donald/Phillip Wylie- I’m not sure anyone could play Phillip Wylie any creepier and over-the-top ridiculous! That face powder and mole!

Traci: Maria Doyle Kennedy, during Jocasta’s heartbreaking backstory. 

Susan: MDK–that scene with her leaving Morna was a gut-wrencher. I did enjoy seeing the true Phillip Wylie come to life, however–CD does a wonderful job! He had Wylie’s creep level at the top!

Dawn: Opening scene where a man is getting his wig powdered and he puts a mask to his face…It shocked me how timely the mask was given the health crisis our world is in right now. 

Traci: Jocasta leaving River Run to Jemmy after all – I wasn’t expecting that. 

Susan:  When Forbes told Bonnet about River Run being left to Jemmy.

Dawn: I would have to say when Brianna told Roger to “keep shoveling his shit.” It reminded me of the scene between Jamie and Geneva Dunsanny when she asked him what he was doing and he said, “shoveling shit”. 

Traci: Just about everything Philip Wylie said or did in his scenes with Claire! 

Susan: I loved seeing Wylie sitting down hard in the horse poo.

Dawn: Jocasta’s backstory and how it evolved into the bedroom scene with Murtaugh.

Traci: The ensemble of characters gathered again for a wedding, with the high point of the drama of Jocasta’s dilemma – I like the juxtaposition of “I shine not burn” with “better to marry than burn.” 

Susan:  Again, I finally felt like Roger was finding his place at the Ridge (though I would’ve like to have seen him enjoying the old music at Jocasta’s wedding like he did in the book).

Dawn: I’m missing Fergus. He seems to be just hanging around.

Traci: The rings and stable scenes.  These were tricky scenes that needed to be handled carefully to work on screen, and aside from Sam Heughan’s great facial expressions, they unfortunately were nonsensical & very poorly done in my opinion. 

Susan:  Jocasta treating her hubby-to-be like a servant–he seemed to be really trying, but she sent him off with a wave of her hand. I felt she would’ve been nicer.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 506, Better to Marry Than to Burn. Leave it in the comments!

Fraser's Ridge Hillsborough Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards for Outlander Episode 5, “Perpetual Adoration”

March 20, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators will be giving awards for different aspects from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Stephanie Bryant and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 5, Perpetual Adoration are…

Mitzie: The appearance of the long awaited, theatrical debut of ADSO!!!!! That little bit of fluff has certainly stolen my heart since the teaser stills had been leaked last year!

Dawn W.: The scene between Jamie And Claire on the porch at the end where she is telling him about Graham Menzies and how she never would’ve found him if it hadn’t been the sequence of events that resulted from knowing him.

Stephanie: Definitely Graham Menzies, reminding her of so much she pushed away and left in the past. Bonus: Seeing wee Adso!

Nancy:The much anticipated appearance of the adorable Adso.

Mitzie: Cait has this one for me! She wore lots of hats this episode.

Dawn W.: It’s a tie: Roger and Claire. 

Stephanie: Marsali and her expressive face!

Nancy: Both Cait and the actor playing Graham Menzies stood out to me in this episode. I do love when Cait does a voiceover of what Claire is thinking.

Mitzie: “Eureka”! It was so foreign to hear Marsali repeat it after Claire.

Dawn W.: The priest in the church to Claire: “No one’s lost who’s not forgotten.”

Stephanie:  Mr. Menzies “You have Scottish blood running through you somewhere” Like he sensed something about her, awoke her from a dream.

Nancy: I liked Claire’s passage at the end where she talks of standing before God to ask him all her questions about the universe. “But I won’t ask about the nature of time because I’ve already lived it.”

Mitzie: Well, I totally didn’t see Jamie killing Knox so abruptly; with his bare hands. I didn’t expect Knox would live to a ripe old age, but thought the correspondence from Scotland would have been intercepted by Fergus and thus delayed Jamie’s forced hand and Knox’s demise to possibly a battle casualty. DANG! Jamie is going down a dark path!

Dawn W.: The manner in which the tonsillectomy was performed. It didn’t seem well thought out. Kezzie must have no gag reflex whatsoever!

Stephanie: The storyline going back and forth to her Boston days before she went to Scotland, the beginning of her return to Jamie. Bonus surprise to see Dr. Joe Abernathy!!

Nancy: Jamie’s choking Knox was shocking and a little “Mafiaesque”.

Mitzie: The only thing that somewhat chuckled me was Rogers remark to Claire about almost shooting her, but followed that he would have most likely missed. Oh, poor Roger.

Dawn W.: I agree with Mitzie. Claire surprising Roger in the woods. “I probably would’ve missed you, but still….”

Stephanie:The beginning of the episode with Claire and Marsali finally finding the penicillin….”EUREKA”

Nancy: I agree with Stephanie. Claire teaching Marsali to say, “Eureka”.

Mitzie: I thoroughly enjoyed all the flashbacks. From the collage of past season snippets to Claire’s days in Boston. It was neat seeing so many memorable moments from the past 4 ½ seasons threaded together in a handful of seconds. And then the addition of more insights from Claire’s Boston days to help us understand what really led her back to Scotland and then to Jamie was really nice to watch.

Dawn W.: I was really drawn to the whole conversation that Jamie and Knox had once the Ardsmuir papers arrived. I think I was ready for Jamie to take a stand for Murtaugh and be the real Jamie, the protector and leader of his family.

Stephanie: Jamie doing what he needed to do to protect his family. This was the Jamie we all know and love from Scotland.

Nancy: Again I liked Claire’s flashback to her days as a surgeon in the ‘60’s and her interaction with Graham Menzies, Joe Abernathy, and Briana. Something about Claire’s look reminds me of the movie, “Valley of the Dolls”.  I also loved the opening and closing scenes with Claire seeking solace in the church sanctuary. 

Mitzie: Knox’s death face. Wide eyed and gapping? Something about it didn’t seem right or natural.

Dawn W.: Claire using the hypodermic she brought back with her. Isn’t anyone wondering what that is or questioning it?? 

Stephanie: Didn’t care for Bree’s explanation of why she went to see Bonnett. It was lame in my opinion.

Nancy: Jamie’s killing of Knox. I know he’s killed in the past to keep Dougal from divulging his plans before Culloden,  but he displayed more compassion and conflict of conscious shooting the nasty Mr. Beardsley than with choking Knox. It brought to mind the movie, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” where Tom Ripley killed anyone who discovered his secrets.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 503, Free Will. Leave it in the comments!

18th c. Culture 18th Century Garden Plants Claire's Garden Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina

Garden Like It’s 1767!

March 19, 2020

We got a glimpse of Claire’s “Big House” garden in episode 505, Perpetual Adoration! Tara Heller has some good advice about gardening as well as how to get a Colonial garden without going back in time to get it!

As we look toward Spring, one of the things we think about is planning a garden. A garden is a great way to limit your dependence on the grocery store during the Summer and early Fall months. In the past year, I have become more and more interested in how gardening was done in Colonial America. Do you have the same interest? Then read on…

Planning Your Garden

One of the first decisions you should make when constructing a garden is where you want it to be in relation to your home. If you are going to be using herbs regularly in cooking or medicinal purposes, your plot should be within close proximity to your back door. Map out how you want your garden to look. Figure out what herbs you want to grow; what will you be able to use in your household? Make sure you know your gardening zone because that will help you know what grows best in your neck of the woods. Don’t forget to plant something for the pollinators! Bees are important to gardening success, and, as we all know, will be a symbol for the upcoming Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Planting native plants helps the pollinators in your region. Here is a great checklist for actions to take to attract pollinators to your yard. Consider adding companion flowers and herbs to your vegetables.

When selecting seeds, definitely check into heirloom seeds and heirloom starters. The reason for this is that they are good for seed-saving, unlike hybrid seeds. The seeds from an heirloom plant are closest to the original, and they tend to produce a better flavor and are more nutritious. Seeds for Generations sells heirloom seeds, and Johnny’s Selected seeds carries heirloom, organic, and open-pollinator seeds. Another great resource is the Seed Savers Exchange. This organization has not only heirloom vegetables but herbs and flowers, as well.

When you start to create your garden beds, keep in mind that the Colonials never used pesticides or chemicals. Their soil was what we’d now call organic. Nothing was wasted in the 18th century, and people used composted kitchen scraps and manure from their horses and cows to fertilize their plants. Many also had chickens that roamed free, and they enjoyed the bugs that they’d find on the garden plants. I started composting last year and while I am still a beginner, I have enjoyed re-purposing and not throwing out a lot of kitchen scraps. 

Just a few of the plants Claire mentioned planting in her garden in A Breath of Snow and Ashes:

  • Catmint
  • Lemon Balm
  • Turnips
  • Cabbage
  • Pole Beans
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Yarrow
  • Rosemary
  • Three Lavender bushes
  • A dozen large peanut bushes

Lavender and rosemary should be cut in the morning, though, when the volatile oils have risen with the sun; it wasn’t as potent if taken later in the day.

Claire in ‘A Breath of Snow and Ashes’

Another plant Colonists grew was hemp. George Washington is documented as growing hemp. Fun Fact: the original US constitution is written on hemp paper!  Hemp was used in making fabrics and other textiles. It was also used to make sails for ships, and the rope that hauled the sails.

Plant uses

A lot of the plants grown in the garden were used to make teas or tinctures, which was the easiest way to get medicine into a patient. This is how a lot of herbs were used to treat different ailments. It was important until the Townshend Taxation Act. Tea would have been shipped to London from China and would sit in the warehouse for years before being shipped to the colonists.

From the website tching.com, the types of tea that were dumped into the Boston Harbor:
“Benjamin Woods Labaree’s The Boston Tea Party says the three tea ships contained 240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong (all black teas), 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson (both green teas). It may surprise you to know that green tea accounted for about 22% of the shipment’s total volume and 30% of the value. “

As mentioned in the first part of this series, Bee Balm was grown and used as an antimicrobial (not that they knew what that meant back then but Claire certainly did. However, they knew it had healing properties). Lemon Balm has calming properties and is helpful with insect bites. Echinacea (or coneflower) is anti-inflammatory and bees and butterflies love it. Basil is anti- inflammatory and anti-viral. You can use it in tea and cook with it. Lavender has antiseptic properties and helps with sleep.

Yarrow (often mentioned in the books) stops bleeding and is great for circulation. It is also drought-tolerant. Sadly, I’m sure it can’t relieve Droughtlander! The leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in salads. The leaves can be chewed to relieve a toothache. And get this, soldiers would carry dried yarrow leaves with them into battle to treat wounds! I’m sure Claire, Jamie, and Roger did just that! Made into salve, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve arthritis. Rosehips are anti-inflammatory and can be used in facial moisturizers. Calendula is awesome too, as it can be added to salads and soups, and medicinally, it treats skin ailments, digestive issues, as well as women’s issues. The dried blossoms were also used to make dyes. It’s an easy plant to grow, because as the seed head dries, the plant reseeds itself.

Adding Character to Your Garden

After you have your plan down for plants and how you are constructing your garden beds, you can think about some of the architecture or borders for your garden. How about creating a place in your garden as a sanctuary for your own quiet place to unwind? Claire had a bench that Jamie made for her sitting in a corner of her garden where she could enjoy the shade:

I waved him to the little bench Jamie had made for me in a shady nook beneath a flowering dogwood that overhung the corner of the garden.

Claire from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Many Colonial gardens had picket fencing or wattle fencing, because a fence was necessary for keeping animals from eating the plants and vegetables. While wattle fencing is probably cheaper, it is time-consuming. It is really cool and artistic-looking, however, and gives a rustic appearance to your garden. You can use the same method to create trellises for your climbing plants.

Garden decor wasn’t necessarily popular during the Colonial period–gardens were necessities, and, unless you were well off, statuary wasn’t a common site among the bee balm and mung beans! Today, we have so many options to add some whimsy to our garden; if you want to add some Outlander to your plot, you can create your own miniature standing stone circle, or add or make homes for garden faeries! Here is a directional sign that I made last year for my garden as a way to add a little Outlander.

Yes, I added the actual miles!

Modern Day Home Apothecary

My herbalist friend has an amazing herb closet and stock. She was nice enough to allow me to share it with you.

For more fun, the Outlander Starz website has an interactive “Outlander Apothecary Cabinet” with herbs that Claire would have used–just scroll through the cabinet and when one of the herbs pops up, click on it to learn more. Check it out!

She Sells She Sheds…

Another fun structure I plan to add to my garden is a little She Shed. Would you consider Claire’s Surgery her She Shed?!? I tend to think so.

from Harmony L. Tersanschi

If you’re looking to create a historically accurate garden, or simply learn about the ways Colonials took care of their plants, Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way by historic gardener Wesley Greene is a great resource for Colonial gardening and practices. I hope this was helpful and can get you dreaming and brainstorming about starting your own Colonial-style garden like Claire. Come join me on Instagram as I plan to share my garden this year!

Outlander North Carolina Season 5

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, “The Company We Keep”

March 14, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Stephanie Bryant, and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 4, The Company We Keep are…

Dawn W.: I love that they are focusing on Roger’s singing. It’s so much a part of him and it’s a huge part of what he has to offer at this point when he feels he doesn’t offer much.

Tara: The moment away from everyone that Jamie and Claire had after the dance,

Stephanie:  I agree with Tara. That whole scene after the dance is the essence of Claire and Jamie’s love for each other!

Nancy: I liked Jamie’s dance. I knew it was coming this episode so I was especially waiting for it.

Susan:  I enjoyed seeing Marsali and Bree alone together, and learning about their relationship’s dynamics. I like them being “friends,” in spite of how Laoghaire when ham on Bree when she figured out who she was. 

Dawn W.: Ye want to tell me what kind of devil ye’re conjuring up?

Stephanie: “I have but no life but you Claire, but if you wanted another child, I thought perhaps I can give you one”

Nancy: When Roger tells Claire he doesn’t think Jamie respects him. Claire says, “He trusted you with the thing he loves the most.”

Susan: “Ye want to tell me what devil ye’re conjuring?”

Dawn W.: Claire

Stephanie: A tie between Sam and Cait. The scene again reminds me of the love we saw them show in the beginning of the series.

Nancy: I agree – Sam and Cait

Susan:  The actor that plays the first Mr. Brown. If he was my daddy, I’d definitely be afraid of him.

Tara: I was freaked out for Bree and not being able to find Jemmy. Where was Old Man Bug? Have him go fetch you the wood Bree!

Stephanie: The blooming relationship between Marsali and Bree, look forward to seeing more of this.

Nancy: Jamie sending Roger back with Claire.I guess that means Jamie won’t be there to help Claire with the Beardsley’s tonsillectomies.

Susan: When Richard Brown got sassy w/ Jamie, throwing shade at him for allowing Claire to be sleeping out in the open w/ the rest of the crew.

Tara: “You move fast Mi’lord.”

Stephanie: The whisky calming down the Browns. 

Dawn W.: I’m with Stephanie…the whisky being used to diffuse the situation with the Brown’s…and Roger’s reasoning as he tried to explain it to Jamie.

Nancy: Roger when he was signing up the Browns. When he gets to Abner, he interjects “Brown” before Abner says it.

Susan:  When Fergus joked w/ Jamie about wee Bonnie.

Stephanie: Isaiah talking to Jamie and Roger about his love for Alicia. We understand how he felt because of their love for Claire and Bree.

Nancy:  Jamie and Claire discussing keeping baby, “Bonnie” and their feelings on raising a child together. I love that Claire tells Jamie that she is happy with their life as it is now. Now that they are older they know exactly what they want in life and from each other.

Susan: I’m with Nancy on this one.

Dawn W.: I agree with this. They are in a different “season” of their marriage now and it’s ok to admit that you want to focus on your marriage and not so much raising small children.

Dawn W.: There wasn’t anything I disliked.

Tara:  Nothing. This season has been stellar so far!

Stephanie:  Not enough Fergus. Hopefully we will see more of him and his role expanded.

Nancy: I missed the part of the book where Jamie and Claire spend more time on the Ridge.  Claire develops a form of penicillin and performs two tonsillectomies. I know it will be covered in the next episode, but I love seeing Jamie and Claire working together. I also love every time the whole gang is enjoying life on the Ridge.

Susan:  I can understand Sam being a bit nervous about the sword dancing scene, because I’m not much of a dancer, but they could’ve used a dancing double and used them for some fancy footwork. I liked that scene in the book, and felt like Jamie kind of went home to the Highlands in his soul as he danced.

18th c. Culture Fraser's Ridge NC History Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

Fact or Fiction: Fanny Beardsley’s Baby & Inheritance

March 12, 2020

Guest Post from Traci Thompson

In our last Outlander “fact or fiction,” we examined  North Carolina land grants. In this installment, we will take a look at North Carolina inheritance law as it relates to the story. 

Season five episode Free Will, in a stellar adaptation, recently dealt with the creepy Beardsley family storyline. In both the book and the show, a child is born to Fanny Beardsley, and it is revealed that the baby (who is later named Alicia) is not her husband’s and is of mixed race. In the book The Fiery Cross, Claire and Jamie have this discussion: 

“Do you think we ought to take her?” I asked cautiously. “I mean – what might happen to her if we don’t?”  Jamie snorted faintly, dropping his arm, and leaned back against the wall of the house. He wiped his nose, and tilted his head toward the faint rumble of voices that came through the chinked logs. “She’d be well cared for, Sassenach. She’s in the way of being an heiress, ken.” That aspect of the matter hadn’t occurred to me at all. “Are you sure?” I said dubiously.  “I mean, the Beardsleys are both gone, but as she’s illegitimate –“ He shook his head, interrupting me. “Nay, she’s legitimate.” “But she can’t be. No one realizes it yet except you and me, but her father – “Her father was Aaron Beardsley, so far as the law is concerned,” he informed me. “By English law, a child born in wedlock is the legal child – and heir – of the husband, even if it is known for a fact that the mother committed adultery. And yon woman did say that Beardsley married her, no?” It struck me that he was remarkably positive about this particular provision of English law…”I see,” I said slowly. “So little Nameless will inherit all Beardsley’s property, even after they discover that he can’t have been her father. That’s…reassuring.”  “Aye,” he said quietly…”So ye see,” he went on, matter-of-factly, “she’s in no danger of neglect. An Orphan Court would give Beardsley’s property – goats and all” – he added, with a faint grin – “to whomever is her guardian, to be used for her welfare.”
– The Fiery Cross, Chapter 31, “Orphan of the Storm,” p. 510-511. 

Jamie is certainly correct that the colony of North Carolina was under English law. But should he be quite so certain about the nature of bastardy, adultery, and inheritance under that law?

The Beardsley property from Outlander episode Free Will

In reality, English law was not straightforward nor one-size-fits-all on the issue of legitimacy. Sir William Blackstone, in his commentary on English law (1765-69) declared that some circumstances would make children born in wedlock bastards in the eyes of the law:

“As bastards may be born before the coverture or marriage state has begun, or after it has been determined, so also children born during wedlock may in some circumstances be bastards…”1

One reason given by Blackstone was if it were known to be impossible for the man to have fathered a child, such as not being physically present with his wife at time of conception: 

“So also if there is an apparent impossibility of procreation on the part of the husband…there the issue of the wife shall be bastards.”2

Determining legitimacy was very important in an intestate situation because under English law intestate inheritance was by lineal blood3; thus such terms as “the heirs of his body” and “of the blood” are often seen in reference to legitimate children. By contrast, illegitimate children were legally considered a “filius nullius” or “nullius filii, “child of no one” or “sons of nobody”:

“BASTARDS are incapable of being heirs. Bastards, by our law, are such children as are not born either in lawful wedlock, or within a competent time after its determination. Such are held to be nullius filii, the sons of nobody; for the maxim of law is, qui ex damnato coitu nascuntur, inter liberos non computantur [the offspring of an illicit connection are not reckoned as children]. Being thus the sons of nobody, they have no blood in them, at least no inheritable blood; consequently, none of the blood of the first purchaser: and therefore, if there be no other claimant than such illegitimate children, the land shall escheat to the lord.4

Fanny Beardsley sharing her story of abuse with Claire, as well as the parentage of her new baby.

While the law did generally lean towards a presumption of legitimacy in the case of children born to married women, this was only in absence of obvious evidence to the contrary.  As the racial factor made Fanny Beardsley’s child an obvious bastard to Claire, so her appearance would have to colonial society as a whole. “Judicial error was tolerated when it meant that a white child, unrelated by blood, would be made a white man’s legal heir. An African-American child becoming a white man’s legal heir, however, was unacceptable. Faced with this situation, the court essentially suspended application of the presumption.”5  Although it certainly happened – and often – miscegenation was against colonial law at this time, which would automatically render any marriage void, and therefore any offspring illegitimate:

North Carolina followed suit [with miscegenation laws] in 1715 providing that ‘no White man or woman shall intermarry with any Negro, Mulatto or Indyan Man or Woman under the penalty of Fifty Pounds for each White man or woman.’ In 1741, the North Carolina act was amended to more closely track the earlier Virginia statute: ‘And for Prevention of that abominable Mixture and spurious issue, which hereafter may increase in this Government, by white Men and women intermarrying with Indians, Negroes, Mustees, or Mulattoes, Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That if any white Man or Woman, being free, shall intermarry with an Indian, Negro, Mustee, or Mulatto Man or Woman, or any Person of Mixed Blood, to the Third Generation, bond or free, he shall, by Judgment of the County Court, forfeit and pay the Sum of Fifty Pounds, Proclamation Money, to the Use of the Parish.’6

Sweet wee “Bonnie’s” future seems uncertain

As we see here, unfortunately for Fanny’s child, several strikes would be against her were she a real person. If Aaron Beardsley did not dispose of his property by will, intestate inheritance law would immediately come into play, and an inquiry into the identity of any legitimate lineal heirs would be undertaken by the county court.  Aaron Beardsley’s incapacity would not likely factor in, as he had only been in that state for about a month when Jamie and Claire showed up, and thus could have fathered a child before that time. However, the fact that he was not apparently able to father a child with any of his previous wives could have raised doubt and become an issue. But the definitive reckoning would be the child’s mixed-race parentage, which the books and show indicate was obvious by the child’s physical appearance. If it were known or believed that Aaron Beardsley was a white man, and it was thought that the child was anything other, then a status of illegitimacy would automatically follow, which would absolutely eliminate inheritance. 

Verdict: FICTION 

Bonus Trivia: Did you know? An “orphan” was legally a child whose father was deceased, regardless of the status of the mother.7 After 1799 in North Carolina, a change in state law recognized illegitimate children as heirs of their mother and were enabled to inherit from her.8

Sadly, the past was not kind to babies born out of wedlock, and little “Bonnie” would not have been an exception. Are you on Jamie’s side–hopeful that wee “Bonnie” will inherit the Beardsley property, or will she have to rely on her new adoptive parents for her raising? From the looks of the scene where Lucinda and her husband ask Claire if they can keep the baby, she will not lack for love at all. Tell us what you think!

Thanks, Traci, for this insight about bastardy and inheritance laws! Traci Thompson is a married mother of two who lives in eastern North Carolina, and is, of course, an avid Outlander fan. Traci is a Certified Genealogist and Local History & Genealogy Librarian. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina.

Footnotes:
1.  Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 volumes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765-69), 1st  ed., Volume 1, “The Rights of Persons,” Chapter 16, “Of Parent and Child”; digital transcription, The Avalon Project (https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/blackstone_bk1ch16.asp : accessed 2020).
2.  Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England.
3. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2, Chapter 14.
4. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2, Chapter 15.
5. Mary Louise Fellows, “The Law of Legitimacy: An Instrument of Procreative Power,” Scholarship Repository University of Minnesota Law School, 1993 (https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/ : accessed 2020), p. 502.
6.  Judy G. Russell, “Intermarriage and the Law, Colonial Style,” The Legal Genealogist 1 June 2012 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/06/01/intermarriage-and-the-law-colonial-style/ : accessed 2020).
7. Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., “Estates Records,” in Helen F.M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chapter 12, p. 189, “Guardians and Conservators.”
8.  John Haywood, Esq., A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina (Raleigh, NC: J. Gales, 1814), p. 274, “Intestate’s Estate,” section IV, 1799.
Photos from Outlander Online