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Rankin Family History Project

New Haven Colony Laws


It is Ordered, That if any person above the age of fourteen years shal wittingly, and willingly make, and publish any lye, tending to the damage, or injury of any particular person, or with intent to deceive and abuse the people, with false newes, or Reports, or which may be any way pernicious to the publick weale;

And the same complained of and duly proved either before any Court or Magistrate, or where there is no Magistrate, before the Constable, or other Officer, he calling one of two of the Freemen to him, (who are hereby inabled to hear and determine ordinary offences of this nature, according to the tenour of this Law) the Offender shal pay to the Plantation where he is prosecuted for his lying, as it is a sin against God, for the first offence ten shillings;

And if after such conviction, he offend the second time, he shal pay for that second Offence twenty shillings, which Fines, or penalties shal be severally levied as in other cases.

But if any such person be not able, or utterly refuse to pay the said Fines, or either of them, he shall in such case be committed to the stocks;

And for the first offence shall continue there betwixt one and two hours;

For the second offence betwixt three and four hours.

But if he offend the third time, he shal be publickly whipt for the same;

Each person being notwithstanding left to his liberty, to proceed further by action of slaunder, defamation, or otherwise, as the case may require.

But the said Court, Magistrate, or other Officer, as before; finding weighty aggravations in the case, either in the sin against God, or disturbance, and damage to the Publick, are to proceed according;

Or if need require may bind the Offender over to the Court of Magistrates.

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The Rankin Family History Project began in 1997 with a simple 3 generation family chart.  When our grandmother found out we were researching our family tree, she loaned us her copy of Maryland Catholics on the Frontier by Timothy J. O'Rourke which helped us discover our St. Louis & Perry County roots.  We are also doing research in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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Rankin Family History Project     Sonoma County, California

Updated February 2000
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