written, binding agreement to perform as specified. Many types of bonds have existed for centuries and appear in marriage, land and court records of used by genealogists. Historically, laws required administrators and executors of estates, grooms alone or with others, and guardians of minors to post bonds. It is not unusual to discover that a bondsman was related to someone involved in the action before the court. If a bondsman failed to perform, the court may have demanded payment of a specified sum as a penalty.
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