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The Bond Family Chronicles

Reuben Bond marries Penelope Hill

Ruben Bond married Penelope Hill June 7, 1832 in Orange County, Indiana.  And died August 1, 1834.  They were married 26 months.  Ruben's will states, "if she (Penelope) marries then all of my estate, both real and personal belongs to the above named persons, my children." Monroe's paternal heritage to the Bond family established by Reuben Bond is in question. Monroe, a mulatto was born after Reuben died.  Monroe stared a new branch of the Bond family.

Mary Thomas marries Monroe Bond

Mary and Monroe married on October 29, 1863 in Orange County, Indiana.  Mary Bond was left 1/5 of the 322 acres of land in “Little Africa", by her father Matthew Thomas. She later purchased another 1/5 from her brother Jeramiah and her sister Georgetta giving her control of the 322 acres.  Unfortunately, her husband Monroe was unable to pay the taxes and the land was auctioned and sold to a white farmer.  

Mary and Monroe divorced and Monroe moved to Lyles Station, another black settlement located in Gibson County, Indiana and married Amanda Anderson, a white woman, and moved to Paris, Illinois. He was a barber by trade but became blind. They had a daughter named Beatrice, who married and had a son named Monroe Thompson. Monroe Thompson grew up in Paris, Illinois and Terre Haute, Indiana. He has a daughter, Monica who still resides in the Terre Haute area.  Monroe Bond is buried in Edgar Cemetery in Paris, Illinois.



Children of Monroe Bond and Mary Thomas

Monroe C. Bond
1839 -1923
Mary Ann Thomas
1839 - about 1900 -1928
Francis M. Bond
1864 - 1867
Penelope (Nellie)  Bond
1865 - after 1930
Ambrose Scott
Orville, Arnold, Ernest, & Belle
William Bond
1868 - 1891
Austin Bond
1870 - 1943
Mary Ann Bond
1871 - 1897
Alonzo Oscar Bond
1875 - 1928
Annis Bond
1873 - after 1880
Maude Allison [1],  Annie Adams [2], Delia Navada Wells James [3] 
William, Helen [2] & Floyd [3]
Milton Burnett

Austin Bond was born September 24, 1870 to Monroe and Mary “Polly”(Thomas) Bond.  He was the fourth of seven children.  The earliest written document of Austin was the 1880 census of the Paoli township in Orange County, Indiana where he lived with his mother Mary Ann (Thomas) Bonds.  Other siblings living with him included brothers William and Alonzo and sisters Penelope and Annis.  His mother’s brother William Thomas lived with them too. 

Austin's father Monroe was not listed on the census.  For years some family members have speculated that Austin was raised by Quakers.  In fact, in the 1880 census of Paoli, Township, a well-known Quaker family, the Thomas Lindley family is listed just below the household headed by Mary Ann Bond.  These families were neighbors, so it was quite possible that Austin might have worked for the Lindley’s or lived in the Lindley household.  This Quaker family had a strong influence on Austin, as many have said that he was “very religious”.​

​Debbie, as she liked to be called, was born November 25, 1883. 20 years after the civil war had ended, to Elizabeth Constant in Lawrence County Indiana.  Her mother Lizzie was unmarried, and her father was unknown.  There have been family stories over the years suggesting that Debbie’s father may have been a red-headed (White) Irishman who worked on the railroad.  Debbie’s mother married Archibald Goode and Debbie took her stepfather’s last name.  Debbie was 2 years old when her mother married.  Lizzie became ill and died on June 9, 1898 in North Vernon (Jennings County) Indiana.  Debbie was 15 at the time of her mothers’ death.

Sometime later Debbie went to live with Aunt Frank, her mother’s sister Francis (Constant) Pierce in Chambersburg, in Lawrence County.  Debbie married Austin Bond on July 1, 1900.  Austin, almost 30, was a little older than Debbie who was 17 at the time of their marriage.  Austin and Debbie were married in her aunt’s home by Rev. William Stout of Lawrence County, Indiana. 

In 1900, Debbie and Austin moved to Orleans where their first 2 children were born. 
In 1903 they moved to Mitchell, Indiana and their first home was 222 First Street.  The home, four acres of land where they grew their own fruits and vegetables, had chickens and pigs. There was a smoke house where they stored their hams, turkeys, and chickens. In Mitchell, 11 additional children were born. Erma Marie, 1901, William Matthew, 1903, Clifford 1904, Vetrice Kathryn 1904, Mary Elizabeth, 1909, Ruth Esther 1911, Edith Melberta 1913, Lawrence Austin 1914, Lillian Penelope 1916, James Monroe 1919, Helen Addie 1921, Priscilla Dean 1924.


Debbie's home was always open to friends and family, and many of her children’s children lived with her.  In addition to keeping house and raising her own children (and others) she also took in washing, cleaned houses, and worked at the travel agency.  At one time she worked as a janitor at the Post Office in Mitchell.  

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Clifford Bonds marries Ruby McElwain​

The Bonds descendants are the seventh generation, born to Clifford and Ruby Bonds, sixth generation, buried in Mitchell Cemetery, fifth generation, Austin and Debbie Bond,  buried in Mitchell Cemetery.  The forth generation, Matthew and Mary Thomas, buried in “Little Africa”, our ancestral land.  The third generation, Elias and Mary Roberts, also buried in "Little Africa" and the second generation, Ishmael and Silvey Roberts, are buried in North Carolina.  The first generation is Margaret Roberts, buried in North Hampton County, North Carolina.

Children of Clifford Bond and Ruby McElwain

Clifford Jr. Bond
1864 - 1867
Clifford Bond
1904 - 1956
Ruby McElwain
1905 - 1981
William Thomas Bond
1929- 1989
Norman Eugene Bond
1929- 1989
Debbie Jane Bond
Frank Austin Bond
Barbara Ann Bond
James Richard Bond
Mitchell Reunion Story

For 67 years the decedents of Clifford Bonds have had a family reunion in Mitchell, Indiana.  This is one of the cities where our ancestors moved as hostilities increased against Blacks due to the Civil War.  Bloomington, Spencer, Bedford, also received former residents from "Little Africa" as well as Canada. 


Our family reunion is held every Father’s Day with the gathering at 11:00am in the Mitchell Cemetery.  There are no letters, calls, emails, tradition has prevailed after 67 years that the Bonds family members know to be in Mitchell at 11:00 at the family gravesites where 5 generations are buried.  This past year, 2021, 124 family members showed from Indiana, California, West Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  Decorating graves, prayer and fellowship occurs among 100-125 people, then we proceed to Spring Mill State Park for food and the fellowship continues.  I am sharing this to illustrate the commitment the family still has to this day.

1987 Bond Family Reunion at Mitchell Cemetery 

Bonds Family Reunion
Father's Day, June 2021 
8th, 9th and 10th Generations from Margaret Roberts (1725-1789)

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Family Canoeing and Exploring Spring Mill State Park Caves


Father's Day - Sunday, June 17, 2023

The Bonds family of adults and children from all over including Pennsylvania, California and Indiana.   We prayed and poured libations at Roberts Thomas Cemetery .   More than 31 family and guest visited  in Lick Creek Settlement.  That inspiring visit now has the younger family members eager to participate to learn more information on these early Indiana pioneer families.   

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