Genealogy is usually a rated G enterprise. Using fornication records from court records in colonial New England at least pushes genealogy temporarily into PG-13 territory. These records are different from adultery court cases. Fornication cases were merely people having sex who were not married. The evidence was inevitably a pregnant woman. Why are these cases important? Because many times the marriage record for the couple doesn't exist and the court case will give you the maiden name of the woman. You see many couples "experimented" and/or "jumped the gun" while betrothed. If a woman had a child 7 months or earlier into their marriage they were charged with fornication. It was a minor charge and the fine was the same amount charged for missing church on a Sunday. I have used these records twice to prove identities of the women involved. The first case shows that it happened to anyone. The Rev. Samuel Arnold was fined in March 1671/2 with Sarah Holmes, his now wife. See NEHGR 145 (1991):374.
Likewise Smith Woodward and Thankful Pope whose name was originally transcribed as Poop. [TAG 80 (2005):263] This couple was married at Dorchester,Massachusetts, on 29 July 1691, and had their first child, Sarah, on 20 September 1691. [A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston Containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths to the End of 1825 (Boston, Mass.: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1890), p. 35.] You do the math. Consequently, they were convicted of fornication on 13 November 1691 and had to pay forty shillings each. [Abstract and Index of the Records of the Inferior Court of Pleas (Suffolk County Court) Held at Boston 1680-1698 (Boston, Mass:, The Historical Records Survey, 1940), p.136.]
These records were overlooked by earlier generations of researchers because of the shame/ick factor. Melinde Lutz Sanborn brought these records to light with her book, Lost Babes: Fornication Abstracts From Court Records Essex County, Massachusetts 1692-1745 (Derry, N.H., 1992). Her website (which for now seems to be gone) also had the records for both Middlesex and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. She abstracted records for early New Hampshire in an article in the New Hampshire Genealogical Record (which she also edits): 20 (2003):76-83. These are great records when you find them.