Burlington County NJ -- POORHOUSE INDENTURE BONDS
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October 29, 1822 through April 28, 1846

APPRENTICE List

MASTER/MISTRESS List

List of Witnesses & Presidents

Note: Here is some historical background about Indentured Servitude.  PHL

Indentured servitude had a long tradition in this country, dating all the way back to the colonies and extending throughout most of the 19th century. The "binding out" (through indentured servitude) of children as young as 18 months old was a very common practice when children were placed in poorhouses.  Indenture involved a legal contract which stipulated the terms of the agreement: length of service, what would be provided by the master (and by the town, poorhouse, etc.) for the servant, as well as the education and training that was supposed to be provided. This training was intended to make the indentured servant (especially a child) eventually become self-supporting through acquiring the ability to practice a trade. So those bound out were considered "Apprentices."
For further reading:  "Indentured Servants"  by Karen Mullian  from the February 1999 Issue of the Quarterly of The Genealogy Club of Albuquerque This is an excellent article about the various types of indentured servitude (focusing on the practice in Pennsylvania) adopted and utilized in America.
While the article does not deal specifically with the indenture of children, readers of The POORHOUSE STORY have expressed enough interest in the general topic of indentures, that we thought many of you might find this article useful. The article concludes with a very helpful bibliography which includes two other articles available on-line.
[Note: You might enjoy seeing our graphically represented actual 1835 indenture bond for a 7 year old child being "bound out" of a Washington County NY poorhouse. The page takes quite while to load, but we think you find it worth the wait.]

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