A New Life

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100th Anniversary
This 1793 apprentice indenture binds twelve year old Hannah Train to William Thompson to learn "all the different branches of housewifery."

A New Life

The term indenture refers to two identical documents that were written on the same piece of paper one above the other. The documents were cut in half with a wavy, indented, manner instead of a straight line. Each party to the agreement was given one half and if the documents needed to be authenticated, the two halves would be pieced together. Other documents, such as deeds, that were agreements between two parties were also cut in a similar manner.

The Trustees of the Poor had apprentice indentures for the children under their care in the almshouse. Other indentures, of persons not living in the poor house, can be found in the Court of General Sessions or deed books for each county. A law was passed in 1775 providing for an overseer of the poor and in 1791 the Trustees of the Poor was created under Levy Court. Other records in this collection include account books, birth and deaths, court orders, apprentice indentures and pauper books.