Thursday, June 30, 2016
A few years ago I found, (or was sent), a late l8th or early 19th century indentured servant contract between a three year-old boy and a farmer in Berne, New York. I filed it away under the name of the boy.whose last name I can no longer remember. I have hundreds of surname files, one for every family in the Town of Berne and Knox and other hilltowns, but without knowing the boy's last name I can not find it.
The 18 year contract called for the farmer to teach the boy the secrets and skills of farming. In addition to room and board, the farmer was required to furnish the boy clothes and to let him go to school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. When the boy turned 21 the farmer was to provide him a suit of clothes, a bible, and a horse at which time the young man was free to leave.
During the period of the contract the boy was not allowed to drink alcohol, swear or marry