Friday, October 22, 2004

Average Time of Indenturship

Today I had to find out approximately how long one could expect an ancestor to work as an indentured servant. I had heard an average of 7 years, but could I find a source for that information? Anthing that explained it in more detail? I did a quick and dirty search of my reference books and found nothing, so I turned to the web. I googled the word and found a helpful defintion on a Houghton-Mifflin site, "The Great American History Fact Finder" Here is the definition given there:

" a person who worked without wages, usually for a period of five to seven years, in exchange for payment of the person's passage to the American colonies. The contract, called an "indenture," entitled the servant to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Devised by the Virginia Company in the late 1610s, the system provided cheap labor. It is estimated that one-half to two-thirds of all European immigrants to the colonies participated in the system, some voluntarily, some as victims of penal servitude. The practice disappeared after 1800."

An entry at Wikipedia / The Free makes this note, indicating an indenturship of ten years was not uncommon.

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons".

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Well... here it is 2004 and I still haven't figured out blogging. But something brought it to my attention lately and I remembered that I had started a blog somewhere, so here I am again. Still trying to get junk from the past out of my life, which means I've come to know and depend on Purple Heart, Recyle Ann Arbor and any other place I can find that might find a use for accumulations of various sorts. By far my BIGGEST accumulation, though, is paper... mostly genealogy info I've collected over the years. I'm trying to get it in all in the computer, but so far I've not come close and I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Since three years have gone by, I suppose I should change the name of the blog. It started out "Life at 56" Given my track record, I don't think it is a good idea to rename it with any numbers. I think I'll make a genealogy blog out of it.