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Apprentices, & Poor Children of Loudon VA

I am copying a post made to Loudoun County mailing list, by Pat Duncan - which might be of interest to anyone researching the area.
This particular book points to the importance of examining records (no matter where you are researching) of apprentices, and what were then called "base-born" children, and also of orphans.

Many children of FPOC were apprenticed out. Following this post - I will be re-posting form the Loudoun list - information which references any FPOC and/or slaves, which is being posted from the book - to the list.

The book is available for purchase from BIG TREE Books for $20.00

The following is the books introduction:

Apprentices, Bastards, and Poor Children of Loudoun Co Va
1757-1850" by Louisa Hutchison

"About two years ago I began searching the Order (Minute) Books of
Loudoun County for additional information on a servant who had been
mentioned in a will written in 1776. Although I did not have success
there, I discovered that dates of birth or ages were given for many
apprentices, poor children and orphans bound out to learn a trade.
Realizing this would be a help in genealogical research, I decided to
compile a list from 1757 to 1850.

I have used information from the Order Books and from loose papers which include actual indentures and numerous small pieces of paper with bits of information evidently intended to be used in writing the orders. Up until the General Assembly of Virginia transferred their powers and duties to the Overseers of the Poor of the counties, the Churchwardens of the Parishes had been responsible for binding out the children. In April 1786 Overseers of the Poor were elected in Loudoun and the first entry noting their powers was on April 10.

Children were bound out until they became of age, males at 21 and
females at 18, unless otherwise noted in the indenture. They were to be
taught to read and write as early as 1770 and later arithmetic to the
rule of three was included for boys. Often the indentures of girls
included being taught spinning, knitting and sewing along with

It should be remembered that the term "orphan" was often used when the father was deceased and the mother was still living. Also, the use of "Jr." did not necessarily indicate a son but was used to indicate a younger person with the same name.

The references listed refer to Order (Minute) Books unless otherwise
noted. There was a confusing numbering system used for which no
explanation has been found. Books A-Z include orders from July 1757 to
July 1807, Books 1-7 from August 1807 to July 1815, Books 1-8 from
August 1815 to February 1828, Book 1 (only) from June 1829 to October
1830 and Books 1-30 from November 1830 to January 1904.

The section on bastards has been gleaned from Order Books and loose
papers, some of which have been difficult to interpret, but I have
attempted to include all the information that will be of value to the
genealogist. In the early years the mother of the child was fined 500
pounds of tobacco, and cask, or fifty shillings current money payable to the Churchwardens. However, a fine in a like amount was assessed against the person in whose house she was delivered if such person failed to report the birth to the churchwardens before the mother left. Thus, with a suit by the Churchwardens for this amount the defendant could be the mother or the homeowner.

In one case in 1811, the Court determined that no married woman could be allowed to swear her child to any man so as to bind him to the support of it, that the Act of Assembly only embraced the case of single women.

Payments for the support of bastard children were to be paid to the
Churchwardens or the Overseers of the Poor, as the case might be, and
they in turn were to see the children were provided with necessities.
Payments were to be made on a quarterly basis and often suits were
brought to enforce collection of overdue amounts. The term of payments
was often qualified by "if the child shall live so long."

This list includes only those who were determined likely to become a
burden on the parish or county. I am sure there were those who were
raised by grandparents or other relatives and do not appear in the court records.

It is my hope that some information from this work will be valuable to searchers for their ancestors or relatives.

I wish to express my appreciation to Elizabeth R. Frain without whose
encouragement and assistance this work would not have been completed.

Louisa Skinner Hutchison
September 2000"


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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