Indentured servants, noted in many early records, are assumed to have been
uneducated or of service origin, in permanent service to a master.
It’s not so.
An indenture was simply a contract and so called “indentured servants”
were not slaves, nor were they necessarily cooks, maids or lackeys any
more than our civil servants of today.
The truth was that certain folks in Europe wanted to emigrate, but
lacked money for the fare. So quite often, they would contract with a
friend or relative to accompany the person or family and to work for them
for a stated time.
The time period was usually five to seven years, and a contract to that
effect was signed by both parties.
These emigrants came from any vocation or rank.
They simply worked their way across the ocean to the New World.
It is a matter of record that many teachers came with families as
Anyone who has
watched The Today Show and seen Willard Scott wishing Happy Birthday to
folks around the country celebrating their 100th birthday knows that there
are many centenarians!
Scientists report that the number of persons reaching 100th birthdays
is growing significantly.
These people can be a useful resource for doing family history!
In just a few years, researchers estimate that there will be an amazing
100,000 people in the country who are at least 100 years old.
The 85 and older crowd is the fastest-growing segment in the
population. And the numbers will only continue to climb as medical
treatment and people’s diets improve.
A woman who was 65 years of age in 1990 can expect to live to be 85.
The life expectancy for men is shorter.
So, the lesson for genealogists is clear: there are more old folks
around who are your grandparents, aunts, cousins, neighbors and friends
who can tell you things about your ancestors.
The compelling thing is to see them and record their memories.
Even if you
don’t have the time or interest to pursue genealogy as a hobby right now,
if you are fortunate enough to have parents, grandparents or even great
grandparents living…please talk to them today. Come by The Odom Library
and we’ll be happy to give you a copy of a pedigree chart and a family
group sheet so that you can ask your loved ones the questions important to
Did you have
someone in your family who was born or who died on a ship? Where do you
go for information?
When someone either is born or dies aboard a ship on the high seas,
whether on an aircraft or a ship, the determination of where the record is
filed is decided in terms of the event. If the craft was outbound or
docked at a foreign port, requests for copies of the record may be
requested from The Department of State, Washington, DC 20520.
If the craft was inbound and the port of entry was in the United
States, write to the registry in the city where the craft landed in the
If the craft was of United States registry, contact the United States
Coast buard at the Port of Entry.
Law of Research for Today: Any writing instrument dropped while sitting at
a microfilm reader will roll under the machine to the most distant point
away from the person operating the machine.