Apprentice Bonds of Craven County, N.C.
The following work is abstracted from microfilm of the original records. The records have been reorganized from their original position on the microfilmed copy to have them in chronological order. Sometimes records were filed in the wrong dated folder, so these were moved into their correct chronological order with a note telling which original folder they are located on the microfilmed work. This complete series is abstracted into several files. As other records are abstracted, they will be added to the website.
The first reel of microfilm (reel G.028.2028002) is entitled Craven County Apprentice Bonds, 1748-1835. The second reel of microfilm (reel G.028.2028003) is entitled Craven County Apprentice Bonds, 1836-1910.
By North Carolina law, the courts of pleas and quarter sessions had the authority "to bind out, as apprentices, all orphans whose estates are of so small value that no person will educate and maintain him or her for the profits thereof; also all children under age whose fathers have deserted their families, and have been absent for the term of one year, leaving them without sufficient support, or where application may be made to the wardens of the poor for relief...also all free base born children." The law continued, "The court of pleas and quarter sessions shall likewise have power...to bind out as apprentices all free base born children of color, and all the children of free negroes and mulattoes where the parents with whom such children may live, do or shall not habitually employ his or her time in some honest, industrious occupation." [Chapter 5, sections 1 and 5 of The Revised Statutes of the State of North Carolina passed by the General Assembly at the Session of 1836-7... (Raleigh: Turner and Hughes, 1837).]
Males were usually bound until the age of 21, while females were bound until they were 18, except females of color, who were bound until they, too, reached 21. The master was to provide his apprentice "diet, clothes, lodging, and accommodations fit and necessary, and shall teach and cause him or her to be taught to read and write...it shall not be incumbent upon the master of a colored apprentice to teach him or her to read and write." Upon the expiration of the apprenticeship, the master was to provide the apprentice with $6, a new suit of clothes, and a new Bible [Chapter 5, sections 2, 3, and 6, 1836-7 Revised Statutes].
This completes the apprentice bonds series.