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Guide to New York City-Indentures
1718-1727, 1792-1915
  MS 1988

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Maurita Baldock

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Container List

Series I: Indentures (1718-1902)

Scope and Contents note

The series includes indentures of colonial and post-Revolutionary New York City. Only one volume in this series contains colonial indentures; the rest are post-revolutionary indentures that were kept separate in volumes for male and female apprentices. If a child or a master or mistress was black, it is noted by "B", only sometimes by "Colored." The residence of the master or mistress in New York City is given by street and number and in New Jersey by name of town and country and distance from the nearest post office. The indentures sometimes reveal the name of a parent or family member of the apprentice.

Many of the indentures indicate the cancellation of the agreement and the reason for its abrogation. Some of the indentures function as adoption papers with the terms master and apprentice crossed out to read parent and child. Although the apprenticed children were from New York City, many of their masters resided outside of the city.

Subseries 1: Colonial Indentures (1718-1727)

Scope and Contents note

This volume contains indentures of apprentices from colonial New York. It includes indentures for both male and female apprentices with little or no information on the ages of the apprentices. It includes an index to the indentures by the name of the master. The indentures were overseen by the Mayor, an Alderman and /or a Justice of the Peace.

This volume of indentures, originally known as "Liber 29 of Conveyances" is partly transcribed in the Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1909.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: 1 Colonial Indentures
1718-1727
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Photos and Negatives taken of pages from volume of Colonial Indentures
undated
Subseries 2: Indentures, Boys (1792-1902)

Scope and Contents note

The post-revolution indentures include the boys' ages and their term of indenture, which was generally until they became 21 years old. The apprentices' training includes a range of trades such as barber, wigmaker, hatter, carpenter, cordwainer (shoemaker), shipwright, blacksmith, confectioner, farmer, rope making, druggist, etc. Many times male apprentices were sent to do rural work.

The folder of loose indentures dated 1801-1811, do not appear to be the indentures of orphans because the indentures were performed under the consent of the Special Justices for preserving the Peace and not the Commissioners of the Alms-House and Bridewell.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: 2 Boys' Indentures, (includes handwritten index including boy's name, date of indenture, and name and occupation of master)
1792-1794
Volume: 3 Boys' Indentures
1815-1828
Volume: 4 Boys' Indentures
1816-1820
Volume: 5 Boys' Indentures
1823-1826
Volume: 6 Boys' Indentures
1828-1830
Volume: 7 Boys' Indentures
1830-1832
Volume: 8 Boys' Indentures
1832-1834
Volume: 9 Boys' Indentures
1834-1837
Volume: 10 Boys' Indentures
1837-1840
Volume: 11 Boys' Indentures
1840-1842
Volume: 12 Boys' Indentures
1842-1844
Volume: 13 Boys' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1844-1847
Volume: 14 Boys' Indentures
1847-1849
Volume: 15 Boys' Indentures
1850-1853
Volume: 16 Boys' Indentures
1851-1859
Volume: 17 Boys' Indentures
1853-1860
Volume: 18 Boys' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1859-1875
Volume: 19 Boys' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1860-1899
Volume: 20 Boys' Indentures
1900-1902
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Boys' Indentures (Not bound)
1801-1811
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Boys' Indentures (Not bound)
1820-1849
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Boys' Indentures (Not bound)
1850-1891
Subseries 3: Indentures, Girls (1807-1902)

Scope and Contents note

The post-revolution female indentured servants were apprenticed to be servants and perform housekeeping, and sometimes sewing. The girls were apprenticed until they became 18 years old. A loose indenture dated 1807 appears to be the only indenture created in exchange for passage to America.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: 21 Girls' Indentures
1816-1822
Volume: 22 Girls' Indentures
1829-1831
Volume: 23 Girls' Indentures
1831-1834
Volume: 24 Girls' Indentures
1834-1837
Volume: 25 Girls' Indentures
1837-1839
Volume: 26 Girls' Indentures
1840-1841
Volume: 27 Girls' Indentures
1841-1843
Volume: 28 Girls' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1843-1845
Volume: 29 Girls' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1845-1847
Volume: 30 Girls' Indentures
1847-1849
Volume: 31 Girls' Indentures
1849-1854
Volume: 32 Girls' Indentures
1851-1860
Volume: 33 Girls' Indentures
1855-1860
Volume: 34 Girls' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1859-1871
Volume: 35 Girls' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1860-1876
Volume: 36 Girls' Indentures (with index by name of apprentice)
1882-1902
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Girls' Indentures (Not bound)
1807-1849
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Girls' Indentures (Not bound)
1857-1879
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Girls' Indentures (Not bound)
1880-1891

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