Peggy Laurizen will present a program, “Apprentices, Indentured Servants, and Redemptioners in America” on Monday, May 22, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. at the Wayne County Public Library, Wooster. She is a well-known presenter. We are delighted to have her share her expertise on this topic.

From Britannica, an apprenticeship is the “training in art, trade, or craft under a legal agreement that defines the duration and conditions of the relationship between master and apprentice.” This type of program has been around for centuries.

In Wayne County, Ohio, volume 5 of the land deeds include many apprentices. These records have been indexed and are available through the library’s Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center ( Browsing through the index, on July 14, 1825, Joseph Runyan entered into a contract with William Jewel, father of James Jewel. They were residents in Clinton Township, Wayne County. James was 8 months old at the time of the apprenticeship. His trade — to learn how to become a tailor under the mastery of Joseph Runyan of Plain Township. The apprenticeship was for 20 years. On February 15, 1828, at the young age of 18 months, Sophia Bartlett was entered into a contract with John Moyer to learn the trade of housewifery. The parents of this child is not known since the apprenticeship was legally signed by the JP of Wooster Township – probably the legal guardian of said child. Her apprenticeship was to last 17 years.

Some of the apprentices entered into the legal contract when they were much older. In the case of Andrew Casbeer of Tuscarawas County, OH, he was the 18-year-old orphaned son of John Casbear. He migrated to Wayne County, Ohio to learn the trade of blacksmithing from Samuel Casbear. His contract was for 2 years. James Kelley was apprenticed at 18 years old for 3 years to learn the trade of saddle & harness making from William F. Smur of Wooster, OH. John Clark, age 18 years, entered into an agreement with Henry Hackett for 3 years to learn the trade of machine maker and painter. Charles E. Hill of Newington, Rockingham County, NH came to Wooster to learn the trade of tailoring from John Croll of Wooster, OH.

By spending some time in apprenticeship records, you may be able to help make family connections and learn a little more social history about your ancestors.

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