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signed them into domestic service, putting together to work for ten years in the home of a successful Bath
merchant George Birkinhead.
By 1716, the time of the Lord Proprietor’s decree creating Port Bath, the two Ingoe sisters would have been 13 and
18 years old. Rachel would still have had three more remaining years left to complete her servant indentureship
obligation. However, by then her older sister Mary would have been released with a final payment to start her new
adult life the year before. During Mary’s last year of service she would have dreamed of getting married and
worked hard to find a suitable husband. House servants were given no wages while in service only food, clothing,
and shelter. This was a common practice at the time and a way for girls with no education, who couldn’t read and
write, to aspire to a better way of life. Women were expected to learn how to run a house and manage a farm but
they were not allowed to work in trade or run taverns and inns. However it was common practice and acceptable
for a widow to run their husband’s business after his death. For example widow Hardy ran a ferry and tavern in
Bath for many years as did the widow Bond..
April 7, 1709 - Marhue INGOE agrees with George BIRKINHEAD that her
daughter Rachel INGOE, serve George BIRKINHEAD until age 16, she being
6 years old next May. George BIRKINHEAD to "allow sufficient meat, drink
and apparel and other things necessary to a servant and to pay her at the
expiration of her time what the law allows."
Witness: Samuel NORTON, Charles MAGER
Acknowledged Bath Town, 7th of April 1709.
April 6, 1709 - Marhue INGOE agrees with George BIRKINHEAD that her
daughter Mary INGOE, serve George BIRKINHEAD until age 16, she being
eleven next July 20. (Terms same as above.) Witness: Levi TRUEWHIT
Source http://ncpedia.org/indentured-servants
An 18th c. example of a sailing ship from
London full of indentured servants of many
skilled trades seeking employment.
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