Apprentice Bonds for Free People of Color in Craven County, North Carolina (1769-1820)

In researching Indian ancestry, it’s important to note that for a variety of reasons in history (usually economic or socio-political), Indian people were often recorded as any race other than Indian. Sometimes “White,” other times “Black,” or “Negro,” and other times “Free Person of Color,” “Colored,” or “Mulatto.”

The entries below have been taken from transcriptions of the complete set of Craven County Apprentice Bonds found on the Craven County Public Library website. The original apprentice bonds were transcribed by Victor T. Jones.

At the present time, we’ve only extracted records through 1830. This is because between 1820 and 1830 there appears to be a change in the way the records were recorded. Many surnames that had consistently previously been mentioned as “Free Person of Color” were no longer being identified as any race.

Records, No Date-1769

No date—Grand Jury notice that the following boys be bound out: James Williams living on Otter Creek, south side of Neuse River; George Hodge son of Marthey Hodge free person of color living on the Head of Bay River. Jos. Carter, Foreman.

Records from 1791-1799

14 June 1797—Ann Maria, free person of color aged 3 years in September next, bound to Euphamia Tinker, Widow, as a spinster.

16 June 1797—Lucy, a free person of color aged 7 years, bound to Patsy Gaynor [Gainer], widow of New Bern, as a spinster.

17 June 1797—Samuel McKinnin, a “certain lad of colour” aged 4 years the 25th of December last, bound to Isaac Markel, mariner of New Bern, as a mariner.

Records from 1800-1804

9 June 1800—Jean Louis Baptiste Harman, a free mulatto orphan aged 14 years, bound to Thomas Marshall as a Merchant.

8 June 1801—Polly Hagle, a free mulatto girl aged 13 years in March last, bound to Elizabeth Bartlett, of New Bern, as a spinster.

17 September 1801—Rhoda Dove, a free person of color aged 13 years, bound to William Dudley as a spinster.

14 December 1801—Ricor Carter, a free person of color aged 7 years, bound to Abel Carter as a cooper.

14 December 1801—John Carter, a free person of color aged 7 years, bound to Isaac Perkins as a cooper.

14 December 1801—Nancy Carter, a free person of color aged 8 years, bound to Benjamin Mitchell as a spinster.

14 December 1801—Leonard Carter, a free person of color aged 7 years, bound to Isaac Perkins as a cooper.

14 December 1801—William Carter, a free person of color aged 15 years, bound to Isaac Perkins as a cooper.

14 December 1801—Mary Carter, a free person of color aged 9 years, bound to Abel Carter as a spinster.

14 December 1801—William Godett, a free person of color aged 12 years, bound to Isaac Perkins, as a cooper.

14 December 1801—Stephen Dove, free person of color aged 12 years, bound to Frederick Jones as a cooper.

15 December 1801—Ezekiel Chance, “a certain person of colour” aged 4 years, bound to John Jones, Esq., of New Bern, as a cooper.

15 December 1801—Proseply Chance, “a certain person of colour” [female] aged 6 years, bound to John Jones, Esq., of New Bern, as a spinster.

15 December 1801—Betsy Chance, “a certain person of colour” aged 2 years, bound to John Jones, Esq., of New Bern, as a spinster.

15 December 1801—Hannah Carter, a free person of color aged 10 years, bound to Abel Moore as a spinster.

15 December 1801—Nelly Lindsay, a free person of color aged 2 years, bound to Thomas Lovick as a spinster.

16 December 1801—John Dove, a free person of color aged 12 years, bound to William Jones as a cooper.

18 December 1801—James Lewis, a free person of color aged 11 years, bound to Henry Butler, mariner of New Bern, as a mariner.

14 June 1802—Isaiah Godett, a free person of color aged 1 year the 19 October next, bound to George Godett as a shoemaker.

18 June 1802—John Carter, a free person of color aged 6 years, bound to Frederick Jones as a cooper.

11 June 1804—James Lewis, a free person of color aged 2 years, bound to Gideon Sparrow as a ship carpenter.

11 June 1804—Sall Lewis, a free person of color [girl] aged 5 years, bound to Gideon Sparrow as a spinster.

12 June 1804—Peg Duncan, a free person of colour aged 6 years, bound to Noah Champion of the town of New Bern as a spinster.

14 June 1804—Jim Dove, a free person of colour [no age listed], bound to John C. Stanly as a barber.

14 June 1804—Jim Dove, a free person of colour [no age listed], bound to John C. Stanly as a barber. Endorsement on the back of the bond indicated “James Dove” born Feby. 2nd, 1794 and is 10 years and 4 months and has 10 years and 8 months to serve.

14 June 1804—Elijah Dove, a free person of colour, bound to John C. Stanly as a house carpenter.

15 June 1804—Israel Harris, free person of color aged 12 years, bound to James Carney, Esq., as a cooper.

15 June 1804—Rachel Harris, a free person of color aged 14 years, bound to James Carney, Esq., of New Bern, as a spinster.

10 September 1804—Elisha Gregory, a free person of color aged 20 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a house carpenter.

10 September 1804—Macksey Gregory, a free person of color aged 18 years 6 months, bound to John C. Stanly as a house carpenter.

10 September 1804—James Willouby, a free person of colour aged 15 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a house carpenter.

11 September 1804—Lizzy Driggers, aged about 15 years, and Ana Driggers, aged about 18 years, two free base born orphans of color, bound to Thomas Mahon until 21 years as spinsters.

14 September 1804—Peter Braddork, a free person of color aged 17 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a house carpenter.

15 December 1804—Rachel Donaldson, a free person of colour, bound to Edward Pasteur as a spinster.

Records from 1805-1809

16 [March 1805]—Joshua Dove, a free person of colour aged 6 years the 28 May next, bound to Thomas Austin as a cooper.

10 September 1805—William Parrish, a free person of colour aged 5 years in April last, bound to Shadrach Davis as a cooper.

13 December 1805—Jeremiah Godett, a free person of colour aged one year in March last, bound to George Godett as a cooper.

11 September 1806—William Lewis, free boy of color aged 13 years, bound to Richard Harden as a Taylor.

9 June 1807—Israel Harris, a free person of color aged 15 years, bound to Jane Carney as a cooper.

10 [June] 1807—Loftin Chance, a free boy of color aged 9 years, bound to Thomas Roe as a cooper.

10 June 1807—John Dove, a free black boy aged 14 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a brick maker.

13 September 1808—Ann Cooper, a free girl of color, bound to John C. Stanly as a spinster.

12 December 1808—Gatsy Davis, a free baseborn girl of color aged 9 years, bound to John M. Oliver as a spinster.

15 March 1809—Caleb Copes, a free boy of color, bound to James Dukes as a ship carpenter.

15 March 1809—Jacob Copes, a free boy of color, bound to James Dukes as a ship carpenter.

15 March 1809—James Dove, a free person of color aged 15 years and 6 months, bound to Joseph Sparrow as a boat builder.

12 September 1809—Jessy Powers, a free boy of color aged 9 years in March 1810, bound to William Mitchell as a farmer.

13 September 1809—Jacob Carter, a free boy of color aged 15 years in December 1809, bound to Joseph Physioc as a cooper.

Records from 1810-1815

13 June 1810—Joseph Long a free boy of color aged 16 years the 30th June 1810, bound to Andrew Worron as a Taylor and habit maker.

10 September 1810—Jacob Lewis, a free boy of color aged 8 years, bound to Joseph Robeson as a pilot and mariner.

10 September 1810—Smith Lewis, a free boy of color aged 10 years, bound to Joseph Nelson as a pilot and mariner.

14 September 1810—William Manning, a boy of color aged 16 years June 30th 1810, Bound to Andrew Worron as a Taylor and habit maker.

10 December 1810—Jesse Gaudet, a free boy of color aged 3 years, bound to William Physioc as a cooper.

12 December 1810—London Howard, a free boy of color aged 13 years, bound to Horatio Dade as a cooper.

12 December 1810—John Gaudett, a free boy of color aged 10 years, bound to Horatio Dade as a cooper.

11 March 1811—James Culley, a boy of color aged 8 years, bound to William Dove as a cooper.

11 March 1811—William Culley, a boy of color aged 5 years, bound to William Dove as a cooper.

11 March 1811—Peggy Ives, a girl of color aged 12 years, bound to Michael Guillet as a trunk maker.

12 March 1811—John Herman, a free boy of color aged 7 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a shoemaker.

12 March 1811—Jacob Herman, a boy of color aged 10 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a shoemaker.

10 June 1811—Simon Clark, a free boy of color aged 13 years, bound to Shadrack Gatlin as a cooper.

11 June 1811—[no name], a free boy of color aged 8 years, bound to Gideon Jones as a cooper.

11 June 1811—Rachel Mosely, a free girl of color aged 11 years, bound to William Gooding as a spinster.

11 June 1811—Charles Mosely, a free boy of color aged 15 years, bound to William Gooding as a blacksmith.

11 June 1811—Daniel Mosely, a free boy of color aged 8 years, bound to John Gooding as a cooper.

11 June 1811—Mary Mosely, a free girl of color aged 13 years, bound to Ephraim Standland as a spinster.

9 September 1811—Charles Mosely, a free boy of color aged 16 years, bound to Donum Montford as a plasterer.

9 September 1811—Betsey Mosely, a free girl of color aged 6 years, bound to Lydia Mosely as a spinster.

9 September 1811—Mary Ann Mosely, a free girl of color aged 16 years, bound to Lydia Mosely as a spinster.

9 September 1811—Daniel Mosely, a free boy of color aged 10 years, bound to John Dewey as a carpenter and joiner.

13 December 1811—Nathan, a free boy of color aged 14 years the 16th day of May next, bound to William Green as a carpenter. [Endorsed on the back "Nathan Chapman a boy of color, indn. To Will: B. Green."]

10 September 1812—Cassa Davis, a free girl of color aged 6 years, bound to Elizabeth Cannon as a spinster.

15 December 1812—Henry, a free boy of color aged 2 years, bound to Thomas Fulshire as a shipbuilder.

15 December 1812—Washington, a free boy of color aged 4 years, bound to Thomas Fulshire as a shipbuilder.

14 June 1813—Elijah Dove, a boy of color aged 5 years next March 13, bound to John Johnson as a cooper.

14 June 1813—James Dove, a boy of color aged 8 years next May, bound to John Johnson as a cooper.

12 September 1814—Dicey Moore, a girl of color aged 12 years, bound to Katy Free as a spinster.

13 March 1815—Robert Ellis, a free boy of color aged 11 years, bound to Jacob Moore as a cooper.

13 March 1815—Bill Carter, a boy of color aged 16 years, bound to John Marchmont as a blacksmith.

13 June 1815—Bill Johnson, a boy of color aged 13 years, bound to Samuel Whitney as a blacksmith.

15 September 1815—Henry Hasele [Hasle], a free boy of color aged 8 years, bound to James York Green as a carpenter.

15 September 1815—Robert Hazell, a free boy of color aged 10 years, bound to James York Green as a carpenter.

15 September 1815—Bill Dove, a free boy of color aged 13 years, bound to James Y. Green as a carpenter.

12 December 1815—Matilda, a girl of color aged 15 years, bound to John J. McLin as a spinster.

Records From 1816-1830

12 September 1816—Mary, a free girl of color aged 6 years, bound to Lydia Badger as a “sempstress.”

[1 December 1816]—”Green Copes was born December the first ith one thousand eight hundred and sixteenth in the year of our Lord, Amen, 1816th. Nancy Copes, her son, free woman.” [Filmed with the 1816 indentures.]

[N.D. but filed in the 1817 folder]—Levi Bush an orphan aged about 8 or 9 years old, Nancy Bush [an orphan aged about] 9 or 10 [years old] orphans of Levi Bush. James Moor a free person of color aged 13 years orphan of [stricken in the original] a child of Polly Moor.

13 March 1817—William Dove Hazzle, an orphan and free boy of color aged 13 years, bound to Asa Jones as a cooper.

11 December 1817—Richard Wright, a colored an orphan aged 15 years, bound to Joseph Fitch as a boot and shoemaker.

11 December 1817—Elijah Cowper, a boy of color and an orphan aged 18 years, bound to John C. Stanly as a carpenter.

March Term 1818—List of free born coloured persons—males: Minor Howard, 14 years; Edward Howard, 10 years; Arnett Dove, 12 years; David Spellman, 14 years; Church Spellman, 10 years; James Cully, 15 years; Willm. Cully, 13 years; Rossa [?] Chance, 10 years; Isaac Carter, 10 years; Willm. Hollis, 9 years; Jacob Lewis, 15 years; George Lewis, 7
years; Isaac Lewis, 7 years; Martin Carter, 16 years. Females: Esther Richards, 15 years; Bethea Richds., 12 years; Susan Lewis, 12 years; Eliza Lewis, 10 years. [Filed in the no dates folder.]

11 June 1818—Washington, a boy of color aged 12 years, bound to Thomas H. Daves as a tanner and currier.

15 December 1818—Nancy Reed, a girl of color aged 3 years, bound to Elizabeth Howell as a spinster.

14 December 1819—Kelsey, a boy of color aged 14 years, bound to William Powers as a shoemaker.

June 1820—”From the representation of Mr. Adam Gaskins the grand jury are of an opinion that two persons of colour, one by the name of Morning Moor aged 12 years, & the other by the name of Nancy Moor aged 8 or 9 years should be bound out. The said Morning & Nancy Moor live in the neighbourhood of Big Swift Creek near Bear Branch. Jno. Oliver, form.”

14 June 1821—Lewis Dove, a boy of color aged 11 years, bound to Abraham Allen as a plaisterer and mason.

9 November 1824—Betty Harris, a girl of color aged 16 years 30 March 1824, bound to William Mitchell as a spinster.

6 August 1825—”Mime Michel being a free cullard person having a son by the name of William going in ten years old desire that the cort wold pleese to bind him to James Mackelroy. Mime her mark M Michel. Attest Richard x Curtis.”

15 August 1826—Sally Ann Wicks, an orphan free girl of color aged 14 years, bound to Susan Mastin as a spinster.

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