Children who had no one to provide for their care were often apprenticed, or "bound out," to someone in the community to learn a trade. Also, parents could appear in county court and request that their child or children be apprenticed. Usually males were apprenticed until they were 21 years of age and females until they were age 18. An apprentice could be removed from his master’s care if it was determined that the master was not providing sufficient care or was mistreating the child. In these cases, the child was usually apprenticed to a different master. The following records were abstracted from County Court Order Book C, Livingston County Clerk’s Office, Smithland, Kentucky.
2 Feb 1807: William Thompson, an orphan that is 16 years old the 8th day of next August, agreed to be bound until he is 21 years old to Jonathan Ramsey, who agrees to furnish William, at the expiration of his apprenticeship, with three new suits of Cloaths, an $80 horse, a new saddle and bridel, $40 in money and six months Schooling and to learn him the farming business.
2 Feb 1807: Jno. Gehen, an orphant 16 years old the 3rd day of last June and by his own consent, bound to Micajah Phelps to learn the hatters trade.
3 Feb 1807: Littlebury Gay, with his own consent, bound to James H. Stevenson to learn the farming business until he is 21 year old; supposed to be 15 years old the 10th day of last December.
22 Jun 1807: James Johnson and Matthew Johnson bound to Micajah Phelps to learn the hatters trade, James being 13 years old the 15th Jan last & Matthew being 9 years the 3rd Mar last.
27 Oct 1807: James Moss, orphan boy who has insufficient estate for his maintenance, is bound to Edward Head to learn the tanners trade until he is 21 years old.
4 Apr 1808: Joseph Dunnam by his own and mothers consent ordered to be bound to Geo. Lumpkin blacksmith five years from this time.
4 Apr 1808: James Salisbury, a poor orphan, bound to John Craig hatter 13 years from this time.
3 Oct 1808: Summons issued against John Ware and that he bring John Young, apprentice boy, to the next court to shew cause why sd. boy shall not be taken from him for improper treatment.