Children who were orphans were often apprenticed or "bound out" to someone in the community to learn a trade. Males were usually bound out until they were 21 years old and females until they were age 18. In addition to teaching the child a trade, the master was to provide the apprentice with food, clothing, lodging, medical attention and was to see that the apprentice was taught to read, write and learn arithmetic to and including the "Rule of Three." At the end of his service, the apprentice often was given a new suit of clothing and sometimes received a sum of money in lieu of receiving an education. On his part, the apprentice was to keep his master's secrets and obey his commands, must not waste his master's goods or lend them without consent or visit taverns or tippling houses and could not contract marriage. The following information for 1849 has been abstracted from Livingston County Court Order Book K and Indentures of Apprenticeship Book 1834-1877 in the county clerk's office, Smithland, Kentucky. The letter and number at the end of each entry refers to page in Order Book K. For example, K:69 refers to Order Book K, page 69.
Henry Hill, infant orphan, has no estate and is hereby bound to B.J. Ross to learn the trade of a farmer until he is age 21, being 11 years old now. 5 Mar 1849 [K:69]
William Sparks, infant orphan who has no estate, is bound to Alexander Dixon to learn the trade of a farmer until he is age 21, being age 15 in November last. 2 Apr 1849 [K:74] On motion of Lucinda Sparks and William Tillery with consent of Alexander Dickson & for reasons given to the court, Alexander Dickson is released from Articles of Indenture apprenticing William Sparks to him. 3 December 1849 [K:115]
Daniel Patterson, infant orphan of this county has no estate, and Francis Vincent signified his willingness to take Daniel as an apprentice to the business & occupation of a carpenter. Daniel apprenticed to Vincent until he arrives at age of 21 years, he being 4 years of age on the [blank] day of October next. 2 Apr 1849 [K:77]
Samuel R. Dalton is bound to Denby Mezell until he is age 21 to learn the grade of a farmer. When he is 21 years old, which will be 24 November 1855, he being 14 on the 24th day of November 1848, Samuel is to receive a decent suit of new clothes, $20 in money and a good horse, saddle & bridle worth $60 and cause him to be learned [sic] to read and write and learn arithmetic to the Rule of Three. 4 June 1849 [K:82]
James Dickson, infant orphan of Elizabeth Dickson, has no estate and is bound to Thomas K. Dickson to learn the trade of a farmer until James is age 21, he being 11 years old the 12th of February 1849. 9 August 1849 [K:92]
James Henry Williams, infant who was bound at the March term 1849 to Walter Burns, who has departed this life. James, an infant 8 years old on 2 May last, child and heir of [blank] Williams and his wife Sarah, the father having departed this life at the Cumberland Hospital, is at this time destitute of a home or friend to take care of him. Ordered that the Clerk of Court bind James Henry to J.A. Brown to learn the trade of a carpenter and house joiner until he is age 21. 1 Oct 1849 [K:109]