Craven County Apprentice Bonds, 1769-1910

Thanks to the diligent work of the Craven County Public Library, you can access a list of county apprentice bonds on their website that span 1769-1910.  Apprentice bonds were for children who ” …were orphaned, needed employment, or wanted to learn a trade” [1]

The list on the library website is divided into several files, each covering a specific time period. What kind of information might you find in a bond record? In this set, you can find names of free persons of color for the earlier bonds (e.g. prior to 1820).  Perhaps the most useful aspect of the bonds are the names & relationships that may be included, especially among some of the African-American youth included. Seeing the names can help give a better indication of who was living in the community and can be powerful when combined with more traditional information sources.

example apprentice bond

To access the full list, please visit the Craven County Public Library website.  Of interesting note, the Coastal Carolina Indian Center has extracted just the bonds from these files for Free Persons of Color from 1796-1820.

[1] “North Carolina Occupations.” FamilySearch Wiki., 7 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 May 2012. <>.