Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Indenture - Peter Hastings - 1856

Over the years I've attempted to follow the family of Michael Hastings and Sarah Stewart from their beginnings in Ireland to their final resting place in Missouri. The exact location in County Mayo, Ireland hasn't been fully fleshed out yet, nor the full number and names of the children, but I've been fortunate to find a good family grouping in the 1851 census in Liverpool, England. Although I haven't been able to determine when the patriarch came over, Michael Hastings, I have traced several of the family to 1855 arrivals in the port of New Orleans, one being my ancestor, Sarah Hastings. She traveled with her mother, and sister Margaret and one brother James (at age 18, and shown with an occupation of tailor).

They left behind at least one of the sons, Edward in Liverpool. Following the other boys, Thomas, James and Peter has been a bit tougher.
Well maybe not Thomas, as he fought in the Civil War along side an Uncle and two cousins. He survived the war only to die after his wedding when his horse threw him and he was dragged.

The weekly Caucasian., November 09, 1867, Image 3
HURT - We understand that Mr. Thomas Hastings was thrown from a Texas pony, a day or two since, in this city, and that after he was down the animal set upon him with its fore feet, but which he was severely injured. he is of Adamson's posse.
a column over:
DEAD - Tom Hastings, alluded to in another place as injured by a horse, died on Wednesday last.
James disappears after his arrival at age 18 in NOLA. Peter was not found in an arrival, nor census, but did have a reference in the court proceedings of Lafayette County, Missouri for an indenture in 1856. Up to this week, I wasn't sure if this was referring to our family, or had his name mixed up for his brother, Thomas, but now I know it was him as I now have a copy of the indenture. Makes for fun reading!
Basically Peter Hastings, at age 15, is indentured to Mssrs. Smallwood and Julian to apprentice for a period of 5 years to learn the printing trade. Michael Hastings, his father agrees to this, and Peter is to carry out his duties until he is 20 years old at which time he will have a skill, and $50 for heading out in the world. Smallwood and Julian, in turn, are obligated to provide shelter, clothing and food, as well as schooling. This is an exciting find, but short lived as I have found no other records showing that Peter finished his indenture, which I believe is normally recorded with the courts. In this case there are no further Lafayette County records. In addition I have been unable to find Peter in the 1860 census, nor any census after that. He might have flew the coop and changed his name for all I know (Benjamin Franklin even bailed on his brother in Boston while indentured to him to learn the printing trade. I think I recall there was even a warrant out on Benjamin for running off to Philadelphia!)
I do find that Jacob Julian did stick around as I find him in the 1860 and 1870 census in Lexington as a printer, and one volume of the paper that is online, the Weekly Caucasian of April 25, 1866, clearly shows him as one of the paper's principals. This, and many more newspapers are available from the Library of Congress, as Chronicling America, a website not to be missed. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85033995/1866-04-25/ed-1/seq-1)

There might be more indentures recorded in the court proceedings of the time that might bear interesting tidbits of your own Irish immigrants, just need to search and find out!