The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elizabeth Bussard Oberholtzer Stinglie, Indentured Servant

Elizabeth Bussard married Jacob Oberholtzer in Germany, and embarked for America with their young son. Father and son died en-route, leaving Elizabeth in dire straits.


Johannes Stinglie + Elizabeth Bussard Oberholtzer
George Stingley + Klorie Hagler
John Stingley + Elizabeth Bush
Isaac Constant + Talitha Stingley
John H. Miller + Emma Constant
Herman C. Miller + Elizabeth McCaffrey
John H. Miller + Marie L. Bechtold
Millers 9 plus spouses

Elizabeth Bussard (pronounced Boosard). She was a German, and while yet in Germany, was married to a man by the name of Jacob Overholtzer. She united with the Church of the Brethren in Germany. It is not clear whether her husband united with the Brethren or not; they were persecuted in Germany, and decided to come to America,for religious freedom.

They took passage for America, but on the way both Jacob Overholtzer and their only child died and were buried at sea.

On arriving in America, the ship's captain sold Elizabeth as a bond-woman for three years, to pay for her passage over. The state of Indentured Servitude is a difficult one.

The man to whom she was sold was Col. George Welton, of Virginia. She was purchased by a him for a period of 3 years but because of her faithfulness she was set free after serving for only 1&1/2 years. She was sent into the fields to cultivate corn and tobacco. She was released early, because of her industry.

She came over on the Friendship, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes, Arrived Philadelphia, 16 October 1727. John Davis, Master

She later married Johannes Stinglie who came over 20 Sept 1738 listed on board Friendship Henry Beech, Commander both from Rotterdam but last from Dover in old England.  Landed in Philadelphia. PA and Johannes Stinglie took the oath to Government.

They were married on 21 May 1751 in Warwick, Pennsylvania. Johannes and Elizabeth had 7 children: John, Mary Polly, Jacob, Catherine, Lovisa, George and William Stingley. John resided in Hampshire County, Virginia, at the headwaters of Patterson Creek. He died September 1778 in Hampshire County, Virginia. George is the direct line relative for the Millers.

They were married by Rev. Casper Stoever Warwick, PA Lutheran Church, Philadelphia Co. PA.


An indenture was a legal contract enforced by the courts. One indenture reads as follows:
This INDENTURE Witnesseth that James Best a Laborer doth Voluntarily put himself Servant to Captain Stephen Jones Master of the Snow Sally to serve the said Stephen Jones and his Assigns, for and during the full Space, Time and Term of three Years from the first Day of the said James’ arrival in Philadelphia in AMERICA, during which Time or Term the said Master or his Assigns shall and will find and supply the said James with sufficient Meat, Drink, Apparel, Lodging and all other necessaries befitting such a Servant, and at the end and expiration of said Term, the said James to be made Free, and receive according to the Custom of the Country. Provided nevertheless, and these Presents are on this Condition, that if the said James shall pay the said Stephen Jones or his Assigns 15 Pounds British in twenty one Days after his arrival he shall be Free, and the above Indenture and every Clause therein, absolutely Void and of no Effect. In Witness whereof the said Parties have hereunto interchangeably put their Hands and Seals the 6th Day of July in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Three in the Presence of the Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of London. (signatures)
When the ship arrived, the captain would often advertise in a newspaper that indentured servants were for sale:
Just imported, on board the Snow Sally, Captain Stephen Jones, Master, from England, A number of healthy, stout English and Welsh Servants and Redemptioners, and a few Palatines [Germans], amongst whom are the following tradesmen, viz. Blacksmiths, watch-makers, coppersmiths, taylors, shoemakers, ship-carpenters and caulkers, weavers, cabinet-makers, ship-joiners, nailers, engravers, copperplate printers, plasterers, bricklayers, sawyers and painters. Also schoolmasters, clerks and book-keepers, farmers and labourers, and some lively smart boys, fit for various other employments, whose times are to be disposed of. Enquire of the Captain on board the vessel, off Walnut-street wharff, or of MEASE and CALDWELL.
When a buyer was found, the sale would be recorded at the city court. The Philadelphia Mayor’s Court Indenture Book, page 742, for September 18, 1773 has the following entry:
James Best. Who was under Indenture of Redemption to Captain Stephen Jones now canceled in consideration of £ 15, paid for his Passage from London bound a servant to David Rittenhouse of the City of Philadelphia & assigns three years to befound all necessaries.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I'm working on my significant other's family tree - his branch of the Stingley family stems from John and Elizabeth's son George.

    I'm curious about the indenture certificate that only shows as text on this post - do you have a copy of Elizabeth's certificate? If so, would you be willing to share?

    Thanks so much for your time!