At what age could one be a freeman?

+5 votes
Was there an age requirement to become freeman in colonial America?
in Genealogy Help by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (237k points)

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Hi, Barry. As I understand it, if it was an apprenticeship order by a county court, it was usually around age 21, though I have seen a few records that it was 18. On the other hand, if it was indentured servitude, it was usually for a term of service, say seven years, regardless of the starting age. Many indentured servants did not fulfill their obligation and moved on.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
selected by Rubén Hernández

Much appreciated, Rubén!! yes

+6 votes

Freeman in Colonial America had nothing to do with serving out your indenture. It had to do with being given the right to vote in town affairs, you were also generally obligated to attend the court meetings. A prerequisite in most places was membership in the established church. The age was at least 21, but oftentimes did not happen until some later time.

Some places also had Oaths of Fidelity to the current government. This could be signed by persons of 18.

The Massachusetts Freeman's Oath

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

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