The following announcement was written by Nathan W. Murphy:
ANNOUNCEMENT: New Online Database of Indentured Servants, Redemptioners, and Transported Convicts
PROJECT TITLE: Immigrant Servants Database
PROJECT URL: www.immigrantservants.com
DESCRIPTION: Nathan W. Murphy, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, and employee of Price & Associates Genealogical Services (project sponsor) is using skills he developed as a professional genealogist to reconstruct a passenger arrival list of indentured servants coming to Colonial America. The project will continue for several years. It follows in the spirit of Peter Wilson Coldham's efforts to publish passenger departure lists from sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland for indentured servants and transported convicts, but focuses on tapping American sources of immigrant servant arrivals to complement the UK data.
Murphy, an Accredited Genealogist who resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, has quick access to Colonial American and European sources through the Family History Library. He has received permission from the major publishers of Colonial Virginia's court orders to extract evidences of imported servants from their books and make them available for free on the Internet. He hopes to complete his search of seventeenth-century court orders by Spring 2007.
NOTE: The approximately 10,000 immigrant servants currently in the database do not derive from the same sources as those in the Virtual Jamestown project. The numbers of immigrants in this new database will continue to grow in the future.
- Three search engines: SIMPLE SEARCH (queries all text in database), ADVANCED SEARCH (search by any of more than 50 fields in database), and LETTER SEARCH (browse through lists of servants arranged by the first letter of their surname). The search engines are equipped with SOUNDEX, which retrieves servants with surnames that sound alike, i.e. Murphy, Morphew, Murfee, Murfew, Murfey, Murphew, and Murphey all come back as possible matches with the surname "Murphy."
- LEARNING CENTER, includes a copy of Murphy's ARTICLE "Origins of Colonial Chesapeake Indentured Servants: American and English Sources," published in the March 2005 edition of National Genealogical Society Quarterly, which provides tips for tracing the immigrant origins of English indentured servants; GLOSSARY of terms associated with the practice of indentured servitude; extensive list of LAWS from Colonial Virginia pertaining to indentured servants; lengthy BIBLIOGRAPHY identifying sources Murphy has used and hopes to use to build this database (includes references to 12 personal accounts of immigrant servants); and a list of LINKS that will interest researchers of immigrant servants.
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Nathan W. Murphy