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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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1866 Freedmen's indenture for Emily Bach, orphan

Emily Bach was around 12 or so years old when she was bound as an indentured orphan to John M. Bach on 14 December 1866 with James Hough, 1st Lieutenant and Assistant Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau for the State of Louisiana acting as her guardian. As I indexed this record, I was happy to see the names of Emily's parents were included on this document (Archer & Sophia). So often parents of indentures are not mentioned, and this information is quite helpful since there is a possibilty Emily's parents died before 1865 leaving little or no other chance of discovering their names on any other record.

I immediately looked to see if I could find Emily on the 1870 Census.  I found her living with the family of John M. Bach and his wife, Pepita. There was also a 7 year old person of color, Osborn, living in the household in the city of Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana:

"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 February 2016), Louisiana > Tangipahoa > Amite > image 6 of 24; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

John M. Bach was born about 1796 in Saxony (Eastern Germany). The rest of his family in the house in 1870 was born in Louisiana. John M Bach died in 1874 and is buried in Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans: John Morris Bach.  

If Emily were my ancestor, I would check to see if there was any mention of her parents in a will that John M. Bach may have had before 1865.  I have seen former owners who have passed away have previous wills naming enslaved people. 

I would also search the Freedmen records to see if Emily appears on any other records after this 1866 indenture which supposedly lasted three years. Other records I would check would look for next include:
  • Mortalilty schedules for Archer and Sophia
  • Wills of extended family of Pepita and John 
  • City directories for New Orleans for people with the surname, Bach
  • Death records for anyone with the parent's Archer and Sophia
  • Census records 1880 and 1900 for Emily and Osborn
  • Death records for Emily and Osborn


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