John BEAN's Indenture Contract:
Dated: 20 Feb 1804
Monroe County, VA
This Indenture made this 20th of February one thousand eight hundred and four Between James Christy Robert Johnson Henry McDaniel and Owen Neel of the one part over seers of the poor for Monroe County and John Neel of the other part witnesseth that the S'd overseers doth bind an orphan boy named John Bean aged thirteen years and six months to the S'd John Neel county aforesaid and State of Virginia to serve the S'd John Neel Until he arrives at the age of twenty-one years Dureing all which time the S'd John Bean Shall faithrully Serve his Master and all his lawful Commands obey he shall not Suffer any damage to be done to his S'd Masters goods without giving him notice thereof He shall not frequent Still houses or taverns he Shall not play at Cards Dice or any unlawful game or at any time abscond himself from his Masters business without his Masters leave he Shall not commit fornication nor contract matrimony during Said term; But as a true and faithful Servant Shall agree to have the S'd John Bean taught the art trade or mystery of a weaver and provide for him a sufficiency of everything that is requiset for an apprentice During the term of his apprenticeship likewise he is to have him taught to read the Holy Scriptures plainly to write a plain hand and arithmetic through the rule of three which Education he is to thoroughly acquainted with at the expieration of his time and also to give Such freedom dues as the law directs taking care to have Said apprentice Instructed in the principles and Duties of the Christian religion as far as Said Master is Capable In witnef whereof the partys have Interchangeable Set their hands and Seals the day and year above writen.
Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presents of
Sme JCabell John Neel (Seal)
John Neel Owen Neel (Seal)
[The above document transcription is verbatim. - cbh]
John Bean is believed to be the son of William McBean and his wife, Sarah Bane. The couple moved into what is now Stony Creek [Giles Co., VA] and procured status in present day Monroe Co., WV. Either late in 1803 or in very early 1804, it is believed that William died, leaving Sarah widowed and with at least two sons, John and William, and perhaps a third, Roy.
In February of 1804, John was indentured. The following September, William was indentured, and family lore tells of a younger brother, Roy, who was indentured with William, although no record has been found to substantiate that claim.
John eventually settled in present day Greenbrier County, and is believed to have never married, dying there in 1872 single, with only a "friend" to pronounce his death. William went on to marry and have a large family, whose descendants are spread throughout the US and abroad today.