Colonial Indentured Servants Project

The Ships & Their Cargo

The number of ships carrying indentured servants to America is still uncertain. Research continues today, shedding light on these sailing vessels and their history. Speaking directly on the business side, the shipowners sought fortune and wealth from their investments. Cargo consisting of goods and supplies for the colonists accompanied by safe travels across the Atlantic; resulted in mass profits for many of them. Shipwrecks were common, and many ended up losing all of their investment. It appears, in most cases, several small business groups owned the ships versus one owner per ship. Usually, 4 to 5 men shared the responsibilities and the profits. The indentured servants listed on these ships were part of the cargo, and the owners sought travel expenses from each one. The amount varied from ship to ship. Various other prospectives challenged the going price, such as the captain or commander in charge, and even the servant, a child versus an adult, a female versus a male. The pricing aspect will have to wait for a future article. Today we want to share more about the ships. Researching their history can be challenging but rewarding when the documents emerge after three hundred years of dust and secrecy. Below are ship names and owners from our research in the Maryland and Virginia area.

Name of ShipShip Owners
Expedition of DublinJohn Woodside, William Foard, Robert Foard(a brother to William?), George Allison
Gerard of LondonEdward Lemon-(did her have a partner?)
Adventure of BiddefordThomas Fowks, John Akin, Thomas Parrott, John Yeo
Annapolis of BiddifordJohn Rock, George Buck, (was John Yeo an owner also?)
Corsellis of ColchesterNicholas Corsellis, John Tyler, John Potts, Samuel Feathers, Joseph ?, William Clark
Charles of White HavenRobert Braddock(?), Henry Walker, Anthony Williamson, Daniel Bryant(?)
Amity of BiddifordGeorge Buck, John Rock, (again was John Yeo a partner?)

We encourage you to research more about these ships and their owners. Some of the information provided may be incomplete as our research continues. Each of the sailing vessels listed above arrived in Maryland and Virginia between the years 1699 to 1701. The indentured servants traveling these ships departed from London, Biddiford, White Haven, and near Liverpool. We welcome any information you may have. We will share more of the ship history research with you soon.


  • A Guide to Manuscripts Relating to American History in British Depositories produced by the Library of Congress in 1946
  • Colonial Office 5, Public Record Office, Volume 749 Shipping Maryland 1689-1702
  • Documents Re Port of Biddeford. Public Record Office, Barnstaple, England
  • Lord Mayor’s Court of London Depositions Relating to Americans 1641-1736 by the National Genealogical Society in Washington D.C. 1980.
  • National Archives of London, Miscellaneous Records

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