|Sarah, the Balls’ toddler, was too young for an apprenticeship. So they set her up with a four-year foster home at her father’s expense. If Richard Gale’s family was kin to the Balls or the Pierces, I haven’t yet seen the evidence.|
The price of this child-care arrangement was six pounds cash down, from Ball to Gale, and another six-pound payment in two years, secured by something like a mortgage of the Ball homestead in Watertown.
It’s not clear why the Gale situation didn’t last the whole four years, but they had to start over, just two Septembers later…This time, they managed another family placement, as Uncle Joseph and Aunt Esther (Ball) Morse took charge of young (3 years) Sarah.
|They figured her expenses at the rate of 18 pence per week, or a tad more than four pounds a year. This time, the Morses were to get their money from the Selectmen, but Sarah was only half a welfare case: John Ball owed the Town “fower pounds” to cover her first year.|
|After that, presumably until she died or reached the working age of five* and could be farmed out as a self-sustaining apprentice, the Selectmen would “satisfie the rest.”|
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Updated Feb 2014
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