Book compiles 18th century runaway advertisements

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

Every now and then, a new book arrives that reminds us that great information can be found in unexpected sources. “New-England Runaways, 1778-1783,″ by Joseph Lee Boyle, is one of those sources.

This is the latest in a series by this author on the same subject. He has compiled notices from the newspapers of the region into this book that shows how many people were running away from a situation, such as apprentices fleeing employers. Some are listed as servants. Some are wives running away from husbands. Most of these fully transcribed advertisements give a vivid description of the runaway, since they didn’t have photographs to post. Rewards are offered in many cases. The ads would run for several weeks.

While this may not be your area of the country (he also has done New York and New Jersey runaways), it’s interesting reading nonetheless. The physical descriptions alone are very detailed and show how they sized up people then. Similar ads would run in other newspapers in other parts of the country. In the South, the people would place ads for runaway slaves, and for wives that had “left their bed and board.” It must have taken Boyle a long time to collect the articles and create a full-name index. This soft-cover book is available for $45 from the Clearfield Company of the Genealogical Publishing Company. Go to or call 800-296-6687.

Genealogy forms to use

Many sites offer, at no charge, genealogy forms — such as family history charts or worksheets that serve as a guide for documenting biographical information about an individual. But some of the best and easiest to use are from the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri. Go to, then to the Midwest Genealogy Center, click the resources tab and then family-history-forms. While at the site, check out the other great things they offer.

Georgia place names

One of the best books on Georgia place names is by Kenneth K. Krakow of Macon. His family digitized his book, and it’s free online. Search for Krakow Georgia Place Names.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga. 30031 or