Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     The 14th Annual National STIDHAM Family Reunion will take place on 21-23 June 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. Hosted by the Timen Stiddem Society, the reunion welcomes descendants of the Swedish immigrant, Timen Stiddem, who settled in New Sweden (now Wilmington), Delaware, in the seventeenth century. Alternate spellings of the STIDHAM surname include STEADHAM, STEDHAM, STIDAM, STIDDEM, and STEDDOM. For additional details pertaining to activities, reservations, and costs, go to the society’s website at

     Already known for compiling multiple volumes of newspaper extracts that identify colonial-era runaways in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Joseph Lee Boyle continues to focus his attention on white escapees in the Garden State. Like the first book in the set, “SMOOTH TONGUED AND DECEITFUL”: WHITE NEW JERSEY RUNAWAYS, 1767-1783 supplies data about eighteenth-century male and female colonists in the servitude category. Although the majority of them were indentured servants, the author includes a number of individuals who were apprentices, skilled workers, wives who abandoned their husbands, or criminals.

     In Boyle’s interesting and informative introduction, he points out that runaways, both men and women, sometimes utilized a variety of names. Multiple names might be used by individuals to make it more difficult to track them. Sometimes, however, the changes were simply due to a matter of spelling or pronunciation errors.

     Most colonial American newspapers regularly printed advertisements that offered rewards for the apprehension of runaways and/or notices about their capture. From forty-one New England and Mid-Atlantic newspapers, Boyle gleaned for this volume all legible references pertaining to white fugitives who lived in New Jersey or had contacts there during the years 1767-1783. If names of blacks, whites, and mixed race were listed in the same ad, however, Boyle included all of them in his publication.

     In general, the notices provide the names of the runaways, the person or persons offering the reward for their return, captured fugitives, and who had them in custody; a location; and the name and date of the newspaper reference. Additional information may vary from a few sentences to a long paragraph. Details may include the individual’s age, occupation, country of origin or nationality, a description of the clothes worn at the time of the escape, and a summary of his or her physical and personality traits, some of which were described rather “colorfully.”

     Because eighteenth-century newspaper notices and advertisements concerning fugitives often provide details not found in other resources, the information may furnish valuable clues for new avenues of investigation. “SMOOTH TONGUED AND DECEITFUL”: WHITE NEW JERSEY RUNAWAYS, 1767-1783 is an important research tool for genealogists seeking colonial ancestors in what became the Garden State,

     The 449-page book has soft covers, a lengthy introduction, a list of the newspapers consulted by the author, and a full-name index. To the book's price of $47.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #8148) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website at

Kinsearching Home Page