Book Reviews: 6 Books by Joseph Lee Boyle

The following was written by Bobbi King,’s Book Review Editor:

Delaware Runaways, 1720-1783, “Very impudent when drunk or sober”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1763-1768, “much given to Liquor, and chewing Tobacco”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1769-1772, “much addicted to strong drink and swearing”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1773-1775, “much given to strong liquor, and low company”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1776-1783, “she snuffs, drinks and smokes”

By Joseph Lee Boyle. Published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.

Thousands of white Europeans did not come to the American colonies as free men and women. They were transported from Britain as indentured servants, political exiles, or convicts. In every colony, enslaved white persons preceded the engagement of black slaves long before the blacks arrived. Some were abducted to the colonies, some were runaways from impoverished homes selling themselves as servants, and some were exiles and vagabonds. White bound labor remained significant until the American Revolution.

Mr. Boyle has compiled five books of entries, transcriptions extracted from numerous newspapers published during the periods. One example:

June 1, 1763. Run away Yesterday Morning, from the Subscriber, in Upper Dublin, an Irish Servant Girl, named Mary Martin, about 20 Years of Age, full faced, of a middle Stature, pretty chunky and red haired. She took with her, when she went away, a striped Cotton Gown, a striped Calicoe Gown, a black Petticoat, and Check Apron. Whoever takes up the said Servant, and secures her, so that her Master may have her again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, and reasonable Charges. Paid by Isaac Tyson. The Pennsylvania Gazette, June 2, 1763.

Each book has an introduction covering the historical points of the period, the background of white servitude, and the social milieu of the time. Each book has a large index, I’m confident the index must surely contain every name mentioned in the book, as careful as Mr. Boyle enters his transcriptions I think his index would be equally complete.

“Our Troops are in General Almost Naked,” The Delaware and New York Infantry at the Valley Forge Encampment 1777-1778

This book contains names of those who served the Revolutionary War and who were encamped at Valley Forge, from the Delaware and New York Infantry. I would guesstimate there are over 3,000 names in this book. The introduction covers the circumstances of the Valley Forge winter, the particular difficulties of reading and transcribing the muster rolls, and peculiarities of his source material. The additional reading appendix has numerous references not used for this compilation but useful for further research for the Valley Forge Encampment and Delaware and New York men who served in the Revolutionary War.

I would say that Joseph Boyle most ably “compiles abundantly, writes satisfactorily, and publishes often.”

The books described above may be purchased from the publisher, Genealogical Publishing Company, at as well as from Amazon.

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