A Google Book Reference for a 1764 British Convict

Periodic searches of GoogleBooks are necessary for just about every ancestor, no matter how unlikely it may seem that their name will appear in print.

James Rampley was a resident of County Suffolk England who was transported in 1764 to the Americas. He appears in Peter Wilson Coldham’s The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775 (Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988.), serves to index entries in court records that reference transportation to the Americas.

Occasionally I search for James in GoogleBooks on the hope that some printed material from Baltimore or Harford Counties in Maryland (where he settled) will mention him and provide some additional clue about his life.

I never dreamed he would be mentioned, even in passing, in a study of crime and justice in 18th century England.

And yet he was. A search for him on GoogleBooks located such a reference.


The recently published Fields, Fens and Felonies: Crime and Justice in Eighteenth-Century East Anglia apparently mentions James and his conviction. The reference to James is apparently brief. However, I am tempted to purchase the reference if only to gain some understanding of the system that caused James to be transported to Maryland in 1764.

James is not the first person I found in GoogleBooks  who was a complete surprise and I’m hoping he won’t be the last. The reference to him was on the second page of search results on GoogleBooks–that’s a good reminder to work past that first page of results. Google doesn’t always put all the “good stuff” on the first page.


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