Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Missing Friends - Thomas McLaughlin

3 February 1832  Information Wanted

Son of Terence McLaughlin and Susan O'Brien, a native of the Parish of Dromore, Tyrone, Ireland, arrived about 14 days ago, at St. John's New Brunswick.

He visited Pennsylvania and Maryland. He has not been heard of for the last eight years.

Any information concerning him will be thankfully received by his sister, Mary Potts, Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Missing Friends - John Delahunty

Information Wanted: 12 November 1831

Of John Delahunty of Clonmore, Co. Tipperary, who arrived in America in 1818, and boarded at the house of Mr. William Gleeson, in Boston, at that time. 

His nephew has arrived in Boston, and has something of importance to communicate to him. Any information respecting him, directed to Mr. William Gleeson, or Michael Delahunty, Boston, will be thankfully received.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Search for Missing Friends

The tidal wave of Irish immigration to North America in the several decades after the potato famine of the 1840s is one of the great epic sagas of nineteenth century history. 

The thousands of immigrants who surmounted incredible hardships to reach Quebec, Montreal, Boston, New York City, or other ports often hoped to join relatives who were already here. Some families became separated at dockside or later, and many recent arrivals were "lost" to kinsmen in Ireland who wanted to hear from them. 

For eighty-five years, from 1831 to 1916, the "Missing Friends" advertisements in the Boston Pilot, the city's major Irish newspaper, helped bring immigrants and kin together. 

The First 7 Volumes contain collections of the advertisements in print in the Boston PILOT as follows: Volume I: 1831-1850, Volume II: 1851-1853, Volume III: 1854-1856, Volume IV: 1857-1860, Volume V: 1861-1865, Volume VI: 1866-1870, Volume VII: 1871-1876.

1 October 1831

Information Wanted

NOTICE: PATRICK MCDERMOTT a native of County Kildare, and who was married in Kingston, near Dublin, is hereby informed, that his wife and four children have arrived in Boston. They understand that he left Roxbury, in the State, about twelve months since, to obtain work as a stone mason, they are extremely anxious to hear from him. He is hereby requested to write or come for his poor family. to the city, as soon as possible.

Editors, with whom we exchange, will perform an act of charity by giving the above notice a few insertions.

Friday, December 21, 2018

How to make traditional Irish potato cakes or "boxty"

A recipe for traditional Irish potato cakes – better known as boxty. 
Traditional Irish potato cakes, or boxty, are mostly associated with the north midlands of Ireland in Connacht and Ulster. The people of Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Longford, Leitrim and Cavan are particularly big fans of this delicious and simple style of potatoes.

It is thought that boxty dates back to the days of the Irish Famine, presumably to make the potatoes stretch further. There are a couple of different recipes, but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes served fried.

There are some variations on the classic recipe, such as boiling the patty like a dumpling or baking it like a loaf. With the demands of the modern palate being more diverse, some people add spices or vegetables into the mix. However, the plain old griddled style is the original and is wonderfully tasty.

Over the last couple of years, as the Irish have become more interested in their own cuisine, the popularity of boxty has risen. It's now quite normal to see boxty on a menu in a restaurant in Ireland, whereas a decade ago it would have still been considered a 'peasant dish.' However, boxty has always been popular as part of Irish home cooking.

As one traditional (if woefully out-dated) rhyme explains: 

Boxty on the griddle, 
Boxty in the pan, 
If you can't make boxty, 
You'll never get your man.


1 cup raw, grated potatoes 
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
2 tsp salt 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup (about) milk to mix 
Butter or oil for frying 
Sugar (optional)


Place the grated raw potatoes in a clean cloth and twist to remove excess moisture.

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Combine flour mixture with the raw potatoes, the left over mashed potatoes, and the eggs.

Add enough mix to make a batter.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil.

Drop potato batter by the tablespoon into the hot pan.

Brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).

Butter each boxty and serve hot with or without sugar.

Yield: about 4 servings