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.

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