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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Missing Irish friends can now be found on Ancestry

Ancestry has added the Missing Friends collection of advertisements from the Boston Pilot newspaper to its database.

Between 1831 and 1920, the newspaper published some 45,000 adverts placed by families and friends of earlier Irish immigrants with whom they'd lost touch. Many of those who placed the adverts were newly arrived themselves; others were relatives still in Ireland, desperate to make contact. Submissions were received from well beyond Boston, and queries were made about immigrants living all over the USA. The published adverts often contain very useful genealogical data and, crucially, the townland of origin.

Ancestry's version, indexed as a World Archive Project, holds 96,583 searchable entries. The images can also be browsed by year. Interestingly, place of origin details are provided when you carry out a free search (if they were published, obviously). It's only when you want to view an image of the advert that you require a subscription or pay-as-you-go credits.

(The Missing Friends database is also hosted at Boston College's Information Wanted site. This database is free to use. It does not hold images.)