Thursday 25 October 2012

Ancestry to add Boston Pilot's Missing Irish ads

Ancestry is going to add the Boston, Missing Irish Immigrants 1831-1920 collection to its database as one of its World Archives Projects (WAPs).

The collection is an important one for the descendants of Irish immigrants to the United States. It features 40,594 advertisements placed in the Boston Pilot newspaper's Missing Friends column through which families and friends who had lost touch with one another could attempt to make contact. Frequently, these advertisements mention the person's townland of origin in Ireland.

As with all WAPs, these records will be made available for free on Ancestry when they have been indexed.

Presumably they will also be accompanied by images. This would then distinguish the collection from that already available free on the fully searchable Information Wanted database run by Boston College. While the latter has no images it is free to search and view.

However, from details on the WAP page, I suspect that any images making their way to the Ancestry database will not be from the original newespapers but from The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot, an eight-volume work edited by Ruth-Ann M. Harris, Donald M. Jacobs, Dominique M. Pickett, and B. Emer O’Keeff (published by England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1989-1993), which contains transcripts of these advertisements.

If you fancy offering your time to help index this collection, click here. Being a small project, it is expected to be keyed quickly, so act soon if you wish to be involved.