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Boston Pilot newspaper

“Missing Friends”

The Luck of the Irish” was not holding true for me on this St. Patrick’s Day. First I couldn’t find my green blouse to wear to school, then Mum didn’t know where she put my drawing of a “Dancing Pig” surrounded by shamrocks. Her usual “safe place” was the clock shelf but it wasn’t there. Dad went to the attic to get the blackthorn shillelagh but it was missing.

Gramp’s suggestion that maybe I should put an advertisement in the Boston Pilot was confusing, as usual, and certainly was not very helpful.

The advertisements in the Boston Pilot newspaper started in October 1831, when an ad appeared seeking a Patrick McDermott, whose wife and family, newly arrived from Ireland, would be returned by the Emigrant Commissioner if he was not located. This was the first ad in what became known as the “Missing Friends” column which ran for ninety years (1831-1921) with notices from people looking for “lost” friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the North America.

This collection of 31,711 records is available as a searchable online database at, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot.

The advertisements may contain the ordinary but revealing details about the missing person’s life, the county and parish of their birth, when they left Ireland, the believed port of arrival in North America, their occupation, and a range of other personal information.

The people who placed ads were often anxious family members in Ireland, or the wives, siblings, or parents of men who followed construction jobs on railroads or canals.

When I did a search of the online database for New Brunswick, using NBR, as the  “Arrival Port”, the search yielded 355 results

In 1846, Mary Acheston’s sister Ann Gillmartin stated Mary’s husband was supposedly George Acheson, her maiden name was Gilmartin, Home County - Leitrim, Parish - Cloonclare, Townland - near Manorhamilton, Barony  - Drumahaire, Poor-Law - Manorhamilton. Her departure date was 1839 with port of arrival being Saint John.

Becky Connors of County Leitrim, arrived at the Port of Saint John in 1842 went on to Augusta, Maine. Seeking her whereabouts in 1844 was her sister Mrs. Logan of New York

Patrick Keogh of Lexington, Fayette Co. in Kentucky in 1854, was looking for his brother James Keogh who in 1847 left from Dublin, Ireland aboard the vessel, ‘Grace Darling’ and arrived at the Port of Richibucto.

In 1847, Martin Murphy of St Stephen, New Brunswick was seeking information on his friend John Miers of County Tipperary, Parish Relickmurry & Athassel, Townland Golden and Barony of Clanwilliam, who sailed in 1834 on the Proselyte from Limerick to St. Andrews and went on to New York City.

In 1838, John Ford was looking for his wife, Mary (Croddock) Ford, who was from Kilkilvery Parish, County Galway. She arrived in Saint John in 1831 or 1832 and her second location was in Boston.

One year after Catherine McFaden of the Barony of Banagh, Inver Parish, County Donegal sailed in 1852  from Liverpool on the ‘Patience’ for Saint John her Uncle Patrick Haughney, Old Cambridge, Massachusetts was trying to locate her.

The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements -1831-1920 has been compiled on a CD and may be purchased through Picton Press, PO Box 1347, Rockland, ME, 04841, USA.

May the luck of the Irish be with you as you search for information on ancestors in the database at of advertisements that were published in the Boston Pilot newspaper.

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Query 1454
Parlett: My ancestor Robert Parlett married in Canada to Annie (last name unknown) between 1851 and 1863. They had one son Robert Parlett born in 1863 in Saint John, New Brunswick. They left Canada in 1871. Wanting to contact any other Parlett families or anyone connected to them.
Gail, Auckand, New Zealand

Query 1455
Campbell - McLong - Wilson: William Wilson was born in Clover Hill, Kings County, 11 Nov 1856 to John Wilson and Mary McLong and moved to Lincoln, Maine. Hiram McLong, son of Alexander McLong and Ellen Wilson married Agnes Campbell 14 Jun 1902. They had a daughter Louise Elaine McLong. They moved to Portland, Maine.  Does anyone have information on these families?
35 Nelson St., Sussex, NB
Canada, E4E 1V4

Query 1456
Berry - Courtney: I am looking for information on the 29 Feb 1844 marriage of Andrew H. Courtney and Susan Ann Berry whose marriage was registered in the Saint John County Marriage Register. Who were their parents and siblings?  What is the date of death of Susan Ann Berry Courtney?
1860 Ashton Brook Lane
Buford, GA
30519, USA

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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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