Each record includes a transcript of the original advertisement, the amount of information varies, however, and you can usually find a combination of the following:
Sought relative name
Last heard date
Last heard location
These records provide an insight into Irish immigration, they reflect on the interesting and tumultuous times, such as the Great Irish Famine and the United States Civil War.
From October 1831 to October 1921 the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a column with advertisements from people looking for lost friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States.
The advertisements contain the ordinary but revealing details about the missing person’s life, from 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.
Begin your search broadly with just a name and year.
If you are unable to find your relative with a search you can try different name variations. A number of the advertisement only use abbreviations. For example, if your search is unsuccessful for William Smith, try W Smith or Wm Smith.