Online Data Archive

The Search for Irish Immigrants Through the Boston Pilot, 1847 and 1848

Ruth-Ann Harris, Principal Investigator

The data files contain records derived from ads for finding missing Irish persons placed in the Boston Pilot during 1847 and 1848, and ads in which the missing persons are identified as either having left Ireland or arrived in North America during 1847 or 1848. Coded variables include date of ad, name of missing person, gender of missing person, county, parish, townland, barony, and poor-law district of origin, description of missing person, ship and port of departure of missing person, name of person placing ad, relationship of seeker to sought.

The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot, Vols. I-VI, 1831-1870 (Ruth-Ann Harris, Donald M. Jacobs, B. Emer O'Keefe, editors) is currently out of print.

Boston College's Irish Studies Program has made available an online database called Information Wanted, covering the Boston Pilot "Missing Friends" advertisements from 1831 to 1921. The collection totals 33,102 records.

Complementary Series Information

Further data on Irish Immigration to the United States can be obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Center for Electronic Records:

Famine Irish Entry Project, 1846-1851:
Passenger Record File, Country Code List File, Manifest Header File,
Port Code List File [Electronic Records];
Donated Historical Materials from the Center for Immigration Research, Balch Institute, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA [producer]; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at College Park, College Park, MD [distributor].

These records can be obtained on computer readable media (CD-R, DVD, 3480-class tape cartridge) for a cost-recovery fee. Information about ordering copies of electronic records files from NARA's Center for Electronic Records is available at: (Refer to the NARA General Information Leaflet 17: Citing Records in the National Archives for information about how to cite NARA records).

Searchable Irish genealogy databases can be found at the Irish Family History Research website, This site, primarily fee-based, claims "Irish Genealogy Resources covering every Irish County."