For nearly a century, The Boston (Massachusetts) Pilot newspaper carried "searching for..." notices as a service for readers in the United States and Ireland. These ads were placed by relatives of Irish immigrants who were trying to re-establish contact with their missing family members. Seven volumes of notices from the "potato famine era" have been compiled by Ruth-Ann Harris, Donald M. Jacobs, and B. Elmer O'Keefe and published under the title "Missing Friends." These volumes are published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Below are entries from the seven volumes. They may still be be a help in establishing family connections, 150 years after they were published.
from Vol. 1; December 15, 1849 issue:
Of MICHAEL SLEVIN, of co. Meath, who sailed from Liverpool in 1847. When last heard from was in Waterford, Saratoga County, N. Y. Any information of him will be thankfully received by Thomas Kelly, Waterford, N. Y.
from Vol. 2; August 20, 1853 issue:
OF HUGH SLEVEN, from Clogher [Co. Tyrone]; when last heard of he was in some part of Indiana. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his nephew, PATK. CONNOLLY, at Messrs. THURSTON, GREEN & Co’s machine shop, South Main st, Providence, R. I.
from Vol. 3; January 27, 1855 issue:
OF THOS SLAVEN, of parish Drumrary, co Westmeath, who was last heard of in Orleans, Orange co, Ind. Information will be received by his brothers David and Jno, Camden P O, NJ.
from Vol. 3; June 2, 1855 issue:
OF PATRICK SLAVIN, of parish Coonclare, co’y Leitrim, who landed in Quebec in '45; when last heard of was in Illinois, and is now supposed to be in St. Paul, Minnesota. Information received by his nephew Patk Moran, care of Phillip McGuire, 5 Langdon Place, Boston, Ms.
from Vol. 3; March 8, 1856 issue:
OF THOMAS SLAVIN, from county Fermanagh; who left Ireland about seven years ago, for St. John, N. B. When last heard of, about four years since, he was in the latter place; information received by his sister Catherine, care of Rev. P. Dowd, Montreal, C. E.
from Vol. 4; March 24, 1860 issue:
OF JOHN O'DONNELL and Edward Slavin; when last heard from, about 4 years ago, John was in Lewiston, Maine, and Edward in Massachusetts. Should this meet their eye, or the eye of any one who can give information of them, they will please address their brother, Robert O'Donnell, Smyth's Station, York county, Pennsylvania. (ad. is placed under "Donegal")
from Vol. 4; August 11, 1860 issue:
OF NANCY KEENAN, parish of Mober, townland of Rockfield [co. Meath]; when last heard from, some two years ago, she was in Boston. Her brother, John Slaven, wishes to hear from her. Address John Slaven, No 308 Lafayette street, New Orleans, La.
from Vol. 4; September 1, 1860 issue:
OF DANIEL SLEVIN, or of his wife, Bridget (maiden name Sharkey), of parish Carnan [co. Derry]; when last heard from, 5 or 6 years ago, they were in Cincinnati, where they are supposed to be now. Any information will be thankfully received by their sister, Sarah Sharkey, care of the Rev M Domenick, Germantown, Philadelphia county, Pa.
from Vol. 5; April 1, 1865 issue:
OF PATRICK MANGAN, native of Rochford Bridge, county Westmeath. He left Lowell, Mass, about fourteen years ago, in company with James Slevin, went to Blairsville, Pennsylvania. He is now supposed to be either in Steubenvile or Pittsburgh, Pa. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his sons, John and Thomas Mangan, No 182 Gorham street, Lowell, Mass.
from Vol. 6; May 5, 1866 issue:
OF HUGH SLAVEN, a native of county Donegal, who left Boston one year ago last February for Philadelphia, since which time nothing has been heard of him. Any information will be thankfully received by his mother, Mrs Catherine Slaven, 19 Fifth street, South Boston, Mass.
from Vol. 6; June 8, 1867 issue:
OF Bernard, Lawrence and John Slevin, natives of the parish of Black Lyon, county Meath, Ireland. When last heard of about twenty years ago, they were in the State of Ohio. Any information of them will be thankfully received by their nephew, John Slevin, at Elyria, Loraine county, Ohio.
from Vol. 6; March 7, 1868 issue:
OF THOMAS and MARY ROURKE, (children of Edward Rourke and Bridget Clavin or Slavin), natives of Clare, parish of Ballymore, county Westmeath. They left Ireland in 1845, and when last heard from were in the State of Ohio. A letter giving any information concerning them, addressed to Owen Hevey, care of P. O'Shea Esq, 27 Barclay street, New York, will be thankfully received.
from Vol. 6; August 7, 1869 issue:
OF THOMAS SLAVIN, of Drumrany parish, county Westmeath, Ireland; when last heard from, some 14 years ago, he was in Winona, Minnesota. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his brother, John Slavin, Alexandria, Va.
from Vol. 7; February 4, 1871 issue:
OF FRANCIS SLAVIN, who left Olcott, Niagara county, N. Y., in April, 1866, for the Oil Diggings in Pennsylvania; was seen the same fall, in 1866, in Chicago, Illinois. Description - Five feet six inches in height, brown curly hair, blue eyes, had the second and fourth fingers injured from the effects of a ball, which went through his hand. Any person sending word to his mother, Nancy Slavin, of Olcott, Niagara county, N. Y., about him, whether dead or alive, will confer a great favor.
from Vol. 7; February 11, 1871 issue:
OF THOMAS SLAVIN, parish of Drumrany, county Westmeath; when last heard from, 14 years ago, he was in Fountain City, Iowa. Any person knowing of his whereabouts will confer a great favor by addressing his brother, John Slavin, Alexandria, Virginia.
from Vol. 7; August 19, 1871 issue:
OF JOHN SLAVIN, son of Mary and Christopher Slavin, deceased, who left his home at Harper's Ferry, West Va., Sept. 26, 1867; when last heard from he was employed on the North Missouri Railroad, in March, 1869. Information of him will be received by his sisters, Kate or Virginia Slavin, care of A. J. Higgins, Zaleski, Vinton county, Ohio.
from Vol. 7; June 15, 1873 issue:
OF PHILIP SLEVIN, a native of Nenagh, county Tipperary, who left home about nine or ten years ago; he was last heard from in Baltimore. He will hear of something to his advantage by addressing John Slevin, 158th street, Washington Heights, N. Y.
from Vol. 7; September 28, 1873 issue:
OF OWEN HAUNEY, parish of Beragh, county Tyrone; when last heard from 17 years ago, he was living in Chicago. Any one knowing anything of him will confer a great favor on his only sister by writing to Bernard Slavin, Box 1078, Boston P.O., Mass.
from Vol. 7; September 19, 1874 issue:
OF HUGH SLAVIN, who came to Boston from Glasgow, about the year 1865; his mother, Catherine Slavin, now in Boston, would be glad to hear from him; she thinks he is in New Jersey. Please address Catherine Slavin, care of Rev. R. W. Brady, S. J., St. Mary's Church, 109 Salem street, Boston, Mass.