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Published Feb. 25, 2000

A Soft Spot For All Things Irish, Another Resource for Finding Your Irish Kin
By Sandra Devlin

With a surname like Devlin (even though I acquired it through marriage), I necessarily have a soft spot in my genealogical heart for all things and all people Irish.

My maiden name -- Hosford -- while its earliest roots were in Merry Ole England, had several generations of Irishness --no doubt courtesy of Cromwell -- before my direct ancestors left County Cork for the Miramichi region of New Brunswick in the mid-19th Century.

I also have varying droplets of Irish blood from ancestors named: Russell, O’Neill, Blakney, Nowlan, Matchett, Mullin, Shannon, Sherrard, Haden, Donnolly and Rae.

A favourite ancestor of my husband’s by virtue of the lilt of her poetic name and Valentine’s Day birth is Fanny Dunn Lowry of Cullion, Donaheady Parish, County Tyronne, born Feb. 14, 1860, daughter of Stephen and Margaret. She immigrated to Ontario in 1880 and was married in Toronto in 1882 to William John Porter from England.

With this information as a setup, you will understand why I was excited to learn of a series of eight books which had been written, extracting queries published in the Archdiocese of Boston Roman Catholic newspaper, The Pilot in a regular column called The Search for Missing Friends. They span the time frame 1831-1920.

Irish folk from all over North America sent queries to the Pilot in search of brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, father, mothers, husbands and wives who had become separated from them.

Besides tugging at the heart strings and stimulating the imagination to develop heart-wrenching scenarios from the content of the brief messages, one also picks up on several migratory trends from frequent references to similar geographic names.

I was naturally disappointed when an inter-library loan request failed to turn up any available copies in Canada of the eight volumes published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society between 1993 and 1995, compiled by Ruth-Ann Harris. The books are available through the New England Historic Genealogical Society book store

At that point I prevailed on the good nature of an e-mail pal in Massachusetts. She generously sent the volumes to me.

Following are a smattering of queries found in these four volumes with Maritime connections, I hope that one of them helps you along your genealogy quest: (I have not changed any spellings.)

Lawrence Ryan, a native of Killoskehane, Parish of Drum, County of Tipperary. He arrived in Merrimachi, in the British Settlements, about ten years ago; he lived for six years in Prichabusto, Province of New Brunswick, when last heard from was employed at River Phillips, Cumberland, Nova Scotia. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his brother, Michael Ryan, residing in Taunton, Mass, who is very anxious to hear from him. (Published August 1836.)

Jeremiah Coghlan, a native of the County Cork, when last heard from (which is about 2 years since) he was in St. Andrews, New Brunswick; his brothers, who now resides in this city, is very anxious to hear from him - he can direct his letter to his brother Cornelius, to the care of James Barry, 99 Broad Street, Boston. (Published August 1836.)

John Daly, a native of Clonakitty, County Cork, who left home two years ago last 9th April, and had been in this country previously. His sister, Catherine, received a letter from him in St. John, N.B., Christmas last, and she is now in Boston, anxious to hear from him. Direct (if by letter) to the care of Owen Haraden, 2 Second St, South Boston. (Published Summer 1844.)

John Clary, a native of Thurles, County Tipperary. He took shipping in Waterford 12 years ago, and landed in St. John, N.B. When last heard from he was in Prince Edward Island, and was preparing to migrate to the United States. Any information respecting him will be gratefully acknowledged by his afflicted sister, Margaret Clary, who deeply mourns his long absence; by letter to Richard Walsh, Lowell, Ms. (Ms. used as abbreviation for Massachusetts, published August 1844.)

John Shehen, Balebeg, Buttivant, County of Cork, who emigrated about the year 1835, and sailed for St. John’s, New Brunswick. His mother, Johannah Shehen, living in Cynthiana, Ky., is very much distressed about him, and very anxious to hear from him. Any information addressed to Wm. Donworth, Cynthiana, Harrison County, Ky. will be thankfully received.(Published Feb. 1845.)

Michael Ruane, formerly of Rabane, near Caltragh, County Galway, who sailed in May for St. John, N.B.; and when leaving home said he would on arriving there start immediately for Boston, Ms. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his wife, Mary Ruanne, addressed to her in care of Mr. Patrick Mullen, Silver Street, South Boston, Ms. (She had no idea of coming to America when her husband left home.) (Published October 1846.)

Patrick Desmond, a native of Cloyne, County Cork. When last heard of he was in the state of New York, and is supposed to have went to Newfoundland. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his sister, Mary, care of Mr. James Oliver, Lynn. Ms. (Published October 1846.)

John Gavan, of Logaphul, parish of Drum, near Castlebar, County Mayo, who emigrated to this country in the early part of last summer, but has not been heard from since. He is supposed to be in Canada. Any account respecting him will be thankfully received by his brother, Patrick Gavan, Windsor, Vt. (Published Fall 1847.)

Mary Currane, formerly Brosnahan, and her daughter Julia Currane, natives of Garrynacorr, parish of Lispole, County Kerry, who landed in St. John, N.B., in August last, and is supposed to be in St. John, or its vicinity. Any information respecting them will be thankfully received by addressing to her affectionate husband, James Currane, care of Mrs. Michael Fitzgerald, Chickopee Fall, Hampden County, Ms. (Published December 1847.)

Michael Daley, native of County Waterford, who came to America about 12 years ago. When last heard from (3 years since) he was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and supposed to be there at present, or in some part of that province. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his brother, Owen Daley, care of Michael Murray, Saxonville, Ms. (Published Feb. 1848.)

William Mullane, native of Scart, parish of Ballyclough, County Cork, who sailed from Cork in April 1847, and arrived in St. John, N.B. Any information respecting him will be kindly received by his brother, Daniel Mullane, care of William Walsh, Pine Hill, Monmouth, Me. (Published August 1848.)

Patrick Oats, a native of Crohan, County Roscommon, who came to America in August, 1842; when last heard from (about 2 years since) he was in a place called Golden Grove, in New Brunswick. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by either of his brothers, Michael and James Oats, No. 202 Ann Street, Boston, Ms. (Published Feb. 1849.)

Garrett Fitzpatrick, native of Sidney [Cape Breton], who left that place about a year ago, for some part of the United States, and not heard of since. His brother William is anxious to hear from him. He can address him, care of Boyce and McKennon, Bangor, Me. (Published Fall 1852.)

John Nugent, Joiner, who left Miramichi about 2 years since, - worked in Frederickton, N.B., and it is thought went from there to New York. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his father, John Nugent, care of Burke and Noonan, Chatham, Miramichi, N.B.(Published November 1852.)

Patrick Gorman, who landed in St. John, N.B., 25th May, 1850. When last heard from lived with Mr. Joseph Watlins in St. Andrews, N.B. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his brother Simon Gorman, Monroe Fairfield County, Ct. (Published November 1852.)

Jeremiah Sullivan, of the town of Galway; when last heard from was working at his trade [rope maker] with Mr. Jarvis, St. John, N.B. He will hear of something to his interest by addressing his wife, or father, Denis Sullivan, Roxbury, Mass. (Published October 1856.)

Charles Crowly, of parish Kilcrohane, Bantry [County Cork], who came to this country 14 years ago, and was then a pensioner of the East India Company; when last heard from (about four years ago) was in Lowell Street, Lowell, Mass. Also of Denis Hegarty, of said parish, who left Bantry 14 years ago; when last heard from (7 years ago) was in Bogegohack, County Kent, New Brunswick. If this meets the eye of Daniel, Jeremiah, Timothy or Ellen Day, they will please send their present address to Hugh Crowly, Wolf Island, CW or to P. J. Buckley, Grocer, Kingston, CW. (CW=Canada West - Published Feb. 1857)

Matthew Cahill, of Kildare, Lot 3, Prince Edward Island; when last heard from was in Peoria County, Ill. or Ohio. Information received by his wife, Mary O’Connors, Kildare, Lot 3, P.E.Island. (Published April 1857)

John Howard, native of Lot 7, Prince County, P.E. Island. He sailed in Sept. 1854, in the American packet ship “West Point”, from Liverpool, Great Britain, for New York, since that time no account has been heard of him. Information of him, or from him, received by his father, Robert Howard, Lot 7, Prince Edward Island. (Published April 1857.)

Edward Murphy, a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, who arrived in Toronto, CW, from Montreal, in June 1856. He is low-shouldered, about 5 feet 8 inches high, and dark-complexioned; he plays the bag-pipes, and sometimes works as a carpenter. He left Toronto in the begidning of July last and has not been heard from since. Any person knowing anything about him, will confer a great favor by writing to Thomas D Quinn, grocer, Montreal, John Oliver, painter, Toronto or Bernard Duffy, bookseller, St. John’s, Newfoundland. (Published September 1857.)

Mrs. Low (maiden name Mary McGlyn) from parish Boyle [County Roscommon], who landed in Quebec 16 y’rs ago, and was last heard from in Toronto, CW. Also James Neavin, of Stone-park, parish Coraganrow, who landed in Quebec 12 years ago, and was last hard from in Montreal, CE. Please address Timothy Corkoran, care of Andrew Darcy, New Bandon, Gloucester County, N.B. (Published September 1858.)

Felix and Catherine Dolan, natives of Magheiahuorsa, County Fermanagh; when last heard from Felix resided near Chicago, Illinois, and Catherine in Washington City. Any information of them will be thankfully received by James McPeake, Portland, St. John, N.B. (Published July 1859.)

James Savage, of the town of Newry [County Down]; who emigrated to Sydney, Australia, in 1842 or 3; likewise Mary Anne Savage, (Otherwise Leahy) of same place; who landed in N. York in May, 1844. Either of the above parties will hear of something to their advantage by addressing Mrs. Matilda Eskildron, St. John, N.B. (Published December 1859.)

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