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Information Wanted Reaches 40,000 Missing People


Michael May from the townland of Kilkeran in County Mayo is the 40,000th missing person added to the Information Wanted database. Information Wanted is an online collection of personal information (like age, hair color, port of arrival, occupation and birthplace) taken from missing persons advertisements in the Boston Pilot newspaper beginning in 1831. Boston College Libraries student workers have reached the spring of 1869 so far in their efforts to enter data gleaned from the advertisements and enable family researchers and historians to search the entries online. 

Typical of most Pilot entries, the missing person’s ad for Michael May is brief:  He came from Kilkeran in the parish of Ballinrobe in Mayo. We do not even know what relationship he might have had with Jas Burke, the man from 91 Bank Street in Cleveland, Ohio, who paid to have May’s ad put in the Boston paper on January 30th, 1869. Like the majority of the now 40,000 people listed in the Information Wanted entries, we also do not know if May and Burke ever found each other after the ad was published.