Thursday, October 2, 2014

Information Wanted Ads II - Philadelphia

This post is about 'information wanted' ads in a Philadelphia newspaper, the Catholic Herald. Scroll down if on the homepage or click here to learn what 'information wanted' ads are and to read about the most famous example of them: those in the Boston Pilot newspaper.

The Catholic Herald newspaper was published weekly in Philadelphia, PA from 1833 to 1856.[1] Before 1833, this paper existed in various incarnations, first hitting the Philadelphia newsstands in 1822, titled The Catholic Herald and Advocate.[2] After 1856, it merged with various other newspapers (click here for a full explanation of Catholic newspaper mergers in 19th century Philadelphia).

From the early years of its publication it attracted a considerable Irish immigrant audience. This therefore made it the perfect paper in which to put information wanted ads. While many of those seeing information were based in Philadelphia, others lived across Pennsylvania and in different states. The following two examples vividly illustrate the rich genealogical information that can be contained in the ads:

James Delany[3]

Slone (?) and Kelly[4]

You can access the Catholic Herald via digital and microfilm editions -

Villanova University Digital Library: 1835-1848, various years and editions.

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center microfilms, the center has the following copies: January 3, 1833 through January 4, 1862; January 10, 1863 through December 24, 1864; Sept. 7 and 28, 1867.

There is a also a book of transcribed records from the newspaper that may be useful:
Schive Mowrer, Rita. The Catholic Herald (varied dates, 1833-1846) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, excerpts of genealogical interest. Philadelphia, PA: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 1970.

[1] Chronicling America. About The Catholic herald. (Philadelphia [Pa.) 1833-1856.  Year Unknown. Available online at accessed 5 September 2014.
[2] Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center. Catholic Newspapers in Philadelphia. Year Unknown. Available online at accessed 26 September 2014
[3] The Catholic Herald. Vol. III No. 43. Thursday, October 22 1835. Whole Number: 147. Delany p.172. Available online at accessed 5 September 2014
[4] The Catholic Herald. Vol. XVI No. 5. Thursday, February 3, 1848. Whole Number: 787. Kelly and Slone p.40. Available online at accessed 5 September 2014

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