FamilySearch - Ireland - Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929

Dear EE,

Over the past few months, I have been transcribing "Memorials" from the FamilySearch catalogue which has the title: Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929.

There are no indexed entries for these records. 

As you will see from the above URL link, there are 27 pages of different types of records/films, and to find one that you are looking for, a researcher may have to look through a number of these (listed under the Film/Digital Notes) to find the actual Deed/Memorial. i.e. search the Grantor (name) index, or Land index, or Place name etc.  One or possibly all of these will reveal the details of the relevant volume, page and memorial numbers. After that, from page 8 onwards, one can then locate the correct volume (under year & number) and eventually (hopefully) find the "Deed" (Memorial) of interest. It can be a very tedious process, but also very worthwhile, as these memorials usually hold a goldmine of information if one is lucky enough to have an ancestor who registered a settlement or conveyance. 

BUT, I have been really stumped on how to cite these records. An attempt at one follows:

Sproule-Blaney [transcription of marriage settlement], vol. 478, pages 552-53, memorial no. 3118122, dated 11 April 1792, registered 4 or 11? February 1795; imaged in Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929, FamilySearch (; FHL microfilm 8,093,666, image 298 of 616; Registry of Deeds, Dublin.

The record actually shows 3 dates. 1. A meml of a Deed or Articles of Marriage bearing date of 11 April 1792. 2. Sworn date to Jas Buchanan 23 November 1794. 3. Registered date 4 or 11 February 1795. I am unsure which is most or more important.

I would very much appreciate it if you could give me some guidelines.


Robyn R  




Submitted byEEon Thu, 11/11/2021 - 09:09

Oh, what a tangle to work through, Robyn—but, as you say, one well worth the effort. 

First, below, I’ll offer a citation as EE would write it, using a different color for each layer for discussion purposes. Then, I’ll discuss each point that differs from yours.

[Ireland, Registry of Deeds], Transcripts of Memorials of Deeds, Conveyances, and Wills, vol. 478 (1793–1795), pp. 552–53, memorial 311812, Sproule-Blaney marriage, 11 April 1792, attested 23 November 1794, registered 4 (or 11?) February 1795; imaged in “Transcripts of Memorials of Deeds, Conveyances, and Wills, 1708–1929,” FamilySearch ( : 11 November 2021), being FHL digital film 8093666, image 298 of 616; citing Registry of Deeds, Dublin.


You began with a citation to the marriage act itself, then cited the volume number (478) and page. That raises a question: Volume 478 of what?  It also goes counter-grain to a basic sequence-of-elements rule—which is one reason why the reader is left with a question about what the volume number represents.

When citing manuscript material, two sequences are common:

  • start with the smallest element and work up to the largest.

  • start with the largest element and work down to the smallest.

We choose the one that works best for the type of material we are using; then we stick to that sequence throughout the citation. That way, things that describe each other stay together. (EE's Velcro Principle: What's meant to stick together should stay together.)

As constructed, your Layer 1

  • starts with the smallest (the identity of the record),

  • jumps to the largest (the volume number),

  • drills down to an intermediate level (the page number),

  • then begins to describe the record you started off with.

By contrast, the sequence above starts with the largest element and works down to the smallest. following the basic pattern for identifying any book or record, it

  • identifies the creator, putting the ID in square editorial brackets to show we’ve added something from outside knowledge (EE 2.29, 3.23, 12.11);

  • identifies the record series, then the volume number (from image 5 of the film), then the specific years covered by the volume (from image), then the page numbers;

  • identifies the record that will be found on those two pages: first the subject of the record, then the relevant dates with an explanation of what each date represents.


Your basic format is sound. To that, I’ve added

  • the quotation marks that should go around the title of the database,

  • standard capitalization, and

  • the FHL digital film number and its image, which is presented at the cited URL. (Note that this is a digital film number, not a microfilm number. As we can see from the start of the film itself, the microfilm number is 545050.)


No change.

Submitted byRobynRon Thu, 11/11/2021 - 14:34

That's terrific EE. The above makes perfect sense and has been extremely helpful to me. Many thanks.