Missing memorial transcription – Registry of Deeds Index project

Nick Reddan

June 2013

This is a story of a mystery 109 years old, but starts towards the middle of last year when I was doing some follow-up on a marriage settlement I found in the Registry of Deeds. This was the marriage settlement of Arthur Gerald GEOGHEGAN and Ann WILSON. The Rev Samuel Abraham WALKER, who vouched for the baptism of my great great grandfather William Swan CROKER in his immigration papers was a trustee for this marriage settlement. Thomas Swan CROKER, the father of William Swan CROKER, was a trustee of the marriage settlement of Ann WILSON's parents.

Having confirmed the identity of the father of Samuel Abraham WALKER through the records of the Incumbered Estates Court Rentals, I was looking for a marriage settlement of Richard Cotton WALKER. My colleague Dawn generously went to the Registry to try and find the marriage settlement. The grantors index provided a likely reference Book 576 Page 507 Memorial 394494. When she consulted the book, however, there was no transcription of memorial 394494 in 576. The bottom of p 508 has 394493 and the next memorial in the book is 394708. See

I thought that this was a usual case of an error in the index and the transcription would be found within a few books of 576. In May this year I made a concerted effort to find the transcription. I looked in all the books 566 to 576 and could not find the transcription.

Towards the end of the day I engaged in conversation with Vinnie, one of the staff of the Registry of Deeds, and he promised to find the transcription and to look at the original memorial and see where it indicated the transcription would be.

The next morning he admitted defeat in the quest and the original memorial gave the same faulty reference above. He, however, very helpfully proposed as it appeared that index reference was incorrect and he could not provide a correct reference that he would let me look at the original memorial.

I went to the other room where I was able to gather the index entries from the original memorial. These are now in the database and at: Memorial 394494

Lessons learned

No index is perfect.

The staff of the Registry of Deeds are often very helpful.

Do not give up at the first hurdle in your research.