Casefile Clues

16 February 2007

What is the point of the handwriting site?

A few have asked what is the point of guessing at the writing samples on our handwriting site and do I know the answers? To answer the last question, I do know what the names are supposed to be and will be posting those after each image has remained up for a little while and those who want to guess have made their guesses.

The answer to the first question is just partially fun--some of us (myself included) like to try our hand at reading various types of handwriting. The other point is the importance learning how to read writing with which we are unfamiliar. All of us have occasionally encountered a name or a phrase that we have had a difficult time reading and we perhaps had no clue what script it was written in. Sometimes we can read the word from the context of other words on the document, particularly on a census or a deed book, etc. The problem comes in when an ancestor signs a document, and none of the other writing on the document is in his handwriting. Sometimes his name will be written on the document elsewhere and once in a while it will not be. Hopefully posting the images along with the answers will help those who are having difficulties.

And I'm open to suggestions as well.