Casefile Clues

01 February 2012

His Signature Looks Like He Filled Out the Form Himself


This 1870 declaration of intent from Thomas Frame comes from Cook County, Illinois, where Frame settled in the 1860s.

A quick read of the document may lead the reader to conclude that Frame wrote his own name in the document--the signature on the right hand side looks very similar to Frame's name at the top of the document.

There is a simple explanation--the signature is not Frame's. Those who take time to read the complete document will realize a certified copy of Frame's actual declaration. The top half is the "handwritten copy" and the bottom half is the clerk's statement testifying to the fact that the copy is a true copy of the original.

It was 1870 and before there were photocopy machines. Always make certain that what you think is your ancestor's signature is actually his signature.