Casefile Clues

19 April 2012

Written in the Same Hand?

Will of Mimke Habben, probated 1877 Hancock County, Illinois
Will of Antje Fecht, denied probate 1900, Hancock County, Illinois

Do these two handwriting samples appear to have been written by the same person?

It's key to a presentation I made "Preparing for Mother's Death." I won't repeat the whole presentation here and these two wills are only a small part of the presentation. To be honest, the fact that the handwriting was the same didn't really "hit me" until I began preparing the visuals for the seminar. I had been working from my transcriptions for quite some time.

But the handwriting appears to be similar, as if the will was handwritten by the same person. In this case, the wills, written within approximately fifteen years of each other, are conflicting. That conflict is ironic given that the same person apparently wrote them.

Are there clues in handwriting that you are overlooking? And have you thought about looking at the original when you have the transcription? Even if you believe the transcription to entirely accurate, a typed version will have to leave out some clues that the handwriting contains.
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