28 May 2012

Three Hands on One Document

This is part of the 1881 birth certificate for my great-grandfather, Mimka J. Habben in Hancock County, Illinois.

There are a few issues I need to consider when transcribing this document.

The first is the spelling of the word "Hancock" in the upper left hand portion of the document. There is no doubt what is intended, but it certainly does not look like "Hancock." The job of the transcriber is to transcribe the document as written.

The second issue is the "full name of child." This is clearly written in a different hand (the red line was an addition by me). That  apparent different handwriting should be noted in the transcription

The third issue is the name of the father which is written John Minken Habben with "Mimken" crossed out and "Mimka" written above (underlined in green by me). The "Mimka" also appears to have been written in a different hand from the rest of the document.

My transcription needs to indicate that the first name of the child and the middle name of the father were written in a different hand than the rest of the document. It also needs to indicate that the first name of the child and the middle name of the father do not appear to have been written by the same person.

When the changes were made is a different matter entirely. My guess is that at least one of them was made when Mimka applied for a social security number, but that is only a guess.
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