Casefile Clues

12 May 2014

Does that Look Like Alexander to You?

Would you have thought this signature was Alexander if all you had to go on was the signature?


This signature on this document is "easier" to transcribe because the name is written elsewhere by the clerk. It is always possible that the clerk wrote down the name incorrectly or "translated" a non-English name into the closest thing he could think of. The first name may not have been Alexander at all.

But let's assume the name is correct as written by the clerk and that the signature is simply being written by someone whose literacy skills are not too high.

"If this signature had been on a document with no idea as to what it was, would you have transcribed it as 'Alexander'?"

Signatures on petitions, bonds, and other documents often do not have clerk's renderings on the same page, unlike this document. Frequently we don't have another reference on the same page to help in our transcription efforts.
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