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Resources for Deciphering Handwriting

By Maureen A. Taylor Premium

Find it on the Web

? Name and Word Spellings

<>: Description of handwriting mistakes and misspellings.

? Examples of Old Handwriting

<˜genepool/oldalpha.htm>: Shows letters found in 17th-century documents.

? Medieval Paleography

<orb. I index. html>: Online course from England’s Leicester University on the study of written documents from the Middle Ages.

? Old English Mailing List

A mailing list for anyone who is deciphering old English documents. To subscribe send “subscribe” to (mail mode) or old-english-d-request (digest mode).

? Old Handwriting Examples

<˜mahudson/ole-hw.htm>: References names and words in various scripts.

? Reading Census Handwriting


? Tips on Reading Old Handwriting


? Martha Ballard’s Diary

<>: Online display of the late 18th-and early 19th-century diary featured in the book A Midwife’s Tale; features tutorials on reading handwriting and examples.

? Deciphering Old Handwriting

<>: Examine examples and try your hand at a few samples.

? The Fraktur Tradition

<>: Learn more about Fraktur and look at a few examples. Click on Collections, then Fraktur.

? History of Handwriting

<>: Interesting overview of the history of handwriting from the Parker Pen Co.

? Early English Handwriting

<>: Try your hand at reading examples from 1547 to 1612.

? •Dysgraphia

<>: Find out more about learning disabilities and handwriting.

On the bookshelf

? Handwriting in America: A Cultural History by Tamara Plakins Thornton (Yale University Press)

? Handwriting of American Records for 300 Years by E. Kay Kirkham (Everton Publishers)

? Handwriting of the 20th Century by Rosemary Sassoon (Routledge)

? Pen, Ink, & Evidence: A Study of Writing and Writing Materials for the Penman, Collector, and Document Detective by Joe Nickell (Oak Knoll Press)

? Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

? “Read It Right” in Unpuzzling Your Past by Emily Croom (Betterway Books)

? Understanding Colonial Handwriting by Harriet Stryker-Rodda (Genealogical Publishing Co.)
From the October 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine