52 Photos Week 49: Handwriting

+16 votes

Time for the next 52 Photos challenge!

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesThis week's theme:


To participate, simply:

  1. reply below, and
  2. add a photo that fits the theme to this week's free-space gallery.

If you use a social network (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) please share the photo there as well, using #52photos and #wikitree. This can be a great way to involve more family members. If you use a blog, include a link to your blog post in your answer below so we can all read it.

You don't need to participate every week to share a photo. But members who do participate every week can earn challenge badges. Click here for more info. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 in 13, 26 in 26, 52 in 52) please post here.

For help with how to add photos, see here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
3 weeks to go!  Who's 49 for 49!?
I've made it so far.
I have this year I have done much better on this and the 52 ancestors. I got last years 52 ancestors finished also.
Me. I made it 49 for 49.
3 more weeks for me too...
49 Photos and 49 Ancestors!
I am so far!
It"s a shame that school districts are abandoning the Palmer handwriting lessons.  It shows a lot of their character.  Most people are using keyboards or voice dictation now.
I have a letter from my great-grandfather about a loan his nephew received.  The loan was repaid in a timely manner but the nephew didn't receive acknowledgement.
Handwriting is a great subject for discussion among genealogists. But it's a terrible theme for a photo challenge. Most of the answers are scans rather than photos. And who wants to look at a lot of pictures of handwriting?
Not sure why I got an email about this photo from December 2019 ... and I was not even involved with the photo or any response.
I just posted a comment, which was under your comment from way back then. The computer thought you might be interested.

30 Answers

+12 votes

This is MY handwriting. It hasnt changed since 1996 when I first wrote this tree. But I tend to do far more typing than I do writing these days.  Wordsworth Family tree.


by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (987k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
PS I do have Photos of a family Bible with names and dates written down, but I have no idea who wrote these names, so I can't use that for this prompt.
LOL - I still have notebooks full of handwritten notes from when I started this adventure back in 1997.
+13 votes

This is a photo of my great grandmother Clara McIntire /McIntire-609. She was a schoolteacher before she married my great grandfather. My grandmother always told me how Clara stressed the importance of handwriting, and she kept an autograph book for her students to write in. This is an 1882 entry from her book. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (546k points)
edited by Alexis Nelson
What a wonderful photo of your great grandmother and the writing

Thank You for sharing
Thank you Susan, this is the best photo that I have of her.
Beautiful lady.
Beautiful dress.
Beautiful handwriting.
Beautiful sentiment.
My mother and her father were both teachers, also. Knowing that you have made a difference in a student's life, and a student who appreciates the learning and applies it to their lives are the greatest rewards.
+14 votes

This is the handwriting of my great great grandfather James Pruett written by him in 1914..

by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (193k points)
What a treasure to own, Caryl by your GG granddad

Thank You for sharing
What a treasure indeed!
+13 votes

my great grandfathers sister Janet Young from paisley Scotland, send this bible to her brother in 1881 to Fooshow in China 

I just love it 

by Susan Laursen G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)
Susan, it wonderful that you have this Bible, what a treasure you have.
Susan has one of the most amazing collections of family photos and artifacts!
+13 votes

Here is my 4th great-uncle Robert J.H. Handy's very fancy Spencerian script:

This is from a letter he wrote my 3rd great-grandfather while serving as a lieutenant aboard the US Revenue Cutter Morris; at the time he wrote this he'd just been involved in a salvage operation...a ship carrying a statue of John C. Calhoun that was carved in Europe had run aground in a storm and the statue went overboard; Robert dived off the cutter and went down and located it (he got the thanks of the South Carolina legislature, and a check for $500, later on).

by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
Wow C what a amazing handwriting, really beautiful

Your ggg granddad had

Thank You for sharing
Amazing pensmanship; I wish I could write with such grace!
Awesome script! He must have been ashore to write it so beautifully.
As far as I'm aware he was aboard ship when he wrote that (it does say "Revenue Cutter Morris, Off Fire Island" in the top right corner). His father, my 4th great-grandfather Samuel Handy, was a clerk in the US Treasury Department, so I imagine being able to write with a good clear hand was something he likely put a priority on in his children's education.
My, he did that with the ship a-rocking? Must have been a flat day.
+13 votes

Hi everyone, this is a card that my dad Victor Johnson III sent to his parents Victor Johnson II and Millie (Perkins) Johnson when he was on a boyscout trip to Scandinavia. This was a deeply impressionable experience for him and he would tell me about it years later. His grandparents had on his dad's side had immigrated from Sweden and Finland, so it must have been really interesting for him to see where they came from!

by Erin Johnson G2G6 Mach 1 (13.5k points)
I made a Scandinavia trek when I was 15 and it never left my system; been travelling my whole life ever since!

Great card, thanks for sharing!
Thanks, S.J! I hope to get a chance to travel there as well. :)
This is wonderful Erin special because it is so easy to read

Thank You for sharing this
Thank you, Susan! It was my pleasure to share.
+14 votes

I do love when I can find older handwriting samples that are neat and easy to read.  One of the oldest samples I have found for my relatives is the entry in the Quaker historic record:

"A collection of the sufferings of the people called Quakers, for the testimony of a good conscience from the time of their being first distinguished by that name in the year 1650 to the time of the act commonly called the Act of toleration granted to Protestant dissenters in the first year of the reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary in the year 1689." Published in 1753.

How is that for a book title?

In it, I find my 10x great-grandparents William Clayton and Prudence (Lanckford) Clayton as witnesses to the arrest, torture, and subsequent death of James Larbee.

The entry reads:

James Larbee for going into the high steeple house of ye City of Chichester and speaking to the priest (Speed) concerning false doctrine delivered by him: was by the magistrates of the place committed to prison into the hands of a gaol keeper (Edward Lean) where he suffered near 5 months and died within a few days after he was set free. Several bruises that he received on his body remained till the day of his death. Witnesses Wm & Prudence Clayton.

Note: gaol is the old word for "jail."

Later, William was also arrested and held for 6 months in the Horsham Gaol.  I guess he had enough, he packed up the wife and kids and migrated to Pennsylvania.  There he rose to some prominence and was appointed to William Penn's government - he sat on the Provincial Council and also served as a Judge and a Supreme Court Justice.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
SJ, you are such a wealth of knowledge on so many different things. I had tried to read some Quaker meetings records, and I find it rather difficult. I had no clue that goal meant jail. Thank you for sharing this story.


G = J
a = a
o = i
l = l

Just a different pronunciation of the same word.

And thanks for the compliment! blush

SJ This is fantastic wow what a treasure to have

You have so many exciting item

Thank You for sharing love it
Thanks so much for sharing.  William and Prudence were also my 9th great grandparents, but I was unaware of any of this.I guess that makes us 10th cousins, once removed.


10th cousins once removed indeed wink

Have you read over William Clayton's profile?  I put a lot of time over the last few years researching him and quite a bit of time writing his bio last year.  There are a lot of internet rumors (fantasies) about him; that he was the "acting" Governor of Pennsylvania (false), that he was one of Penn's advanced agents (falste), and there is a good bit of evidence that his family accompanied him on the voyage.

Thank you -- yes, the post about the hand-writing prompted me to revisit the updated profile and I was impressed by how carefully researched and documented it was. In the past I had seen and actually (to my embarrassment) propagated  some of the now-debunked information. I was aware of the correction about him not being the provisional governor of Pennsylvania, but was not aware that the bit about him serving as an "advance agent" purchasing land from the Indians had also been debunked.

Thanks for your attention to this profile.
+11 votes

Double entry for me this week (we're running out of weeks and I so love these posts!).

An excerpt from the Miller family bible:

There are a lot of unsourced trees with all sorts of wonderful dates and details and I was skeptical of them all.  Through a 4th cousin I was able to obtain copies of the bible and now I know where much of the detail comes from.

Not the prettiest pensmanship but it is probably the first family bible I've discovered from the Revolutionary War period.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
This SJ is fantastic too

Thank You for sharing
+13 votes

I just finished reading a journal kept by my relative, Dorothy Mastin of the years 1928-1931, when she was 16-19 years old. She has the most beautiful handwriting, but she unfortunately took the opportunity to practice the shorthand that she was learning in school, which was probably an effective way to keep her secrets safe from prying eyes at the time, and has certainly thwarted me, 90 years later! I'm sure there are people who will translate shorthand for a fee, but for now, I'll save my money and let Dorothy keep her secrets.

by Sarah Oliver G2G3 (3.2k points)


Wow, I didn't realize it was a substitution value for every different word.  That would take some time...

Wow, yeah--I hadn't really looked into learning shorthand, but that seems quite daunting.
My mother knew shorthand, but is no longer alive. Perhaps someone on wikitree who trained as a secretary can translate it for you!
My mom signed up for a shorthand class in the late sixties. On the first day the teacher told the class, "If you're not prepared to spend at least two hours every night practicing, you don't belong in this class." My mom immediately gathered her things, got up and left. The teacher was shocked - she didn't actually expect anyone to go! hahaha
I took a couple years of shorthand in high school. 72-76. Not sure if I could get all of it now days.  :)
Ha! It's a cool skill, but yeah, that's a big time investment.
+13 votes

I was thrilled when I found this gem in my grandmother's bible.  It belonged to her father.  It has all the names and birth dates of her mother and father and all of her siblings.  A true source.

by Karen Lorenz G2G6 Mach 9 (91.5k points)
edited by Karen Lorenz

I could only wish.
Karen what a wonderful surprise to find in the Bible, that is a wonderful treasure

Thank You for sharing
+11 votes

This sample of handwriting is of an invitation to a party from 1896.

It was sent to my paternal grandfather, Arthur Dodge, from Miss Pearl Reed.  Pearl was to become my grandfather's sister-in-law when she married his brother, Wallace, in 1899.

by Robin Shaules G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Robin this is a wonderful treasure treasure you have from your grandfather

Thank You for sharing this
Thank you, Susan, my friend.
+11 votes

One of my grandpa's older brothers, Ray, signed this photo for him.  (His name at birth was Ragnar Christian, but he anglicized it to Ray Charles).  His nickname in the family was Lalle.

by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
+8 votes

I have two things with people handwriting notes.
No. 1 is a poem that a friend of wrote for the funeral for my relative James Anquish McKay and his profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mckay-3799


and number two is a poem written by Joshua Rominger and his profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rominger-35 for his granddaughter Nancy Samantha Rominger and her profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rominger-158 on the occasion of her marriage to James Braswell and his profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Braswell-1446 on 19 June 1889


by Anonymous Barnett G2G6 Pilot (467k points)
+10 votes

This is my gr. grandfather Elon Pountney's will, as written by him in 1922. Sadly, by 1925, the ravages of drought and ticks took it's toll, and income from the property was much reduced. The house mentioned in his will was moved to Ayr in 1927.

by David Urquhart G2G6 Pilot (155k points)
edited by David Urquhart
David thank You for sharing this magnificent writing

What a treasure
+11 votes

How about hand...sketching?

I have the full the Civil War pension application file of my great-great-grandfather, Samuel Mounts. It was pretty massive, because he spent decades arguing with the government about the extent of the injuries he had received to his left wrist, and the amount of disability pension he should be receiving.

Anyway, on the back of an otherwise unremarkable letter from Samuel's lawyer to the United States pension office was this bird sketch:

The letter is dated 1903, so I guess the bird is from 1903 too.

I've always wondered who drew the bird. Was it the lawyer? The lawyer's kid? A bored employee at the pension office? It probably wasn't Samuel, but you never know. 

Anyway, here is somebody's century-old bird doodle.

by Jessica Hammond G2G6 Mach 3 (32.0k points)
+10 votes

This is the Marriage License & Wedding Certificate for my wife Bridget & me. The bottom part -- Wedding Certificate -- is filled in by my father Ralph Parks in his own hand and one of the witness slots is filled in by my brother David in his own hand. Dad performed the wedding ceremony; he was a Southern Baptist minister. We married on his birthday, April 1st. Bridget & I thought that was a good day for us to marry since it was a 2nd marriage for both of us.

by Zane Parks G2G3 (3.8k points)
+10 votes

Handwriting of my Great Grandmother Susan Cockram, giving the names and birth dates of her siblings and herself. Sorry it is too big, I have added a resized image in the comment below

by Christine Frost G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
edited by Christine Frost

Resized image of the above.  The first 2 names are their parents.

+11 votes

My Grandmother Alice Elizabeth Drake-Sims (1892-1981) maintained a Family Bible.

Her hand writing was usually very difficult to read ... so she must have taken extra care to make the inscriptions readable in the Bible.  There are several pages, but below is the more about her wedding day.

by Bill Sims G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
+11 votes

For my 49 for 49, this is the oldest handwriting I have. This was written out by my great-grandfather, C. C. Stoner, before he died, probably in the late 1920's, as he died in 1931. He wrote it for my grandfather, Peter W. Stoner. It has a list of Peter's ancestors, as well as his father knew them. Then it has a short bio, and his war record, on the 2nd page. The note at the very bottom, saying that it is C.C. Stoner's handwriting, was written by my grandfather, Peter Stoner.



My great-grandfather was a lawyer (self-taught) and judge, which his language reflects "...An old hay fork happened to be in said pile of straw, and I accidentally jumped into said fork, being barefooted, one tine of said fork struck the bottom of my foot and protruded clear through my foot. My brother pulled said fork tine out of my foot."

by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 6 (68.2k points)
edited by Alison Gardner
+10 votes

My great-grandfather. John Claffey, was a blacksmith in Hawley, Minnesota before he moved his family to southern Saskatchewan. This is a page from his notebook. The page before is dated 1898 and the page after is dated 1899. This invoice for a wagon for $7.45 is a great keepsake.

by Harold Claffey G2G6 Mach 1 (11.8k points)

Related questions

+16 votes
18 answers
953 views asked Nov 30, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+16 votes
10 answers
884 views asked Dec 21, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+18 votes
11 answers
663 views asked Dec 14, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+14 votes
15 answers
1.3k views asked Dec 7, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+14 votes
11 answers
572 views asked Nov 23, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+13 votes
12 answers
562 views asked Nov 16, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+10 votes
18 answers
627 views asked Nov 9, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+17 votes
42 answers
1.6k views asked Nov 2, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+8 votes
15 answers
723 views asked Oct 26, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+10 votes
15 answers
908 views asked Oct 19, 2020 in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright