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Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip…
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Reading Early American Handwriting (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Kip Sperry (Author)

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482351,740 (4.41)5
This book is designed to teach you how to read and understand the handwriting found in documents commonly used in genealogical research. It explains techniques for reading early American documents; provides samples of alphabets and letter forms; defines terms and abbreviations commonly used in early American documents such as wills, deeds, and church records; and, furthermore, presents numerous examples of early American records for the reader to work with. Each document -- nearly 100 of them at various stages of complexity -- appears with the author's transcription on a facing page, enabling the reader to check his own transcription. Also covered in the work, with particular emphasis on handwriting, are numbers and roman numerals, dates and the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, abbreviations and contractions, and standard terms found in early American records.… (more)
Member:jluallenblack
Title:Reading Early American Handwriting
Authors:Kip Sperry (Author)
Info:Genealogical Publishing Company (2008), Edition: First Edition, 289 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Genealogy

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Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry (1998)

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An essential tool for anyone who wants to research genealogy well. He has a good collection of documents at the back of the book that you can practice transcribing and the actual transcription on the facing page. Good exercises particularly if reading early manuscripts is a new experience and a good refresher for everyone else. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
Paleography and studying older documents are some of my favorite aspects of genealogical research. I love studying old handwritten documents as I research family history. Many of the documents I need to study in my region are from the Colonial era and that's why this book was a wise investment. There are close studies of alphabet quirks, abbreviations and terminology from that time period. Half of this book consists of writing samples and transcriptions from various time periods, locations and subjects. This is a go-to reference for those trying to decipher old handwriting from Colonial America. ( )
1 vote missylc | Jul 18, 2010 |
never got to read it - issues with Google books that apparently can never be worked out except by not buying from Google books
  sistacheryl | Nov 7, 2019 |
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This guidebook focuses on how to read and understand early American handwriting. Also covered are techniques for reading early American documents, the illustration of alphabets and letter forms, definitions and terminology, interpreting terms and abbreviations, and tips and suggestions for reading early American handwriting. Representative examples of various early American documents, such as town, church, court, land, and probate records, are reproduced in this work, along with trasnscriptions for each document. By studying and transcribing each document, the reader will become familiar with the various early handwriting styles, letter forms, abbreviations, and terminology used in American records.
Chapter 1
Reading Early American Handwriting


"Adopt the pace of Nature: her secret is patience."
                —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Paleography, the study of early handwriting, or the rules of reading old handwriting, is an essential element in genealogyical and historical research. The experienced researcher not only needs to be able to read old documents, but also requires the ability to intrepret the value and significance of the content of records. The researcher must be able to analyze documents and their relationship to other records.
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This book is designed to teach you how to read and understand the handwriting found in documents commonly used in genealogical research. It explains techniques for reading early American documents; provides samples of alphabets and letter forms; defines terms and abbreviations commonly used in early American documents such as wills, deeds, and church records; and, furthermore, presents numerous examples of early American records for the reader to work with. Each document -- nearly 100 of them at various stages of complexity -- appears with the author's transcription on a facing page, enabling the reader to check his own transcription. Also covered in the work, with particular emphasis on handwriting, are numbers and roman numerals, dates and the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, abbreviations and contractions, and standard terms found in early American records.

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