[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Handwriting in old records; Was Re Name search

Jerry Frank jkfrank at home.com
Sun Oct 21 07:17:11 PDT 2001

At 09:01 AM 21/10/2001 -0400, AlbertMuth at aol.com wrote:

>Martin's parents were Johann HENKE and Anna Katharine LUCHT.  I have had some
>difficulty with flourishes in the handwriting of this parish, particularly in
>the LUCHT name.  Twice I have recorded L|cht, which leads me to believe I
>need to look at the flourishes again.  But I think this is a match.

It is tough enough deciphering the consistent flourishes of a scribe but it 
gets really bad when he changes them within a given document.

For years I have been stymied by a reference in a Polish record to Ucyclen, 
Salcer.  I figured out that Salcer was probably Sulz in Wuerttemberg (by 
virtue of the migration pattern in the area) but Ucyclen was nowhere to be 
found.  I had forwarded a copy to many other writing "experts" and none 
came up with a better rendition.

Just a week ago a contact in Germany (recently discovered 6th cousin on my 
Heydn line) finally came back with the right place name, Weyden (i.e. 
Weiden).  I will now be able trace another complete branch in my tree back 
from c.1795.

This particular clerk or priest used different flourishes for Polish text 
and German names or places.  When writing Polish text, the stem of the d 
would have an upward flourish to the left and there was always a clear 
break between it and the letter to the right.  When writing a German name 
or place, the stem of the d was straight up, connected to the letter on the 
right, and disconnected from the loop at the bottom so that it looked like 
"cl".  Furthermore, the e, depending on which letters it was located 
between, came to look more like a c.  With that in mind, you may be able to 
envision how Weyden became Ucyclen in my mind.  Further proof of that came 
in another surname in the document which I took to be Kincler (thinking 
probably it should be something like Kuenzler) when in fact it was Kinder.

The whole point of this is twofold.  First, broaden your thinking when 
trying to decipher handwriting.  Second, keep spreading around copies of 
your document and asking the question.  Sooner or later, someone will make 
sense out of a mystery.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
jkfrank at home.com

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