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