Handwriting

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Index of first names

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  • Handwriting
  • Palaeography (UK) or paleography (US) is the study of ancient and historical handwriting (that is to say, of the forms and processes of writing, not the textual content of documents). Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts, and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of scriptoria.

    The discipline is important for understanding, authenticating, and dating ancient texts. However, it cannot in general be used to pinpoint dates with high precision.

    In Scotland, family history researchers need to decipher Secretary hand, the common style of handwriting in Scottish documents. Not only are the letters formed differently but the Scots language contains many legal and colloquial terms no longer in common usage.

    Some 17th and 18th century examples can be seen in the attached image (above) , but for useful tips and help, go to the The Scottish Handwriting site, maintained by the National Records of Scotland.

    Notes:
    Gavin Douglas, a Scottish prelate and poet, was born about 1474, third son of Archibald, Fifth Earl of Angus. His name appears in the pages of the Acta Facultatis Artium Universitatis Sancti Andree (above) as a determinant (for the Bachelor’s degree) in 1489/90 and as a licentiate (for the Master’s degree) in 1494. Can you find his name?

    Sources


    Sources for this article include:
  • Latin Palaeography Network; Civiceducationproject.org


  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted





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    Last modified: Saturday, 16 June 2018