I have become CONSUMED with getting more and more Smith & Gosling material, and that has included the dreaded WILLS of even earlier ancestors. The one thing that has proven to be a help? The old wills means I have some earlier orthography, which often helps with the segue into “modern” spelling. The same holds for the earliest handwriting! I even READ some wills I downloaded from The National Archives five or six (or more…) years ago.
So while I thought to share a particularly fabulous hand, I chose this one because its (currently) the earliest example I have – although it is almost (ALMOST!) modern in its legibility.
The give-away: the first word; otherwise, doesn’t it rather look like a child writing?
Just in case you’re unsure what it says: Elsewhere in the Kingdom of England…
Yes, this particular document has a most unusual (to me) ‘s’, which makes the first word look rather like Elfewhere… My document dates from 1726. And is related to family of my diarist Mary Gosling.
I’ll talk more about this document, which I’m just transcribing. In the meantime, I introduce you to palaeography on The National Archives website – which provides a delightful interactive tutorial.