Reading old handwriting

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The technical term for reading old handwriting is palaeography.

In order to transcribe handwritten records accurately, the family historian needs to develop some skill in this area.

Useful websites

Brigham Young University Script Tutorials Guidance in deciphering old handwriting styles. Languages covered include English, German, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

  • Scottish Handwriting Website offering assistance in understanding historical documents written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There is a weekly poser taken from an old manuscript which helps test your skills and which gives the site a fresh feel. (answers given!)