The Art of Palaeography

The Guardian today has an article entitled Writing off the UK's last palaeographer which reminded me that I was going to write a post on palaeography.

While researching the Scottish branch of my family tree it has been fairly easy, using the Scotland's People website to find copies of the extracts of birth, marriages and death and the Old Parochial Registers but the challenge is sometimes deciphering the handwriting.

Sometimes the names or words can be worked out from what is around and other times it requires a bit more knowledge of the Secretary Hand letters that were used in the 200 years ago.

An invaluable website to assist with this is Scottish Handwriting which provides:

Online tuition in palaeography for historians, genealogists and other researchers who have problems reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
The emphasis of the website is on practical help to improve the palaeographical skills, rather than on the academic study of Scottish handwriting.


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