Posts Tagged ‘handwriting’

Cursive Handwriting Mysteries

I’m terrible with cursive writing.  We only spent a couple weeks on it in elementary school, then moved on. My 8 year old self thought it was a complete waste of time.

My least favorite part of genealogy is deciphering handwriting.  For goodness sakes, why weren’t most vital records printed, neatly?

Here are my current hang-ups.

Slave, Kane, Cain

Margaret A Rostron was born September 1879 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  She’s my 2nd great-grandmother, grandmother to Charles Duncan.

Margaret A Rostron’s parents were Annie Nora and James Rostron.  Margaret’s marriage certificate from 9 August 1901 gives both her parent’s names and her mother’s maiden name.  But, her mother’s maiden is not so clear (to me at least).

Margaret Rostron Marriage

Margaret Rostron Marriage Clip
For the longest time, I thought her mother’s maiden was Slave, but it’s not very common and didn’t lead to anything.

Then I found James Rostron’s death certificate (Annie Nora’s husband) from 1925 which listed his wife: Nora Cain. Instead of “Slave” is the first record actually “Kane?”

Nora_Cain_Clip-2

Her death certificate also lists her father as a Cain, but it’s the same informant on both certificates.

SONY DSC

Hannon in Chester

My next mystery is from the death certificate of my 3rd Great Grandfather, William Murphy.  Thanks to the Pennsylvania State Archives opening up death certificates to the public, I’ve had a ton of great breakthroughs.

Everything on the death certificate matches up, his address, occupation, age (range).  But I can’t figure out who the informant is.

WMurphyInformantHe passed away at the home of his daughter, Sarah Davis.  He had two other daughters that I don’t know what happened to, so I’m curious if this is one of them.  I’m also curious because Chester is on the other side of the state so this couldn’t be just a neighbor.

It’s something like Mrs. Nod Hannon? I have no clue.