Collecting Signatures of My Ancestors – A Start

How many images of ancestral signatures have you come across in your research? I have a number of images, but they are a very mixed bag.

I have examples of my parents’ and all four grandparents’ signatures. However, after that, it gets quite spotty.

My father’s side of the family is Slovak, or Carpatho-Rusyn to be more exact. Nana finished fourth grade in the village, while my paternal grandfather finished the 8th grade in Passaic, New Jersey.

I sincerely doubt that any of their own parents, my great grandparents, and earlier generations ever even had the opportunity for any schooling at all and likely could not write their own names.

That immediately eliminates half of my family tree.

My mother’s side of the family is spotty for an entirely different reason. I believe that all of my ancestors back to my 2X great grandparents were literate and could write.

The issue here is that for many of them, I have no surviving letters, cards, original land deeds, etc. that would include their signatures.

Here are my ancestors’ signatures:

Paternal Family:

George Sabo (my father):

George Kucharik, aka Sabo (my grandfather)

Julia Scerbak Sabo (my grandmother):

Maternal Family:

Doris Adams Sabo (my mother):

Vernon T. Adams (my grandfather):

Hazel Coleman Adams (my grandmother):

I also have images for Vernon’s parents, Charles and Annie.

Charles Edwin Adams (my great grandfather):

Annie Stuart Adams (my great grandmother):

So far, I’ve found only two for 2X great grandparents, Charles Edwin Adams’ mother, Nellie, and Annie Stuart Adams’ mother, Elida.

Nellie Tarbox Adams (my 2X great grandmother):

Elida Hicks Stuart (my 2X great grandmother):

I am still trying to gather up signatures for earlier generations, but I did come across signatures for Daniel Adams and Sarah Ann Parker, my 3X great grandparents, as they signed their names on their 1836 marriage certificate.

Daniel Adams (my 3X great grandfather):

Sarah Ann Parker Adams (my 3X great grandmother):

If only tallying my signatures back to my 2X great grandparents, I have the sad total of only TEN! 3x great grandparents Daniel and Sarah bring my total to 12, for the five generations preceding me.

I am positive that a number of my colonial American ancestors were able to read and write and I have saved several of their signatures found in original documents.

I’m going to make an effort to crop and save those signatures and keep those images in a separate “autograph” file.

How many ancestral signatures have you been able to find?





4 thoughts on “Collecting Signatures of My Ancestors – A Start”

  1. Love this idea. Signature of my great uncle allowed me to confirm his attendance at not one but two family weddings in early 1900s! But I haven’t gathered signatures in one place as you’ve done–yet 😉

  2. I don’t have any pictures beyond my great-grand-parents. Whenever I encounter a signature of my ancestors, I save it too, but also use it in the picture slot in my FamilyTreeMaker software. I have also been able to confirm the parents (so another generation) of one of my ancestors through the recurring and particular signature of his brother in various acts related to that family.

  3. What a wonderful idea to gather up the signatures. I shall look to see what I have. I do have signatures of my great-grandparents found on two report cards of my great-aunt. Sometimes it’s hard to know on some documents if the signature is real or a clerk’s copy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.