It took me a while to decide to get going, poking around through my digital files to see how many ancestral signatures I have in my collection. Once I began, though, I started to get into the hunt and kept going beyond those of my 3X great grandparents, which I shared last week. I found one more signature for that generation, which is in the list below.
These signatures come almost exclusively from two sources. The first are digital images of land deeds in which the county clerk recording the deed had the seller sign the book. It is evident that the seller signed because the writing is very different than the clerk’s cursive.
The second source of the autographs is from digitized wills. I was disappointed to find two or three wills in which the scribe signed for the testator and, by the 19th century, recorded wills were mostly county clerk’s copies with no original signatures.
I did find several instances where either the husband or wife was unable to write his/her name and instead signed with an X. I decided to save those examples, too, as it tells me who was illiterate.
My 3X Great Grandparents:
Daniel Adams (1810-1893)
Sarah Ann Parker (1817-1900)
Iseral (Israel) Hicks (1785-1835)
My 4X Great Grandparents:
Ira Hicks (1761-1830)
Loyalist Walter (X) Stewart (c1750-c1820)
My 5X Great Grandparents:
Robert Wilson (c1768-1846)
Rev. War Soldier Joses Bucknam (1761-1835)
Abigail (Hay) (X) Bucknam (1768-1854)
Rev. War Soldier James Scripture (1749-1810)
My 6X Great Grandparents:
Joseph Sayward (1708-1779)
Nathaniel Haskell (1718-1808)
Samuel (X) Scripture (1727-c1817)
Hannah (Burnham) Parsons, widow of Isaac (1721-after 1769)
My 7X Great Grandparents:
Ebenezer Parsons (1682-1763)
William Haskell (1690-1766)
Rev. John White (1677-1760)
Hannah (Pratt) (X) Goddard, wife of Giles (c1700- after 1751)
Samuel Tarbox (1647-1715)
My 8X Great Grandparents (note than only Daniel Green and Job Lane could sign their names. Others used marks):
Sylvester Stover (c1630-c1690)
Elizabeth (MNU) Stover, wife of Sylvester, (c1632-1722)
Thomas Burnham (c1619-1694)
Daniel Green (1681-1759)
Lydia (Green) Lynde, wife of Thomas (1685-1755)
Job Lane (1624-1697)
With the 8th generation, I am back to a few immigrant ancestors and those first born in the colonies and will end here. However, there are several of my ancestors documented back in old England for whom I have signatures.
If you haven’t ever done this type of search, I’d highly recommend it as it is interesting to learn who and how many ancestors, both male and female, were literate enough to sign their names to documents.