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Deciphering old handwriting

The handwriting in Anna Maria Van Cooten’s will was fairly hard to decipher. The copy I received was a register copy, and thus it was written in a copyist’s script, rather than Anna Maria’s handwriting. There’s a really good site at the British National Archives about Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 – 1800 that provides valuable assistance in reading the text. In fact the script in the register copy of Anna Maria’s will was very similar to the cursive script in Document 2 in the set of tutorial documents. This script is also very similar to the script in the register copy of Hendrik Van Cooten’s will that I obtained from the UK National Archives.

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