Friday, January 23, 2015

Sign on the Dotted Line!

Today, January 23rd, is National Handwriting Day.  The writing instrument manufacturers association created the day to celebrate the lost art of handwriting in the computer age.  I guess there's some merit to their lament since I'm writing this post on my laptop!

When I saw this on GeneaBlogger's "Daze of the Week" it seemed an easy link to family history.  I thought about the writings of my ancestors but alas, there's only one in my files and will be used for another post.

But - I have signatures!  Genealogists love signatures - they provide a unique connection to our ancestors.  Look at the handwriting and imagine him or her signing the document.  The nature of document speaks volumes about their emotions at the time.  Excitement?  Sadness?  My great-great-grandmother's brother attested to her lunacy at her commitment hearing.  That was in 1881 - my oldest signature shown below.  My most recent and only woman's signature was in 1960 when my grandmother applied for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

So, here are my ancestor's signatures, the name of the document and a link to their profile if available.  (Click on image to enlarge)

Alva L. Hutson, 1903,
Application for Homestead, Renville County, North Dakota
My great-grandfather Alva L. Hutson was 24 when he
began homesteading in North Dakota.   

John Earnest Hibsch, 1918,
WWII Draft Registration Card
My great-great uncle "Johnny" was 38 when he registered for the WWII draft. He was in Group C - considered too old to serve.

Cephas Adolph Eisenmann, 1917,
WWI Draft Registration Card
My great-grandfather Cephas A. Eisenmann was 43 when 
he registered for the draft.  He also was considered too old to serve.   

Alba William Hibsch, 1917,
WWI Draft Registration Card
My grandfather Alba William Hibsch went to Camp Stewart, Virginia then shipped out to France and was discharged at Camp Kearny, California.

Mahlon Clark, 1881,
Affidavit of Lunacy of his sister Jane Clark Brown
How difficult was it for Mahlon to testify in court that his sister Jane was insane? 

Ethel Kendall Hibsch, 1960,
Daughters of the American Revolution application
This is the only document I have showing of my grandmother's 
signature with her maiden and married names.

 I think great-grandfather Alva L. Hutson was the happiest as he signed the homestead papers and began farming his own land for what would be nearly 20 years. My great-great-uncle Mahlon Clark's emotions were  probably mixed with sadness and relief.

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