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Messages - Greensleeves

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I just registered but it says that all documents have been transcribed.

If anyone is looking for transcribing, there are some very interesting projects available on Zooniverse.  I've been working on the Shakespeare's World project for over two years now and have transcribed about 3,000 documents.  Fascinating!

I think my shorthand is 'old era' since I did my training in the mid 1960s  ;D

I see your Middlesbrough links, Tillypeg - my father came from Middlesbrough and I spent many happy holidays there with my grandparents, as well as at Whitby and Redcar.

I agree that all shorthand writers develop their own style.  Whilst our shorthand might have looked like the Pitman example posted by Xin, I think it deteriorated pretty quickly once we started getting up speed!  I used to work as a verbatim shorthand writer, and I know I certainly had my own shortforms for many common words, phrases, commonly-used place names and legal terms.  So I agree with Gingernut that we would need clues to start us off. 

I would be interested to hear from the OP as to the context of this piece, such as where it was found and in what circumstances as that sort of info might give us clues.  For example, if it was stuffed into an ancient ledger we might reasonably speculate that it related to business, but if it was found in a soldier's wallet this would suggest something closer to the heart.

I have turned it upside down, it still looks like Pitman but without punctuation - although those slashes could of course be doing that job.  Whichever way up, I think we would need some context to be able to stand any chance of transcribing.  There are some outlines I can 'read' without any confidence and if I try to put them together it's just gibberish.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Re: A shorthand puzzle
« on: Thursday 15 March 18 22:35 GMT (UK)  »
I am wondering - as we have no-one so far able to even make a start on deciphering this - whether there is any context behind this document.  For example, do you know who wrote it, or what the background to it is?   It could be an ordinary, uninteresting note of office procedures, or it could be a story of a passionate love affair.  But shorthand being as it is, we need some kind of context to know what we are aiming for.  I won't bore you with the intricacies of shorthand, but basically each outline can give us a string of consonants, and although some vowels are shown, these are few and far between.  So, to explain a bit further, I see an outline with shows CLG which is the outline I know as colleague, but of course it might be college, collage, etc.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Re: A shorthand puzzle
« on: Thursday 15 March 18 19:19 GMT (UK)  »
Certainly looks like Pitman but I haven't a clue what it says...  as Pitman shorthand is phonetic, you need to have some kind of context to the piece, or a few clues, if you haven't written it yourself.  I've posted it below for others to look at.

I must say, Hilary, that it surprises me that the orphaned grand-children in both our families were left to fend for themselves, and had not received bequests from their grandfathers.  I could understand why the widows were not provided for if they remarried, but in the case of my family, the widow did not remarry and the children were all below the age of 12 on her husband's death.  It does seem a very harsh way of going about things, particularly when my ancestor, too, was a wealthy Yeoman and there would appear to have been land and assets enough to keep everyone fairly comfortable.

Fascinating story, poor woman!  Life was hard in those days and I think I, like you, would reach the conclusion that she was a prostitute, albeit on circumstantial evidence.  It's not often that you can say for certain so we are forced to rely on clues.  Howeverf, in one census a young lady in my family tree is shown as being unmarried but co-habiting with a man.  The enumerator, presumably with a flourish of distaste, put her occupation down as 'Concubine'.  ;D

I do have a copy of the will of my ancestor, John Pearle, who made his will in 1653 and died in 1658.  I am descended from John's eldest son, Thomas, who died in 1649 leaving a widow and  five young children.

Now John Pearle appears to have been quite a wealthy fellow, and in his Will he gives specific instructions for bequests to his wife: if I remember correctly, she was bequeathed both a pony and a pightle [field]  to put it in!.  However, unfortunately John left the rest of his estate to his two surviving sons in equal shares, without making any provision for the widow of Thomas or her five children. 

Which sort of explains why one side of the family remained wealthy, whereas my side of the family spent several generations as Ag Labs, gradually lowering themselves gently down towards the workhouse.  Until the coming of the railways, when things started looking up a bit.

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