This topic will include various reference works/links for help in deciphering and recognition.Latin probate:
Several people have asked for copies/sight of the general form of Latin probate. These differ little in their wording, often the only variance being in the name of the person, clergy or judge granting the probate. A copy of the general form together with translation is posted here.English Handwriting
, Online coursehttp://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc(link supplied by Jane Masri) Paleography: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography
Palaeography: reading old handwriting(link supplied by Veeblevort) Court-hand restored;
1500 - 1800
A practical online tutorial
Palaeography is the study of old handwriting. This web tutorial will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents written in English between 1500 and 1800.
or, The student's assistant in reading old deeds, charters, records, etc (1864)
Wright's Courthand Restored available as a free download (5Mb PDF) from
Lots of illustrative plates of different hands including Chancery, Courthand etc, but more importantly, an excellent chapter on contractions (abbreviations) many of which survived the handwriting styles in which they were originally used.
Can't rate this highly enough. It was the breakthrough for me when struggling with old
documents for the first time.
The resources here have been compiled from topics by RootsChatters, or directly submitted by them.
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed.
If you know of any useful resources that can be included here, please start a new topic, and a moderator will transfer the link to this topic.