Signature Analysis

The man is referred to as John Sears in a variety of court records from Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the 1806/1807 era.The handwriting of the court clerks and staff is fairly clear: John Sears. Like most documents, there is more. Sears signed two documents as a part of the original papers in the case file.

It does not look like he signed John Sears. The first name in both references clearly looks like Johann. Sometimes in records of this age, signatures may sometimes look like scribbles or just be viewed as “sloppy and written by someone who is not too literate.” That viewpoint can be a mistake. The temptation may be to just assume the signature is exactly what is written elsewhere in the document by someone whose handwriting is easier to read. That can also me a mistake.

Could that be a clue to his ancestral origins or perhaps where he was born?

Share