Children, Upper-Case Letters, and Context

My late Mother’s recipe book contained a recipe from her Grandma Habben that was clearly written in my Mother’s handwriting. Hiding behind another recipe in one of the plastic sleeves in the book was the same recipe on a very well-worn three by five inch card that had clearly been used by someone while they were prepping the dough.

It was fairly old, stained, and apparently had been used repeatedly through the years. I was not certain about the handwriting. It clearly was not my Grandmother’s handwriting–my Mother’s mother and daughter of my Grandma Habben. At the bottom, someone had written “Grandma Habben” in what appeared to be a similar handwriting. I thought maybe it was my mother’s handwriting.

My daughter likes to bake and I shared an image of the recipe with her and I said I thought it was my Mother’s handwriting. The response from my daughter was “Grandma doesn’t capitalize her ingredients.” I mentally rolled my eyes and flipped through the numerous recipes in the book that I knew were in my Mother’s handwriting.

None of them put the ingredients in upper case–unless the ingredient was a proper noun. My daughter was correct and I was reminded of the importance of viewing documents in context and comparing them to similar documents.

I’m still not certain who wrote the recipe–it could have been my great-grandmother.

But my late Mother is probably rolling her eyes at me.

Check out Genealogy Tip of the Day: the book.

Share