Years ago I was transcribing and translating a 1790 era baptismal entry from a Belgian church. The entry listed the parish of residence of the child’s baptismal sponsors–clearly not the same as that of the parents.
The child was baptized when a few days old. That was when it dawned on me. The sponsors had to live nearby. While it was possible they had travelled from a distance to help with the birth, the more likely scenario was that they lived within a distance where the news could have easily gotten to them within a few days.
Sure enough, when looking at a map, I was able to realize the name of the town the priest had messily scribbled in the church book. Of course, today a Google search might have been helpful–if enough of the letters were ones I could reasonably guess at. Seeing the name on the map made it click what the letters were.