Can you decipher?
"real unsolved handwriting mysteries"


Example No. 1

Click here to view the original document & try to compare writing style 


This comes from a ships manifest written in 1878. Listed on Line 27 is Hirsch Rosenberg, age 24.  His occupation is listed but unreadable, even though most of the other occupations on the page are quite readable. Some suggestions so far are: 

" buhtcher " [sic] (butcher] by Mary Jo Disler

all of which might be close but either make no sense or would have misspellings. Hmmm . . . . ? ? 

When he came to this country, he was listed as a “peddler’ on his grandmother’s birth certificate, and later he owned an overall factory. According to family history, he was a great scholar of the Torah and an elder in his synagogue; very sweet, kind and gentle but couldn’t make a living in the factory because he spent too much time at the synagogue, so his sons took over the factory.

Send your suggestions to and cc:

Submitted by Pat Fuller - Genealogy Basics student June 2010

Example No. 2

Harris Family Bible

What is the middle name of Richard Harris? It's been a puzzle for many years.

Some suggestions so far are: 
I'm fairly comfortable saying the first letter is an "S" when compared with the name "Sarah" on the last line. Looks like the name could be maybe Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish . . . . . ?

Please send your suggestions to: and cc:

If anyone is reseraching the Baynard, Harris, Rawlings, or Wells families of Maryland, please contact Anne - she would love to hear from you.

Submitted by Anne Harris - Genealogy Basics student September 2012

Example No. 3

submit your own and let us help you - just send your image as an attachment to: